By Shakira Bone (Year 9)
On Friday 25 May, students in Year 9 and 10 from our College participated in the UTAS Science and Engineering Challenge.
In teams of four, we competed in numerous events testing our science and engineering skills.
Some students competed in two half-day activities, while others took part in one full day activity.
The challenges were mentally stimulating and pushed us to our limits, but in true St Mary’s style, we all went ‘one pace beyond’ and showed resilience, as well as determination.
One event that posed a great challenge was the ‘Helter Skelter Shelter’. In this challenge, teams had to construct two towers with limited resources: Three metres of tape, eight straws and eight pieces of A4 paper (per tower).
One of these towers had to undergo a static test. The team’s tower which could withhold the most weight and had the most reasonable height won this part of the activity.
The second tower had to undergo a seismic test. The team’s tower which could withhold the most weight on an ‘earthquake’ machine and had the most reasonable height won this part of the activity.
This challenge proved to be quite difficult as we only had limited resources and had to make the tallest and most stable tower we could. A great deal of the time was spent constructing each tower and discussing the ways we could make the towers tall, yet stable enough to hold multiple weights.
As a school, we were impressed with our results and came out of the challenge with a new perspective of science and engineering. We’d like to offer a huge thanks to Dr Gourlay and Mrs Lelong for organising and supervising us at the event.
Congratulations to all the teams that participated, I’m sure we all look forward to the challenge again next year!