BUILD a rollercoaster.
That was the challenge handed to students at Carinya Christian School by Questacon’s innovation mentors.
The National Science and Technology Centre is visiting schools across the region to encourage the scientists of the future.
“They can go nuts with any materials they want, as long as they try things out and refine as they go – that’s the innovation cycle we want them to go through,” Questacon Smart Skills mentor Sarah Simmonds said.
“It’s really about those foundation skills in problem-solving and the ability to try things out.
“It’s looking at failure as feedback to refine, and I really feel these skills can be transferred to any field.”
Year eight, nine and 10 students jumped straight into the challenge, that asked them to be crafty but keep in mind the user-experience.
In one corner, Year 10 student Adam Carpenter and his mate Campbell Wilkie combined a felt octopus and some styrofoam cups to build a truly unique rollercoaster.
“For the past half hour we’ve been building rollercoasters out of pieces of card, fun toys and stuff,” he said.
“My group just went at it, whatever happens happens.
“It’s really good because I enjoy science quite a bit, I like the fun, practical aspects of it.”
While some kids went bonkers with materials, others took a far more methodical approach – using string to meticulously plan out the ups and downs of the rollercoaster.
Carinya Christian School science coordinator Robyn Harvey said engaging students in science early on can help them make decisions about their careers down the track.
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