Aldridge State High School science students watch nervously as their bridge undergoes the stress test in last year's Science and Engineering Challenge, watched by USQ Fraser Coast events co-ordinator Stephanie Bayley.
Aldridge State High School science students watch nervously as their bridge undergoes the stress test in last year's Science and Engineering Challenge, watched by USQ Fraser Coast events co-ordinator Stephanie Bayley. Jocelyn Watts

Call for schools to enter Science and Engineering Challenge

WIRING up a virtual city and building an earthquake-proof tower will be among the projects students will tackle in the Science and Engineering Challenge at the Hervey Bay PCYC on May 5.

USQ Vice Chancellor and president professor Jan Thomas said the annual challenge provided participants with an insight into the working world of science and engineering. 

"The students are allocated one or two tasks for the day and they are assessed as to how well they complete these tasks, competing against students from other schools," she said.

Prof Thomas said building a small bridge from balsa, pins, tape and paddle pop sticks would be another of the students' tasks.

USQ runs the Challenge in conjunction with the University of Newcastle's Faculty of Science and Information Technology, and Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment.

USQ Fraser Coast executive manager Brett Langabeer said every year the University of Newcastle team developed new and creative activities for the students.

"The challenge represents a unique opportunity for young people in our community," he said.

"It's not only fun for the students but the local community also eagerly awaits its arrival each year.

"The combined Rotary Clubs of Hervey Bay provide the volunteer supervisors on the day.

"The hands-on, competitive nature of the challenge allows students to experience the creative side of science and engineering in a fun atmosphere. 

"We are currently inviting schools to participate. 

"The challenge is aimed mainly at Year 10 students but schools are welcome to include younger children to make up teams.

"The day starts at 9.30am and community members are invited to watch science and engineering in action.

"The main event in which students build a bridge capable of holding various weights is tested at 2pm."

Last year, Maryborough's Aldridge State High School students won the regional title, earning them the right to compete in the prestigious Queensland Super Challenge Series in Townsville later in the year.

The Aldridge team was pipped at the post in the state titles by St Joseph's Nudgee after leading almost to the end.



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