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Tasmanian school students set to dive into national submarine challenge

The Australian Maritime College (AMC) is proud to partner with Re-Engineering Foundation Australia (REA) to bring its renowned SUBS in Schools Technology Challenge to Tasmania for the first time.

Tasmanian primary and high school students will have the opportunity to hone their STEM and teamwork skills when they design and build a model submarine or remotely operated vehicle as part of the challenge. The state heats are set to run in September or October, 2021.

AMC will then host the SUBS in Schools Technology Challenge national final at the University of Tasmania’s Newnham campus in December 2021, during which the winners from each of the state heats will vie for the title of national champion.

AMC Principal, Michael van Balen AO said growing Tasmania’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) capacity was a strategic priority for the University.

“We believe that students, particularly those who are just starting their STEM journey, need to be able to see examples of what they aspire to be and the pathway that leads to achieving those goals,” Mr van Balen said.

“Team-based competitions such as SUBS in Schools play a critical role in engaging and inspiring these bright young scientists, engineers and problem solvers.

“As Australia’s national institute for maritime education, research and training, AMC is well-placed to help foster these skills and build awareness of the vast career opportunities in the naval shipbuilding sector.”

REA national event coordinator Deborah Maloney said the program was conceived in response to the Australian Government’s announcement of the $50 billion Future Submarine Program.

“The SUBS in Schools Technology Challenge is the world’s first in-class submarine design competition. It has been successfully delivered in schools across Australia for the past six years, and we are delighted to be bringing the program to Tasmania for the first time in 2021,” Ms Maloney said.

“The tasks faced by the students are no less complex than those faced by engineers working on real maritime projects. As well as building their STEM literacy, the opportunity for students to collaborate with industry as a means of solving these problems helps develop their communication and teamwork skills.”

Tasmanian Government Minister for Advanced Manufacturing and Defence Industries Jeremy Rockliff welcomed the announcement.

“It is wonderful to see our world-leading AMC leading this initiative in Tasmania for the first time, which will no doubt inspire more Tasmanian students to pursue exciting careers in STEM,” Minister Rockliff said.

“Opportunities such as this take learning from the classroom into the real world and students can get wider appreciation of the diversity in STEM career pathways. I congratulate AMC and everyone involved with innovative program.”

The SUBS in Schools program is based on the framework of REA’s F1 in Schools competition.

(Pictured): Visit Northern Tasmania CEO Chris Griffin, SUBS in Schools national event coordinator Deborah Maloney, AMC Principal Michael van Balen AO and Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten in the model test basin.

Published on: 25 Feb 2021 2:31pm