The Science and Engineering Challenge (SEC) and SMART Program offers a number of programs for teachers and schools including:

What does a Challenge Day involve?

Challenge Days are designed for Year 9 and 10 students, although younger students can be invited to attend. Students are involved in an exhilarating day competing against other schools in fun and engaging hands-on activities such as designing an earthquake proof tower, building a hovercraft or bridge, providing electricity to a city or creating an environmentally friendly house. Typically 8 schools of 32 students (256 students in total) compete in a Challenge Day. Points are awarded based on their performance and the school with the highest point score at the end of the day is the winner. Qualifying schools may go on to compete at a State Final, and eight winning schools from around Australia are invited to compete at a one-day National Final each year.

What does a Discovery Day involve?

Just like the Challenge Day for high school students, Discovery Days aim to involve Year 5 and 6 students in meaningful, hands-on experiences that challenge them to make a difference in the world by choosing a career in Science and Engineering...they are also a lot of fun! At a typical Discovery Day 32 students from 8 schools (256 students in total) participate in two 90 minute challenge-type activities and also have the opportunity to watch a multimedia presentation and take part in an exciting science show. The activities are generally supervised by high school volunteers who get the change to practice valuable leadership skills.

Discovery Day Information

Teacher Feedback

I have not seen this level of engagement in any other competition we participate in

Thank you - FANTASTIC learning opportunity

It was great to see what the students were capable of without adult intervention

Handouts were engaging and informative. Hosts were organised and motivating. Tasks were challenging and exciting

How can you get involved?

If you are interested in attending an event or would like more information please contact us at challenge@newcastle.edu.au or +61 2 4921 7319.

Already attending an event? Find out more

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.