VIDEO: Secondary students engineer a skills challenge at Deakin

 Warrnambool College students Taylor Johnstone, 14, and Harrison Bond, 15, wire up their ElectraCITY.

Warrnambool College students Taylor Johnstone, 14, and Harrison Bond, 15, wire up their ElectraCITY.

BRAUER College won the Great South Coast Science and Engineering Challenge yesterday at Deakin University’s Warrnambool campus. 

About 120 secondary students from across the south-west used physics and engineering skills to design and build hovercraft, bridges, electrical circuits and Mars rovers. 

This was the first time the science and engineering challenge had visited the south-west and most students enjoyed the hands-on approach. 

Ryan Vice, 15, from King’s College said the day had been fun.

“I already thought about doing engineering but this day has convinced me,” he said.

Taylor Johnstone, 14, and Harrison Bond, 14, both from Warrnambool College, successfully constructed a town power supply using cables and a power board. 

“We’d probably do a better job than the electricity commission,” Taylor said. 

Casterton College students had to get up at 5.30am to attend the workshop but felt the experience was worthwhile.

“(Engineering) seems a lot more interesting now that we’ve done this,” 15-year-old Emily Holstein said.

The program hoped to inspire young people to consider careers in science, engineering and other technology-related areas.

Peter Fullagar, team leader of the science and engineering challenge, said: “Secondary school students who might be interested in pursuing careers in science and engineering can have a look at pathways into tertiary education which is why we’re partnering with Deakin.” 

Even Thomas Digney, 8, the competition’s youngest participant from All Saints Parish School, Portland, also enjoyed being an engineer for the day. 

“It’s been fun building a bridge but it’s been hard,” he said. 

The event was well supported with volunteers from Deakin University, University of Newcastle and local Rotary clubs. 

Brauer College received 10 iPad minis and the chance to compete at the state finals Superchallenge in September. 

More than 20,000 students will participate in about 60 science and engineering challenges across Australia.