Over 160 students have been given a hands-on experience of the future of science and engineering, building contraptions such as imitation Mars rovers and bionic hands.
The Science and Engineering Challenge was held at the Sapphire Coast Turf Club on Friday, March 15, attended by students from eight high schools in Bega, Pambula, Eden, Bombala, Cooma and Mallacoota.
"We want to interest them in STEM subjects and introduce them to the right classes in Year 11 and 12 so they can get into science and engineering at university," team leader with the University of Newcastle Science and Engineering Challenge Helen Beckitt said.
"It's also important they get the idea science and engineering can be for everyone - you don't have to be a genius to get in."
She said at the challenge the students had the opportunity to talk to industry professionals, gain team building skills and get an idea that engineering was not just about building bridges as there were many different types.
"Hands-on activities like we run here are perfect ways to get kids into science and engineering, especially if they hadn't realised it was something they could do," Ms Beckitt said.
Sapphire Coast Anglican College Year 10 students Shanice Hepburn and Lila Moore agreed the day was challenging.
While Shanice wanted to be a marine biologist or dolphin trainer, Lila wanted to be an occupational therapist.
"Both are kind of science-y, but are just a different kind," Lila said.
Bega Rotary were the event coordinators and it was the third time it was held in the Bega Valley.
At the end of the challenge, Monaro High had the highest score. It was followed by Lumen Christi Catholic College and Saint Patrick's Parish School, Bega High, Bombala High and Mallacoota P-12 College, Sapphire Coast Anglican College and Eden Marine High.