USC to host space challenge for students

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USC to host space challenge for students


3 December 2012

3 December 2012

Rockets will be launched up to 120m into the sky and small quadrotor helicopters navigated around a room during an exciting week-long “2012: A Space Challenge” starting tomorrow (Tuesday 4 November) at the University of the Sunshine Coast.

The event is being jointly staged by USC and Education Queensland and will involve 725 Year 8 students from 33 secondary schools from as far as Springwood, Toowoomba and Bundaberg, including four aerospace schools in South-East Queensland.

The Space Challenge will be held from 4-11 December with students from each school attending for one day.

The event will be held in USC’s Building J from 9am-3pm each day.

Event coordinator Julie Davey said the Space Challenge would include several interactive space-themed activities that will challenge students to find innovative solutions to space exploration challenges.

“Teams of three students will explore and create novel solutions to some of the problems that early explorers and colonists of the Moon and Mars will face,” she said. “Each team will be judged on their creativity and ingenuity, and points will be allocated accordingly.

“The final activity, which requires students to launch rockets and return them safely to earth, is sure to be a hit with the students. There will be prizes for the highest-scoring team for each activity and the highest-scoring school overall.”

USC’s Professor Noel Meyers said the event was offered by USC to energise children’s passion for scientific discovery and engineering solutions.

He said it recognised the critical need to engage and retain students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) disciplines.

“Australia is facing a looming shortfall in scientists and engineers,” Professor Meyers said. “Unless we recruit current and future generations to the sciences and engineering, Australia faces an imminent decline in our standards of living and economic abundance.”

— Michelle Widdicombe

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