Champion school in science and engineering

The Science and Engineering team has won their first round of the Science and Engineering Challenge presented by the University of Newcastle on 20 March. Through the challenge, students experience aspects of science and engineering which they would not usually see in their school environment. Here, Rachel, Clarissa, Hannah and Elissa describe their experience:

The Science and Engineering Challenge for 2019 was a great opportunity to develop some useful skills, like problem solving, and to spend an enjoyable and educational day with our peers.

There were multiple challenges which our teams participated in throughout the day. We took part in the Bridge Challenge, which involved designing and constructing a bridge out of limited materials, such as balsa wood, paddle pop sticks and masking tape, to carry across “gold ingots” on a trolley without breaking. This was a whole day challenge and we worked on our bridge for just under four hours. After taking countless measurements and intricately putting our bridge together we finished and it was time to test our design.

The bridge had to fit into the rig and be able to support a metal sheet, which was laid over the top as a track for the trolley to run over.

Ours was the lightest bridge, weighing only 61 grams, and we were very anxious to see how many ingots we would be able to transport across!

We released the cart with the first ingot and all was looking good. Another two ingots and we had to take our minute to make adjustments to the bridge. We re-taped a piece of balsa wood back to our bridge and reset. We managed to get all five of the smaller ingots across the bridge without any major breakage, until they introduced the “super ingot”, which was about 5kg. This completely destroyed our bridge but we still placed first in the activity.

Overall, Santa Sabina College placed first out of the eight competing schools of the day and we hope that our score will enable us to participate in the state championships. We are pleased and very proud of our efforts. We would like to thank Ms Rugiero, Mr Duggan and Mr Connolly for providing this opportunity.