The Science and Engineering Challenge (The Challenge) is a set of fun and competitive hands-on activities involving principles of science, engineering and technology. The concept is to immediately engage students in the activity with a minimum of introduction and theory.
Participating schools select their representative teams of between 24 and 32 students from Years 9 and 10. A total of eight different activities are set for each day, and each school allocates three or four students to each activity. The students are encouraged to explore scientific principles for themselves rather than being guided to a predetermined answer. Teams are divided into eight groups that compete in one full day or two half day activities.
Points are scored and tallied, and the winning school on that day qualifies for the Super Challenge (State Final), and may go on to the National Championships event (National Final). A competitive environment is created as representative school teams are pitted against each other and against the clock in a range of science and engineering tasks.
The Science and Engineering Challenge is an outreach program aimed at changing student's perceptions of science and engineering. Through the Challenge, students experience aspects of these disciplines which they would not usually see in their school environment. The Challenge aims to inspire students in year 10 (and below) to consider a future career in science and engineering by choosing to study subjects such as maths, physics and chemistry (the enabling sciences) in years 11 and 12.
We have seen a significant growth in the Challenge since it commenced in Tasmania 12 years ago. In July 2015 there were 1125 students from 45 different schools 2017was the thirteenth year in Tasmania.
By participating in the Challenge students see that science and engineering involves creativity, innovation, problem solving and team work.
Places are limited to eight schools per day and will be allocated on a first-in basis.