Skills Tested at the National Science and Engineering Challenge

The University of Newcastle's annual National Science and Engineering Challenge, in partnership with Griffith University, held the Gold Coast Rounds at the end of May. It was the first time that Hillcrest has entered a team into this prestigious event. We sent a team of 30 students from Years 9 and 10 to participate in eight different challenges throughout the day. The students took on challenges that ranged from constructing a tower to withstand an earthquake, communicating through optical fibre cables, building a bionic hand out of basic materials, constructing a small mars rover for an undulating landscape, managing a power station through different scenarios, and other challenges. The main challenge involved construction of a bridge out of very basic material that was able to hold the highest possible weight.

Our students did extremely well throughout the day, and supported one another in constantly improving. They showcased their skills that they have developed over the past few years of doing Design-Centred Learning projects - particularly drawing on their teamwork, communication, collaboration, ideation and problem-solving skills.

During the course of the event, our students won many of the individual challenges and our bridge builders had one of the most successful bridges, narrowly missing first place based on the weight of their bridge. Hillcrest finished on 1291 points, which was the highest score on Day 2 of the Gold Coast Rounds, but also the highest over the two days of competition on the Gold Coast. We finished with one of the highest scores in Queensland, and next year we will aim to improve even more.

Congratulations to everyone involved!