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University to host national Science and Engineering Challenge final


Sharlene King
5 June 2013

A NSW North Coast high school will get a wild card entry into the national final of the Science and Engineering Challenge after Southern Cross University was awarded hosting rights.

Eight high schools from across Australia – including one from the North Coast - will compete in the 2013 Science and Engineering Challenge national final at the University’s Lismore campus on October 30.

Professor Jerry Vanclay, head of the School of Environment, Science and Engineering, made the announcement at a dinner held at the University last night to coincide with the start of the local round of the competition, the Northern Rivers Science and Engineering Challenge on June 5 and 6.

“Being awarded the national finals is a vote of recognition in Southern Cross University’s new civil engineering degree, which commenced this year, and an opportunity to showcase our facilities and the Northern Rivers region as a place to study engineering,” said Professor Vanclay.

“The University has done a fantastic job of hosting the local Engineering Challenge for several years now. I’d like to make special mention of the work done by the volunteers from the University and the Rotary Club of Alstonville who have created a well-run and popular event.”

Guest speaker at the dinner was Southern Cross University Foundation Professor of Engineering Scott Smith.

“Our civil engineering degree aligns with the aims of the Challenge: both foster creativity, innovation, problem solving and team work skills,” said Professor Smith.

“The degree will also train engineers to have a solid grasp of engineering fundamentals and assist in solving regional as well as global engineering challenges. I encourage students to seriously consider studying engineering at SCU when they graduate from high school.”

Professor Smith used the occasion to launch the inaugural SCU Engineering Photo Competition aimed at increasing interest in engineering and the built environment. The competition is open to high school students, university students, TAFE students and the general public. There are some great prizes and the best images will appear in a 2014 University calendar and in the University’s new Engineering building at the Lismore campus.

The Science and Engineering Challenge is an annual nationwide outreach program hosted by universities in each state in conjunction with local partners and sponsors. The Challenge is designed to inspire year 9 and 10 students to study science and engineering at a senior level.

The Northern Rivers Science and Engineering Challenge has been held at the Southern Cross University Lismore campus since 2007 in partnership with the Rotary Club of Alstonville. This year around 450 students from 16 high schools are taking part over two days, June 5 and 6.

The Challenge is a practical day of fun, teamwork and discovery. Each day the students participate in a range of hands-on activities that are designed to demonstrate the varied and practical elements of a career in the disciplines of science and engineering. Each completed activity earns points for the school’s team.

There are 16 participating schools in the 2013 Northern Rivers Science and Engineering Challenge. The school that earns the most points will get automatic entry in the national final.

Wednesday June 5
Cape Byron Steiner School; Casino High School; Evans River Community School; Kadina High School; Kyogle High School; Lismore High School; McAuley Catholic College Coffs Harbour; Woodenbong Central School

Thursday June 6
Alstonville High School; Emmanuel Anglican College Ballina; Grafton High School; Lindisfarne Anglican Grammar School Terranora; Mullumbimby High School (2012 Day 2 winner); St John's College Woodlawn Lismore; Trinity Catholic College Lismore (2012 Day 1 winner); Wollumbin High School Murwillumbah
Photo: St John's College Woodlawn students complete the Helter Skelter Shelter activity during the 2012 Northern Rivers Science and Engineering Challenge.