South East students explore the world of science and engineering

FUTURE SCIENTISTS: Bega High School Year 9 students Caiden Butchers, Sebastian Mattner, Andrew Tribe and Connor Tapp test a "Mars rover" they built.
FUTURE SCIENTISTS: Bega High School Year 9 students Caiden Butchers, Sebastian Mattner, Andrew Tribe and Connor Tapp test a "Mars rover" they built.

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."

Eden Marine High School Year 9 students Niamh Occleshaw, Ffion Roberts-Thompson and Freya Occleshaw construct a bridge.

Eden Marine High School Year 9 students Niamh Occleshaw, Ffion Roberts-Thompson and Freya Occleshaw construct a bridge.

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. 

Shanice Hepburn and Lila Moore of Year 10 at Sapphire Coast Anglican College hold a bionic hand they built.

Shanice Hepburn and Lila Moore of Year 10 at Sapphire Coast Anglican College hold a bionic hand they built.

"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.

Christine Cox, Josie Cotterill and Logan Barrett of Year 9 at Bombala High School build a bridge.

Christine Cox, Josie Cotterill and Logan Barrett of Year 9 at Bombala High School build a bridge.

Grace Clarke and Charlotte Porter of Year 8 at Saint Patrick's Parish School Secondary Campus in Cooma pick up a ball with a bionic hand they built with Liliana Watters and Isabelle Pamplin of Lumen Christi Catholic College.

Grace Clarke and Charlotte Porter of Year 8 at Saint Patrick's Parish School Secondary Campus in Cooma pick up a ball with a bionic hand they built with Liliana Watters and Isabelle Pamplin of Lumen Christi Catholic College.

This story South East students explore the world of science and engineering first appeared on Bega District News.

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