During the early stages of Term 3, the College hosted the University of Newcastle Science and Engineering Challenge, a national competition encouraging and fostering creative, collaborative solutions to problems relating to electrical, mechanical and computational engineering, as well as scientific processes. The College hosted 16 schools from the region, each vying to become Central Coast Champion, with the aim of representing the Coast at the NSW finals held at the Callaghan Campus of UoN. Each school competing in the competition provides a team of up to 32 students, broken into groups of 3-4 who each work collaboratively to complete 1 or 2 activities. This year, the activities that were posed to the schools of the Central Coast were:
- Flight – Build a model glider to be launched using the YEET (YOLO Electronic Ejection Technique).
- Electracity – The power is in your hands, the task is to provide the lowest-cost electricity to the city’s infrastructure.
- Stringways – Planning efficient transport networks to link towns is one real, modern challenge, so no one is left behind!
- Return to Mars – Construct a buggy with a basic suspension system to transport loads securely over undulating Martian terrain.
- Confounding Communications – Create functional codes to accurately and efficiently send secret messages using pulses of coloured light.
- Bridge – Design and construct model bridges to support a trolley carrying ‘gold’ ingots across a gap in the tracks.
Throughout the day, the boys were extremely focused on the task at hand, demonstrating teamwork, reflective problem solving skills and adhered to strict deadlines to complete each activity. While the activities Flight, Electracity, Stringways, Return to Mars and Confounding Communications each received points during the activity, the Bridge group had to wait until days end to test their structure in front of all the participants, visiting university staff, local Rotary members who help staff each activity and guest judge, Local Federal Member, Dr Gordon Reid. The bridge created by St Edward’s was the lightest of the structures, however, it turned out to be the sturdiest and best designed, carrying the highest load for the day. While this was a gallant effort by the boys, the team fell less than 90 points shy of the winning school, finishing an admirable 2nd out of the 16 schools represented.
On Tuesday 5 September, Year 12 Physics students attended the College for a night of stargazing. This evening tied into the final module of the HSC course they have been studying – From the Universe to the Atom, which covers everything from the origins of the stars, nucleosynthesis, emission of light, to the development of understanding the structure of atoms. Under the guidance of Year 12 student, Troy Duncan, the boys were able to clearly view the rings of Saturn and some of her moons, as well as identify the small and large Magellanic Clouds and Omega Centauri.
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