Published on 25 August 2016
The University of the Sunshine Coast is celebrating with a team of outstanding Pine Rivers State High School students who won an innovative global competition that encourages young people to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).
USC’s Professor John Bartlett, who researches nanotechnology, said it was a fantastic result for the school’s Wombat Warriors team which gained sponsorship from the University to travel to Coventry in England to enter their custom-built, radio-controlled four-wheel-drive vehicle in the final.
The six Wombat Warriors beat more than 20 teams from around the globe last month to be named world champions in the 2016 Land Rover 4x4 in Schools Technology Challenge.
The Pine Rivers students – Lily Eiseman, Taj Gieskens, Grayson Lamprecht, Marcus Solman, Lucas Stephens and Kienan Wagner – also won best verbal presentation. Second place overall went to another Australian team (Dubbo College) and third place to a Portugal team.
Professor Bartlett, who is Executive Dean of USC’s Faculty of Science, Health, Education and Engineering, congratulated the students on their dedication and success and welcomed the school’s emphasis on STEM subjects.
School principal John Schuh thanked the many partner organisations and businesses that helped his students reach the world final.
Professor Bartlett and USC Head of School of Social Sciences Professor Doug Mahar attended the school’s presentation ceremony last week.
USC had earlier hosted the school students on campus at Sippy Downs, where they worked with interactive technologies in the Engage Research Lab and CAVE2 visualisation studio.
Wombat Warriors manager Lily Eiseman said her teammates were still over the moon after the success of their mini 4x4, which they steered remotely over a difficult obstacle course strung between two full-size Evoke Range Rovers.
“The judges were impressed with the amount of time, effort and innovative thinking that went into the design of our vehicle,” she said.
“The highlight was when we had a steering arm breakage but Grayson didn’t give up – he drove the vehicle backwards over the final two obstacles with no time to spare.”
To see more of the students at the final:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKigEBIvU6Km5ZAXASfKJxQ (Select Land Rover 4x4 in Schools World Finals 2016 Highlights)
— Julie Schomberg