The Science and Engineering Challenge is a nationwide STEM outreach program presented by the University of Newcastle in partnership with communities, Rotary clubs, universities and sponsors. Through the Science and Engineering Challenge, students experience aspects of science and engineering which they would not usually see in their school environment.
The day aims to provide meaningful, hands-on experiences designed to inspire more young people to make a difference in the world by choosing a career in Science and Engineering.
Congratulations to our year 9 and 10 students who won this competition – beating seven other schools around the Southern Highlands.
Thanks to Olivia H for sharing her experience from the day:
On Monday the 30th May a mix of year nine and ten students had the opportunity to participate in the Southern Highlands Science and Engineering Challenge for 2022. We were all super excited to have been selected by Mr Byrne to compete as a team on the day at the Mittagong RSL, and put our knowledge of science and engineering to the test.
There was a buzz of high energy in the air as we gathered in the main function area of the RSL while the competition organisers, the University of Newcastle, introduced themselves and organised the teams into their first activity of the day. Overall, there were eight teams of four from each school and over the first half of the day we competed in challenges such as Bridge Building, Confounding Communications: where we had to code, send and decode messages, Return to Mars: the construction of Rover to cross a rocky course, Helter Skelter Shelter: the construction of an earthquake proof tower, Grasping at Straws: building a bionic hand, ElectraCity: wiring an electrical grid efficiently, Stringways: simulating the construction of cost and energy efficient electrical distribution network, and Turbine: building a water powered electrical generator. Many of our groups won the first challenge putting Chev in the lead at the half way mark.
After a lunch provided for us by the RSL we headed into our afternoon activities determined to stay in the lead. Apart from the Bridge Builders who were working on their project all day, our groups switched around meaning that we all had a completely different challenge to work on in the latter half of the day.
The second session was just as hectic and fun as the first, with Chev very competitive in multiple activities again. After all the competitions had been completed, we headed back to the main function room for the day’s exciting finale, the testing of the bridges.
The competing schools brought their bridges forth and placed them in a contraption which had two banks with a connecting track over the top. A weighing 1.2kg cart would be sent across the track the bridge (which could only weigh up to 100g!) was supporting. Each time it successfully crossed without the bridge breaking; a 1 kg weight would be added. When it was Chev’s turn we cheered and cheered for our team, as weight after weight was added, 6kg crossing before it broke.
It was so exciting as we were tracking in first place for bridge until another school beat us by a single weight. Once all the bridges had been tested, the results for the whole day were calculated and we waited as they counted down from Eighth place to first.
Then to our absolute delight we were announced as the winners! We were exuberant at the result of the whole experience. Overall, the Science and Engineering Challenge 2022 was a great success, with many thanks to Mr Byrne who organised and trained the teams, and provided so much moral support on the day.
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