Over 400 Year 10 students from high schools across the Central Coast attended the Science and Engineering Challenge at St Edwards, Gosford.
Volunteers from Rotary Clubs across the Central Coast voluntarily staffed the event, which acts as a frontline investment tool to get students interested in STEM subjects. “In 2000, the University of Newcastle (UON) noticed enrolments were falling in engineering. “They approached the Rotary Club of Gosford, and together, they decided to do something about it. “Now, 18 years later, and that same small beginning has grown to a national event, happening in every state and territory, with more than 550,000 young students taking on the challenge, and every year, another 22,000 students from 1,100 schools add to that tally,” said Gosford Rotary Club member, and event organiser, Mr Barry Henwood.
“Challenges range from constructing a bionic hand from a surgical glove, some thick straws and pieces of string, to devising a set of coded messages sent by fibre optic signals. “UON has been incredibly inventive in devising eight different challenges. “They all require inventiveness, application and teamwork and they are all good fun,” Mr Henwood said. “The idea is that we put on this event for Year 10 students to stimulate interest in STEM subjects before the students make their subject selections for years 11 and 12. “The event draws schools from right across the Coast, north to south, from public and private schools, and of course, there is zero gender bias.
“The first 16 schools to respond are the ones that compete. “Funding comes from the collective Rotary Clubs on the Coast, a small contribution from the competing schools, and St Edwards donate their hall completely free of charge,” Mr Henwood concluded.
Source: Media release, May 14 Barry Henwood, Gosford Rotary Club