Science, engineering challenge starts in Tamworth

STRATEGY: Tiffany Allones and Jessica Drysdale of Tamworth High School plan their rail network during the discovery day at TRECC today. Photo: Peter Hardin 200318PHB073
STRATEGY: Tiffany Allones and Jessica Drysdale of Tamworth High School plan their rail network during the discovery day at TRECC today. Photo: Peter Hardin 200318PHB073

THE future is in good hands, if a STEM discovery day in Tamworth’s TRECC today is any indication.

That’s the view of University of Newcastle spokesman Chris Hendry as a UON and Rotary Club of Tamworth First Light event kicked off.

The discovery day was a junior program that preceded the Science and Engineering Challenge for years 9 and 10, to be held tomorrow.

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A program for years 5 and 6 will also be held at TRECC, on Thursday and Friday.

The 250 students in years 7 and 8 had to hook up power to a virtual city, make a bionic hand, plan a central Australia rail network and design an earthquake-proof structure.

Mr Hendry said organisers were “constantly surprised by what the students are able to achieve”.

“We try and have a scoring system that is always just a little bit outside of their reach [so they] always have something to strive for,” he said.

“Every single time we put an upper limit, the students smash it out of the water and prove us wrong.

“I think the future is potentially quite bright. If the students engage and have a good time today, and a few of them want to get stuck into that field, I think we’ll be in good hands in the future.”

The Science and Engineering Challenge aims to encourage students to choose science and maths related units as the progress into senior schooling.

Data from 2016 student participation has shown that the challenge influenced 28 per cent of students to study maths, 24 per cent to study chemistry and 49 per cent to study physics.

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