Exploring the wonders of science and engineering

More than 1200 local school students will have the chance to explore the wonders of science, engineering and mathematics when they take part in the 11th annual MidCoast Science and Engineering Challenge starting in Taree today Tuesday.

The annual event, sponsored locally by MidCoast Water and run by the University of Newcastle with the support of local Rotary clubs, has attracted record numbers.

There are two parts of the challenge – a high school competition in which teams compete to represent the district at further competitions and three days for primary school students.

The primary school discovery days, to be held today, tomorrow and Thursday, involve high school students working with the younger participants to foster an interest in science, engineering and maths.

The high school challenge day on Friday April 11 includes a variety of fun and exciting team activities culminating in a major construction challenge in the afternoon which draws on the principles learnt throughout the day.

The winning student team will then have the opportunity to pit their minds against some of the best in the region when they get the chance to complete for the Science and Engineering Challenge Plate in Newcastle in several months time. The finalists from this round will then venture to the national round later in the year.

The Taree Racecourse function centre will host both the primary school and high school events. Each day will involve over 300 students.

“We think this is an important program to stimulate students’ interest in science and engineering,” MidCoast Water’s general manager Robert Loadsman said.

The main aim of the challenge is to encourage students to study mathematics, engineering and technology subjects for their HSC, and look at further studies in the fields at university level.

The Challenge is also supported by the Taree Wingham Racecourse, AGL Gloucester and the Rotary Clubs of zone 4.