Communications & Media

Students test science and engineering skills in state-wide challenge

Rose Bay High, pictured, took out the first leg of the 2018 Science and Engineering Challenge's Tasmanian heats, held at the Sandy Bay campus from May 23-25.

The annual competition is a national outreach program, aimed at changing student perceptions towards both disciplines while fostering further engagement.

In each leg students are challenged to build a cost-effective bionic hand, power up a pretend city and design apartment towers that can withstand an earthquake. They will also create a catapult that can launch a tennis ball, make a model water turbine, code messages along optic fibre rods and develop transport networks that link towns.

This year, there will be six state-wide heats, with representation from 52 schools and around 1,600 participating Year 9 and 10 students. The remaining heats are in:

·        Burnie: Monday, 28 May, Marist Regional College, Burnie;

·        Launceston: Thursday, 31 May, and Friday, 1 June, University of Tasmania Newnham campus.

Susie Haley, Tasmanian State Coordinator and University of Tasmania Outreach and Placement Officer (Engineering), hoped the competition would inspire participants.

“By taking part in the Challenge, students see that science and engineering involve creativity, innovation, problem-solving and teamwork,” Mrs Haley said.

“The program will encourage students to consider a future career in science and engineering by studying subjects such as maths, biology, physics and chemistry (the enabling sciences) in years 11 and 12.

“In just a few weeks, registrations for 2018 were filled which shows the value and importance which Tasmanian schools are placing on this competition.

“This year, 110 volunteers will give more than 2,000 hours to ensure the Tasmanian Challenge is once again a success.

“Without the support from engineers, University of Tasmania students, local businesses, Rotarians and other willing people, the Challenge could not continue.”

In Tasmania, the Science and Engineering Challenge is supported by the University of Tasmania, Rotary Clubs of Tasmania and the State Government.

The State finals will take place on Tuesday, 5 June, in the Sir Raymond Ferrell Centre, University of Tasmania Newnham campus.

Published on: 28 May 2018 11:16am