On Tuesday the 13th and Wednesday the 14th of September students from schools in the Penrith, Blacktown and Hawkesbury areas took up the challenge to test their knowledge and learn about engineering in a two-day event at Western Sydney University.
Some of the schools were: Penrith Selective High School, Springwood High School, St Paul’s Grammar, Cranebrook and eight students from St Andrews College.
The two-day event had students listen to academics and industry representatives talk about the exciting research and careers available in the engineering space.
Year 10 students from St Andrews College attended workshops in solar car design and robotics.
In the solar car workshop Ashley Fronteras, Nupur Makwana, Larissa Isakov and Jonathan Tan teamed together to build a solar car. There was some great discussion on how to best build a solar car. After many attempts to assemble the car the students discovered that the solar panel needed sometime in the sun. A common double A battery finally got the car moving.
Hamish Ram collaborated with Andrew MacCormick from St Paul’s Grammar to build their solar car.
The second day was all about building a bridge and completing the mathematics and physics quiz. Students worked in groups of four and were given the same number of paddle pop sticks and the same length of masking tape. They were given dimensions for the bridge and told that the competition would include how much weight the bridge could hold.
The girls formed one team and the boys formed another. At the end of day one students were given instructions about the bridge challenge and advised to research bridge building before they returned for day two.
The Larissa Isakov came to the challenge with her research and a plan for the bridge. At that moment it looked like the girls were ready for the challenge. However as time passed the paddle pop sticks were still in a pile on the table. At the end of the build the bridge did not gain love from its engineers. It took some convincing for the girls not to leave their bridge behind and to compete in the bridge challenge.
The boys were looking forward to this challenge for many weeks, having done a bridge challenge at school. With lots of ideas and discussion the boys’ team discovered that when working with different materials the challenge needs a different strategy and building processes.
Once in the challenge room, many students began to worry as most of the bridges did not withstand the weight challenge. To the surprise of our girls’ team their bridge withstood a considerable amount of weight.
The bridge building competition may have resulted in our students needing to further develop their bridge building skills and knowledge. However our students’ mathematics and physics skills tell a very different story.
This was the second time St Andrews College students attended the Engineering Frontiers and again won the mathematics and physics competition.
The students were very excited about their win and reminded me that some of their challengers were Year 12 students from Penrith Selective High School.
Engineering Frontiers was a great event and I wish to thank Western Sydney University for their invitation. I’d also like to thank our bus drivers Mr McLoughlan, Mr Said, Mr Kolek and Mr Johnson for their time to drive us to the University and get us back to school.
I extend a special thank you to the wonderful students who took up the challenge and were fantastic ambassadors of St Andrews College.
Engineering Frontiers students were: