Science and engineering build bridges to students’ futures at Claremont showground

Challenge entrants (l-r) Keely Case from Lynwood SHS, Carey Baptist College's George Williamson and Morley SHS's Miranda Leicester are bridging the gap to engineering and science skills. Picture: Andrew Ritchie
Challenge entrants (l-r) Keely Case from Lynwood SHS, Carey Baptist College's George Williamson and Morley SHS's Miranda Leicester are bridging the gap to engineering and science skills. Picture: Andrew Ritchie

MAKING a model bridge, an earthquake-proof tower or bionic hand tested Year 10 students from 40 schools at the Science and Engineering Challenge at Claremont Showground from April 1 to 5.

“The most difficult part of building a bridge would be moving from the planning stage to the actual construction, from having the model in your head to actually making it,” Harrisdale Carey Baptist College student George Williamson (15) said.

About 1200 students are competing in the challenge, which has been run by the University of Newcastle since 2000 and organised in WA by the Rotary Club of Dalkeith.

It is hoped entrants will choose maths, physics and chemistry subjects in years 11 and 12 that could lead to science and engineering-based university degrees and careers.

“I’m looking at science and engineering because I like exploring new things and making things better,” Lynwood High School’s Keely Case (15) said.

The challenge has become Rotary’s largest youth program in Australia and is organised so participants can use science and engineering in ways not normally experienced at schools.

Students also mix with university students and staff to know how the skills they use during the challenge can be used in tertiary education.

“Over the years in my human resources role in the mining industry I have recruited many science and engineering professionals, and like many in WA I can fully appreciate the importance of these skills to our economy,” Rotary Dalketh organiser Michael Bisset said

Winners of challenges in each state will compete in the national final in Bunbury in October.