Science and Engineering Challenge
On Wednesday 30 July just over 30 Year 10 students journeyed to Wollongong to participate in the Science and Engineering Challenge. The College takes great delight in being active participants of this national event every year and is always a great experience for all, and 2014 was no exception.
Held at the University of Wollongong, the Challenge brought together over 500 year 9 and 10 students from 15 different schools in the Illawarra and South East region, spread over two days. As representative members of the College, we entered into an environment where the teams of each of the other 8 schools in attendance were pitted against each other to complete a wide variety of science and engineering tasks against the clock, with numerous rules and constraints. Based on how well each team completed their activities, points were awarded and added to the school’s total score.
Using minimal and only basic materials, paired with our own creativity, each team was definitely challenged as we became engaged in activities with very little introduction or theory, leading us to explore principles ourselves rather than be guided to a predetermined answer. Among these tasks we were required to construct a small hovercraft from motorised propulsion units, produce an Eco-Habitech model home, build a stable vehicle to hold a block while crossing bumpy terrain and create an earthquake proof tower. One of the activities in particular involved building a light but strong model bridge out of a certain number of paddle pop sticks, balsa wood and tape to carry weights from one side of the test rig to the other, with the load becoming heavier and heavier with each successful attempt. To conclude the day, all the event staff, visitors and other schools gathered to watch each of the bridges be put to the test, with the St Patrick’s bridge lasting till one of the final stages.
The Science and Engineering Challenge was truly an insightful and wonderful experience and gave us a chance to test ourselves and problem solve outside of the normal classroom environment. We’d like to thank Mrs Thomas, Mrs Lefever and Mr Fuda for giving us this opportunity to participate, for accompanying us on the trip and of course – for cheering us on the whole day!