How high can a tower be built before it falls over? What are the most efficient transport routes to connect multiple cities? And what is the minimum support a balsa and paper bridge needs to support an electric car?
Thirty two Year 10 students from The Armidale School took out the regional division of the annual Science and Engineering Challenge held at the University of New England yesterday (7 March), where they joined others from eight schools across the region in a series of critical thinking challenges.
The budding scientists were put in groups of four, each group tackling two of eight different challenges that tested skills in maths, science and logic. Points from each individual activity are accumulated to give a total score at the end of the day.
“Our tower challenge wasn’t as successful as other teams but we won our afternoon one which required us to connect communities together using string in the most efficient way and complete certain tasks. The team with the most string left over won,” said student James O’Brien.
“There were nine scenarios and we completed eight, which was more than the coordinator said he had ever had to mark before, so that was rewarding,” he said.
TAS has won the STEM event for six of the past eight years and Science coordinator Mr Tim Wheaton said the day is always a highlight of the curriculum calendar.
“It’s a very busy day for students and is only made possible with the assistance from the various Armidale Rotary Clubs and their volunteers, the University of Newcastle which runs the statewide competition and the University of New England for hosting and staffing the different activities over the day.”
Other schools to attend were Armidale/Duval High School, New England Girls’ School, PLC Armidale, O’Connor Catholic College, Guyra Central, Uralla Central and MET School.
TAS will now progress to the State finals in Newcastle later in the year.