School of Civil Engineering

Friday, 3 March 2017

School kids get hands on with science and engineering

Marist College Ashgrove competing in the Bridge Buster.

School kids get hands on with science and engineering

Marist College Ashgrove competing in the Bridge Buster.

The annual Science and Engineering Challenge has come to a close at The University of Queensland with around 800 students from 22 Brisbane high schools participating in three events over three days.

Year 10 students from across the city battled it out for a place at the State Super Challenge by building bridges, wiring cities, creating mars rovers, constructing earthquake-proof towers and building a bionic hand.

The day one winners were St Rita’s College from Clayfield, day two saw St Joseph’s College Gregory Terrace take home the cup and the third and final day of competition at UQ saw Marist College Ashgrove triumphant in a tight race.

The students are encouraged to explore scientific principles for themselves rather than being guided to a pre-determined answer. The Science and Engineering Challenge encourages students to consider a future career in science and engineering, and address the national skill shortage, by choosing to study the enabling sciences and mathematics in years 11 and 12.

Over the next five years, employment is predicted to increase in professional, scientific and technical services by 14 per cent.

With STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) graduates in Australia only making up 18 per cent of the entire graduate cohort, the Science and Engineering Challenge allows students to experience STEM in ways very different to their school classrooms.

UQ Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology (EAIT) Executive Dean, Professor Simon Biggs said it was a pleasure to have so many high school students at UQ having fun while learning about engineering.

“An integral part of any career in science or engineering is being able to harness creativity and innovation, and we see these students taking these core skills to a new level through the Challenge.”

The Science and Engineering Challenge is presented by The University of Newcastle in cooperation with The University of Queensland’s Faculty of Engineering Architecture and Information Technology, and with the support of BHP Billiton.


Media: EAIT Faculty Media and Communications Coordinator: Genevieve Worrell,, 0408 432 213