On Tuesday March 6, The Henry Lawson High School Science and Engineering Team won our regional competition for the ninth consecutive year.
The Science and Engineering Challenge is a nation-wide competition, consisting of various STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) activities.
It is supported by the University of Newcastle and encourages young people to follow future careers in the science and engineering fields.
In teams of four, we competed against other schools from around the Central West.
Activities involved using certain materials to design and build a range of structures or to overcome numerous problematic scenarios.
building a bridge, constructing a water turbine, communicating using lights, designing a set of table and chairs, planning a railway line to connect and power cities, creating a bionic hand, establishing connections between towns while detouring around difficulties and making towers to hold weights and withstand earthquake like conditions.
For most of these activities, we were given two hours to complete the challenge, whereas with the bridge and table and chair activities, we were given four hours.
To succeed in the challenge, we had to be creative and innovative, as well as work well together as a team and never give up.
Working through the challenges, teams may reach levels of accomplishment according to how far your team gets with the scenarios, or how well your structures withstand pressures when testing.
One of the most important activities during the challenge is the bridge, as it is a four hour activity, and at the conclusion of the day every school’s bridge is tested in front of everyone there.
The bridge activity requires teams to make the lightest and strongest bridge possible.
The aim of the bridge activity is for each team to build a bridge from materials like balsa wood, cardboard, paper and tape, then test the bridge by placing it between two bases with a track running above; a metal trolley is then rolled over it.
If the bridge survives that test, a weight of 100 grams is added until the bridge breaks.
Our bridge managed to hold to five weights (500 grams), a great effort considering the bridge itself weighed a mere 83 grams.
We placed second from seven schools in this challenging task.
At the conclusion of the day, our team was announced as the winners with 1150 points - 300 points ahead of the second-placing school.
We are all very proud to be part of this winning streak and will continue to work hard to prepare for the state level competition.
On behalf of The Henry Lawson High School Science and Engineering team, I would like thank the organisers of the event, as well as the volunteers from Rotary who were there on the day.
Lastly we would like to give our biggest thanks to our teacher, Mrs Kuhn, for putting so much effort and time into preparing and organising us for this year’s Science and Engineering Challenge.
Your dedication is much appreciated by all of us.
Bring on state!
We would like to give our biggest thanks to our teacher, Mrs Kuhn, for putting so much effort and time into preparing us for this year’s Science and Engineering Challenge.Tara Schaefer - THLHS student