"After 12 years of adventure and achievement, the Solar Impulse aircraft is about to complete the first round-the-world flight with solar power as its only fuel."

Source: Radio-Canada

“Around the world in 12 stages is the culmination of 12 years of research carried out by MM. Borschberg and Piccard who, in addition to the scientific feat, seek to convey a political message. "

Source: La Presse

The following activities will allow you to better understand how the Solar Impulse 2 aircraft works and to know the feat it will accomplish soon.


At the end of the activities, the student will be able to:

- Knowing that the Solar Impluse 2 aircraft flies around the world using solar energy;
- Discover information on this project by consulting press articles;
- Approximately plot the plane's path on a world map;
- Locate different cities along the route according to the continents visited;
- Identify other technological innovations promoting green energies.

Suggested Activities

ACTIVITY 1: A solar plane

First, ask the students if they are aware that a solar powered airplane is accomplishing a feat that will go down in history.
To discover this aviation project, invite students to consult the links in the section for more information to find the information corresponding to the elements presented in the diagram below:

Download the source file in Inspiration (.isf) format
Download the file in PDF format (.pdf)

Finally, as a whole class, determine where the plane has reached in its path. To do so, search the Internet for a recent article concerning the solar airplane.

ACTIVITY 2: Around the world in 12 stages

The solar plane will go around the world in 5 months. As a whole class, locate on a world map all the places where the plane will stop:

Download the source file in ActivInspire (.flp) format
Download the file in PDF format (.pdf)

ACTIVITY 3: Renewable energies: exploration and innovation

First, ask the students what is the goal of the Swiss co-founders of the project, Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg.

To better understand the message they want to convey to the whole class, consult this page of the Solar Impluse Aircraft Official Website.

Students now understand that Piccard and Borschberg's wish is to "demonstrate that clean technologies and renewable energy can accomplish things hitherto considered 'impossible'."

Have students identify other technological innovations associated with clean energy and describe what they consist of in a short presentation created using software of their choice. For example, they could approach the electric car or even heating a house using geothermal energy.

For further

As a whole class, follow the evolution of the journey by consulting the site solarimpulse.com.
Consult the steps that have been completed so far or watch the video presenting the aircraft construction.

Also take a few minutes to sign the petition which aims to promote clean energies.

More about the magazine

Solar Impulse 2
Official project website

Solar Impulse 2 has landed in Oman, first leg of its world tour
La Presse, March 9, 2015

Solar Impulse 2 takes off for a historic world tour
La Presse, March 8, 2015

Solar Impulse: the world tour in a solar plane is about to begin!
Futura-Sciences, March 6, 2015

Solar Impulse: around the world in 25 flying days
Radio-Canada, February 21, 2015

The man behind the world tour in a solar airplane
Canoe, March 10, 1015

Véronique is a librarian at the University of Quebec at Trois-Rivières and a trainer in educational technology for future teachers. She also holds a teaching certificate in the social universe at the secondary level and collaborates regularly with the organization L'École branchée.


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