Science and Engineering Challenge 2018

The Office of the NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer is a principal sponsor of the Science and Engineering Challenge (SEC). This national event is run by the University of Newcastle and offers high school students in Years 9 and 10 hands-on experience to show that, in addition to helping to solve real-world problems, science and engineering can be fun and may even offer a potential career choice. Teams of students from different schools compete against each other in a series of eight challenges, including:

  • Bridge: students construct a model bridge out of balsa wood and masking tape, which then has to support a railcar carrying increasingly heavy weights as it races across a test rig
  • Catapult: after constructing their swing-arm catapult out of dowel, students gain points for length and accuracy of the flight of their projectile
  • ElectraCITY: with a powered board, students use cables to connect power to a city's infrastructure at the lowest possible cost
  • Helter Skelter Shelter: towers are constructed from common materials and then tested for strength and stability, through the use of weights and a shaking base which simulates an earthquake.

Below, a selection of images show the fun, ingenuity and mayhem on display at an SEC Challenge Day held at Sydney Olympic Park's Quaycentre in March 2018.