Discovery Days

The 2019 Northern Rivers Science and Engineering Discovery Days held in June were a huge success with over 700 Primary School students attending Southern Cross University's Lismore campus over the 3 days.

They travelled from Grafton and the Tweed region to participate in an exciting range of "design and build" Science and Engineering activities.

The winning schools over the 3 days were:

  • 24th June: Emmanuel Anglican College
  • 25th June: Southern Cross Public School
  • 26th June: Holy Family Catholic Primary School

Congratulations to all 24 High Schools for participating in the Challenge and we look forward to seeing you again in 2020.

Discovery Day activities

Duration    Overview



Students construct a tall earthquake-proof tower using only basic materials, sound engineering principles, and ingenuity. At the end of the session the towers are put to the test on an earthquake simulator.



The aim of this half-day activity is to develop networks that join a series of points in the most efficient way possible. The shorter the string (journey), the more points your team earns.


Max power

The aim of this half-day actviity is to supply power to the infrastructure of Maximillian Powers' new city, using the most cost effective electricity produced by the power stations.


Get Over It

Build a small bridge from balsa, tape, paddle pop sticks, etc. Points are awarded for load-carrying capacity (tested with dynamic loads).


Get a Grip

The aim of this half-day activity is to design and build artificial fingers and thumb for the bionic hand so that a number of tasks can be completed. These tasks include various movement tasks, and picking up objects of different sizes and weights.


Mars Buggy

This activity requires students to construct a vehicle to quickly transverse an undulating surface. Students will use rubber bands for the suspension system.


Light Comms

Each group of students will be provided with 2 terminals, which they will use to communicate with each other using various coloured light transmitted through an optical fibre. Students will be assessed on their speed and accuracy.


Build it

Students design and build a chair that is cost effective, strong and easy to transport.

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