Aspiring scientists and engineers will be testing their skill and innovation in a state-wide competition kicking off in Burnie TODAY (Monday, 20 May 2019).
The annual Science and Engineering Challenge is a national outreach program that aims to inspire young people to consider forging a career in either field.
In 2019, the Tasmanian leg has attracted more than 2000 Year 9 and 10 students who will participate in eight heats that will culminate in a State Final.
Students will be challenged to create a cost-effective bionic hand, economically power up a pretend city and be the architects of apartment towers that can withstand an earthquake.
They will also engineer a suspension vehicle to use on Mars, design an economical flatpack dining setting, code messages along optic fibre rods, develop transport networks that link towns and build a bridge to carry gold ingots across a ravine.
State Coordinator Susie Haley from the University of Tasmania’s College of Sciences and Engineering said 2019 marked the biggest competition year yet.
“The Science and Engineering Challenge aims to change students’ perceptions of these disciplines through team-based competitions that bring up to 256 students from eight different schools together on each challenge day,” Mrs Haley said.
“Participation allows students to see that science and engineering involves creativity, innovation, problem-solving and teamwork.
“In Tasmania, we have always punched above our weight in regards to the number of heats and students competing compared to the rest of Australia.
“We hope to encourage students to consider a future career in science and engineering by choosing to study subjects such as maths, biology, physics and chemistry (the enabling sciences) in years 11 and 12.”
In 2019, the 120 volunteers supporting the competition include Rotarians, engineers, University students, local businesses and other community members.
“More than 2000 hours will be given to ensure the challenges are again a success in Tasmania. Without the support of volunteers, the competition could not run.”
The Science and Engineering Challenge is presented by the University of Newcastle, in partnership with the University of Tasmania, Tasmanian Government and the Rotary Clubs of Tasmania.