Teams engineer efficient solutions
More than 80 Pilbara students took part in the annual Science and Engineering Challenge at Wanangkura Stadium in South Hedland.
The national event, run by the University of Newcastle for almost 20 years, was hosted by Hedland Senior High School on May 19 and 20.
Years 5 and 9 students from Port Hedland, South Hedland, Karratha, Wickham and Tom Price took part in a range of activities.
Head of science at Hedland Senior High School Cameron Ross said students were involved in activities that required solutions to be engineered through trial and error.
“Some involved them creating items to complete a task, such as a Mars buggy, a catapult or a balsa wood bridge,” he said. “Other activities required students to solve a problem in the most resource-efficient manner.”
The team from St Cecilia’s Primary School won the junior challenge and the combined team from Karratha and Tom Price senior high schools were the overall winners in the senior category.
Year 9 students from Hedland Senior High School won the bridgebuilding competition.
University of Newcastle team leader Pete Fullagar said it was exciting to bring the Science and Engineering Challenge, which travels to more than 50 locations in Australia, to Hedland for the first time.
“I think it’s very important... for students to realise the opportunities for employment in science an engineering which exist within their own communities,” he said.
BHP Billiton WA Iron Ore manager Pilbara Communities Chris Cottier said he hoped the Challenge would motivate students to consider a career in science or engineering. “We have engineers and scientists working at the top of their field right here in Port Hedland,” he said.
Engineers from BHP Billiton, FMG and Rio Tinto who volunteered.
The winning combined team from Tom Price and Karratha senior high schools.