On Thursday, 4 August 2016, 21 Year 9 Science students participated in the Science and Engineering Challenge STEM outreach program presented by the University of Newcastle.
The day began at 9:30am at the Homebush Netball Centre and the students from Loreto Kirribilli added towards being one of 6 schools competing on the Thursday competition. On arrival, we were given different coloured bands that represented our teams for the day, each with a particular and elaborate focus/challenge.
These challenges included building a bridge, developing a bionic hand and even constructing a Mars Rover! Each of these activities required you to think openly about the task and collaborate with in your teams. Some of the groups had two challenges, some groups had one over the whole day, but the overall aim was to gain the highest points amongst the variety of challenges.
One of the full-day tasks was to build a hovercraft using minimal tools, and it was very challenging, but also very engaging and the group worked very well! After we had completed our challenges for the day, we gathered together to test the 6 bridges the schools had been working on. To win the bridge competition, a heavy cart had to be able to cross the bridge holding a certain amount of ‘ingots’ without the bridge collapsing or touching the ground. Weights were added gradually making the bridge more difficult to cross until it finally broke. Loreto did very well in this challenge, coming very close to winning this activity, which made everyone cheer!
After the intense bridge testing, the winners of the day were announced. Although Loreto did not win, we all felt we benefited greatly from this unique and stimulating program. We learnt to work well as a team, developed our understanding on the types of careers that could be created from Science and Engineering and we discovered all about STEM and the future of Science!
The day was about meeting new people and developing our group skills and problem solving abilities. It was a exciting and interesting day that we all thoroughly enjoyed!
To see us all in action on the day watch this video.
Isabella Williams, Caitlin Mulveney and Alicia Tomas