Students set sights on STEM challenge
Hundreds of students from 10 Pilbara schools gathered at Hedland Senior High School last week to take part in the annual science and engineering challenge.
The challenge, held over May 28 and 29, is a national Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics outreach program presented and judged by the University of Newcastle.
Students had the chance to learn valuable problem-solving methods through a range of STEM activities before building their own bridges.
Karratha Senior High School took out the challenge on Monday, May 28, after going head-tohead with students from St Luke’s College, Tom Price Senior High School, Yandeyarra Remote Community School and HSHS.
Port Hedland Primary took out the title among Year 6 students from Baler Primary School, Cassia Primary School, St Cecilia’s Catholic Primary School and South Hedland Primary School.
HSHS head of science Sara Zadnik said a high-level of creativity had shone through over the two-day period. “It’s all about having limited resources and making the most effective solution to it. It’s about problem solving real life problems,” she said. She said it was an opportunity to bring towns closer together in the STEM world and allowing students to experience aspects of science they would not normally see in their day-to-day classes.
“It’s a really good time for all the high schools and primary schools in the Pilbara to get together,” she said.
Port Hedland Primary School student Jamie Brooks, 11, said taking part in the challenge had sparked a new interest in science and engineering.
“It’s pretty interesting how you can make things stable by using different shapes,” she said.
“There’s so much we can learn just by sitting in the room and listening to people talk.
“We’ve been able to talk to people in other schools, communicate, and work well with them.”
PHPS student Emma Boland, 11, who is considering a future in computer science, said she enjoyed experimenting with different materials.
“When I’m older I want to do computer science, so it’s really cool that we got to use proper materials instead of just rulers and cardboard,” she said.
St Cecilia’s Catholic Primary School students Arron Escalante, 11, Vincenzo Leopardi, 11, and Ezekiel Uiduldam, 10.
Port Hedland Primary School student Jasmine Tucker, 11.