Communications & Media

Bright minds converge in the name of Science and Engineering

Science and Engineering Challenge Final

Around 1,600 of Tasmania’s best and brightest minds have been demonstrating critical thinking and creativity during the statewide leg of a national competition.

The Science and Engineering Challenge is an outreach initiative presented across Australia, which engages the next generation of aspiring minds with both disciplines.

This year, 51 high schools from the North, North-West and South participated in the 2018 Tasmanian round.

It involved six statewide heats during May, which culminated with a finale at the University’s Newnham campus on Tuesday, 5 June.

Working in teams, students were challenged to create catapults, build bionic hands, electrify cities and engineer bridges to withstand gold weights.

They also developed water turbines that produced power, coded messages along optic fibre rods, developed transport networks and designed earthquake-resilient apartments.

This year’s finalists were Launceston Christian School, Taroona High, The Friends’ School, Riverside High, Devonport High and Rose Bay High, along with wild card entrants Sacred Heart College and St Patricks College.

However it was Launceston Christian School which took the championship crown.

Susie Haley, Tasmanian State Coordinator and University of Tasmania Outreach and Placement Officer (Engineering), said this year’s competition had seen an inundation of interest.

“The Science and Engineering Challenge aims to positively change student perceptions by engaging them in discipline-relevant activities that involve creativity, innovation, problem-solving, teamwork and fun,” Mrs Haley said.

“This year, speaking to the teachers, it is evident that interest, resulting in class numbers and academic performance within the enabling sciences at their schools had increased.”

“The fact that each activity the students face presents them with a scenario they can relate to, which when they achieve a successful outcome gives them the confidence that they can do this and pursuing the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths) subjects into years 11 and 12.”

Ms Haley expressed her gratitude to the Rotarians, local businesses, retired engineers and teachers, university students and members of the public who support the Challenge with more than 2,000 hours of volunteer time.

Launceston Christian School will travel to Darwin during October to represent the State in the national finals of the competition.  

The Science and Engineering Challenge is facilitated nationally by the University of Newcastle, and supported locally by the University of Tasmania, Rotary Clubs of Tasmania and the State Government.

State Final results:

  • 1st Launceston Christian School - 1210.34 points
  • 2nd Rose Bay High School - 1073.18 points
  • 3rd Riverside High School - 1043.88 points
  • 4th The Friends School - 935.56 points
  • 5th Taroona High School - 855.71 points
  • 6th Devonport High School - 852.21 points
  • 7th St Patricks - 802.66 points
  • 8th Sacred Heart College - 693.86 points

Published on: 06 Jun 2018 11:00am