Students from 26 high schools across NSW will converge on Newcastle tomorrow to take part in a massive three-day science and engineering challenge.
More than 800 students from as far afield as Broken Hill, Narrabri, Tamworth and Cobar will join Year 10 students from several local high schools for the University of Newcastle's 2007 Science and Engineering Super Challenge.
The students will compete in a range of challenging activities including 'Hover Frenzy' (using a range of materials to construct a small hovercraft), 'Mission to Mars' (building a space-age, all terrain vehicle), and the 'World Sailing Spectacular' (making sails and rigging for a boat).
The Super Challenge is the culmination of a series of regional Science and Engineering Challenges run across NSW. Schools are competing for a place in the Grand Challenge, the national championships, to be held in Toowoomba in October.
The Science and Engineering Challenge is the brainchild of the Faculty of Science and Information Technology and the Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment at the University of Newcastle.
It was created as a way of addressing Australia's skill shortages in the engineering fields by sparking student interest in studying science and engineering-related subjects.
University of Newcastle Challenge Team Leader, Bob Nelson, said the Challenge built students' problem-solving abilities and their capacity to work as part of a team.
"The Challenge gives students the opportunity to gain an understanding of the value of teamwork and the need for creativity and innovation in problem-solving," he said.
"The key message we want kids to take away, is science, IT and engineering is challenging, but it is also heaps of fun."
The Challenge won the Engineers Australia National Engineering Excellence Award in 2003 for the best engineering project in Australia. It is supported by local communities through Rotary International, Engineers Australia, and the Department of Education, Science and Training.
The Newcastle Science and Engineering Super Challenge will be held at the Broadmeadow Basketball Stadium from Wednesday 22 August to Friday 24 August.
Activities start at 10am each day and finish by 3.15pm. Media welcome.
Schools competing in the 2007 Science and Engineering Super Challenge
Newcastle Wednesday 22 - Friday 24 August 2007
- Gosford High School
- Bellingen High School
- Dubbo College - Senior campus
- Oxley High School
- Broken Hill High School
- Narrabri High School
- Tenterfield High School
- St. Mary's High School
- Great Lakes College Tuncurry campus
- Gorokan High School
- Camden Haven High School
- Melville High School
- Lisarow High School
- St. Mary's Central School
- Muswellbrook High School
- St. Peter’s High School
- St. Paul's High School
- Tumbi Umbi campus
- Wellington High School
- Calrossy School
- Cobar High School
- Heritage Christian School