Ris­ing to the chal­lenge

Kalamunda Reporter - - News -

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LES­MUR­DIE Pri­mary School and El­len­brook Sec­ondary Col­lege are through to the next round of the Schools So­lar Chal­lenge af­ter win­ning their heats in the eastern cor­ri­dor semi-fi­nal at Mazenod Col­lege last week.

More than 1000 school chil­dren have taken part in the ini­tia­tive, which aims to ig­nite ex­cite­ment about learn­ing sci­ence at school.

The chal­lenge, a joint ini­tia­tive be­tween Syn­ergy and the Sci­ence Teach­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion of WA (STAWA), en­ables Year 6 and Year 8 stu­dents to build and race model so­lar-pow­ered cars against other schools.

The pro­gram is de­signed specif­i­cally to ad­dress the com­par­a­tively low num­ber of stu­dents choos­ing to study sci­ence, tech­nol­ogy, en­gi­neer­ing and math (Stem) sub­jects.

STAWA chief ex­ec­u­tive John Clarke said given so many jobs of the fu­ture were go­ing to be tech­nol­ogy-based, the de­clin­ing in­ter­est in Stem sub­jects was a prob­lem STAWA was try­ing to ad­dress.

“The chal­lenge re­sources teach­ers and en­ables them to in­spire their stu­dents into con­tinue study­ing sci­ence,” he said.

“A Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment re­port has high­lighted the ex­tent of the risk to Aus­tralia’s ca­pac­ity to com­pete for thou­sands of jobs in the next decade as more in­dus­tries be­come au­to­mated.

“The key to ad­dress­ing what is go­ing to be a global em­ploy­ment prob­lem is hav­ing suf­fi­cient num­bers of our stu­dents right now choos­ing to study Stem sub­jects.”

Syn­ergy chief ex­ec­u­tive Jason Wa­ters said the chal­lenge was also an ex­cel­lent way to ed­u­cate stu­dents about the ben­e­fits of so­lar and re­new­able en­ergy.

“The So­lar Chal­lenge teaches stu­dents ba­sic en­gi­neer­ing prin­ci­ples in a fun and in­ter­ac­tive way and is a great ini­tia­tive,” he said.

The grand fi­nal will be held on April 10.

Dar­ling Range Sports Col­lege, El­len­brook Sec­ondary Col­lege, He­lena Col­lege, Hill­side Chris­tian Col­lege, Les­mur­die Pri­mary School, Mazenod Col­lege, St Joseph’s School (Northam), Swan Chris­tian Col­lege and York DHS all took part in the semi-fi­nal.

D481071

Tom Hodgkin­son, Maddy Gu­nawan and Emma Mar­shall of Les­mur­die PS.

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