All Saints College, St Peter’s Campus, Maitland, 2015 National Science and Engineering Challenge Champions

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) students from three diocesan schools competed at Friday’s National Science and Engineering Challenge, held at the University of Newcastle. All Saints College, St Peter’s Campus, Maitland, took out the top honour for the national competition, while St Pius X, Adamstown, placed fourth and St Mary’s, Gateshead, placed seventh.

Students worked in teams across eight activities, including building airships, sailing boats, electronics and bridge construction. Points were accumulated throughout the day for successfully problem solving and execution of challenges such as building a mechanical hand that could grasp a ball.

Acting Principal of the winning school, All Saints College, St Peter’s Campus, Maitland, Pamela Kedwell, said, “This is an outstanding win! I’m really delighted and really proud of the students. They’ve displayed huge teamwork and perseverance skills, and good sportsmanship throughout the competition.”

While the challenge fosters teamwork and problem solving skills, the program also aims to inspire students to study science and engineering subjects during their senior high school years, in an effort to address a skills shortage in those fields and open up further study opportunities and career paths.

Director of Catholic Schools, Ray Collins, was thrilled to see three of the eight competing schools were from the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle. “The ultimate delight is the fact that All Saints College, St Peter’s Campus, Maitland, are the 2015 National Champions. We’re very proud of them and we’re very proud of all our students who have always excelled in this competition. This shows there’s some great stuff happening in our schools,” said Mr Collins.

St Mary’s, Gateshead, won the inaugural competition back in 2005, as the Science and Engineering Challenge celebrated its tenth anniversary this year.

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Geri Williams

Geri Williams is the Online Communications and Brand Officer for the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle. She is also a regular writer for Aurora Magazine.