On Thursday 15th June Year 10 students in Mr Stacy’s Future Science class took part in the annual Science & Engineering Challenge at UniSA Mawson Lakes.
Students were initially divided into groups of 2-4 and each group focused on a different challenge with a Science/Engineering focus. The challenge is set up as a competition between eight schools although there are other challenges at different venues and dates each with eight schools. The eight schools on our day were: Immanuel College, Henley High School, Faith Lutheran College, St Columba College, Salisbury High School, Playford International College, Nuriootpa High School, and LeFevre High School.
Students were given a few weeks’ notice regarding the exact activities to be undertaken. Each group was allocated a particular activity and planning took place. Each of the construction models were completed using only everyday materials. Examples of activities included:
• building a model Mars rover vehicle that needed to negotiate a bumpy surface while carrying a load
• providing power to a large board with lights using different electrical cables
• building a model ‘bionic hand’ using PVC pipe, string, straws and coffee stirrers
• design an efficient code to send messages along fibre optic rods using pulses of coloured light
• building a light and strong model bridge to carry ‘gold’ ingots from one side of the test rig to the other
At the last minute, we had to reorganize the groups due to some absences but the students responded to the extra challenge with resolve and a great attitude. At the end of the day Faith Lutheran College came third out of the eight schools with a final score of 971 out of a possible 1600.
Students enthusiastically reported afterwards that the activity was great fun and really challenged their problem solving skills and ability to work well in a group.
“I quite enjoyed our day at the engineering challenge and it was a very bright mood with a side of competitiveness which was great! We also became friendly with two groups from two different schools.” Mathew
“I really enjoyed the excursion because it gave us the opportunity to learn and gain experience while having fun. It was a good way to have some competition but not be under a lot of pressure. Overall it was a really insightful and fun experience.” Rachael
“The Science and Engineering Challenge was a valuable experience, as it required for you to think outside the box and to work as a team and build those skills. Communication with your team was essential for getting the activity done to the best of your abilities.” Kira
“It was a good opportunity to learn more about possible careers associated with science and engineering. It was a fun day filled with lots of laughter and playful competition.” Tayla