St Joseph’s Lochinvar compete in Science and Engineering Challenge

Year 9 and 10 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) students from St Joseph’s College, Lochinvar, travelled to Newcastle University to compete in the annual Science and Engineering Challenge.

The prestigious event partners with 30 other universities Australia-wide, bringing together over 550,000 students from 1,100 schools to participate in over 200 events.

The purpose of the day is ‘to inspire tomorrow’s innovators’ – a theme which was carried throughout all of the activities students competed in.

One of the activities, ‘Grasping at Straws’, challenged students to design and build a bionic hand using limited materials and equipment. The aim was to construct a hand which performed functions such as picking up a ball, picking up singular and bunches of straws and performing certain letters in the sign alphabet. Scoring for the challenge was based on how well each hand functioned according to the criteria.

Another activity called ‘ElectraCity’ consisted of a powered map featuring LED lights attached to each dwelling or building on the map. Each light had plugs to connect power stations to the clients in the city. Students were given a list of scenarios that increased in difficulty each time, limiting the amount of cables, points per house, power stations to be used and many other variables. The idea was to power as much of the city as possible at the lowest cost.

All the groups from St Joseph’s competed exceptionally well on the day, especially the group who competed in the turbine activity and broke a record for the speed of their turbine.

Students competed in the following activities:

  • Bridge
  • Catapult
  • Confounding Communications
  • ElectraCity
  • Flat Pack
  • Grasping at Straws
  • Helter Skelter Shelter
  • Stringway
  • Turbine

After a very successful day showing great teamwork and sportsmanship, St Joseph’s College were awarded the ‘Champion School’ title.

Congratulations to all schools who participated throughout the week and thank you to all the sponsors and volunteers who supported the day.


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