Bendigo youth rise to the challenge

Bendigo youth rise to the challenge

08 Jul 2011

High school students from seven schools around the Bendigo region explored the fun and competitive side of science in the annual Science and Engineering Challenge.

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Transcript

Narrator:

High school students from seven schools around the Bendigo region explored the fun and competitive side of science in the annual Science and Engineering Challenge.

Pete Fullagar:

The Challenge is an organisation that has been around for about 11 years these days, we go to about 55 different locations, including here at Bendigo, all over the country and the reason why that is, is to influence students in years 9 and 10 to look at doing the subjects in Science and Maths as a prerequisite to courses at university level.

Narrator:

During the full day event students were allocated to eight different activities where they have the chance to explore scientific principles for themselves rather than being guided to a predetermined answer. Current La Trobe University student Jackson Ireland volunteered his time on the day in the hope for participants to be inspired by the fun nature of the Challenge.

Jackson Ireland:

I think it's important to learn the practical applications for engineering and science, because it gives you the perspective of what you actually need to do in the real world. Sometimes at school you can get lost with the equations and the small stuff and you don't really see the bigger picture, whereas this is the interesting things you actually get to do on a day to day basis.

Narrator:

Lecturer in Civil Engineering Dr Niall O'Luanaigh believes exposing young students to the practical applications of science helps them understand potential careers within the field and for them to consider studying science at a tertiary level.

Dr Niall O'Luanaigh:

It's very important at a young age to get students involved and get students to understand engineering and science because Australia itself has so many resources both in engineering and scientific resources, and so down the line we want the students to see there are so many potential opportunities for them out there in their careers, and try and promote the concepts of engineering and science so they undertake these courses in university life.

Narrator:

The Science and Engineering Challenge is presented by the University of Newcastle, La Trobe University and the Rotary Club of Bendigo South. La Trobe University have been involved with the Challenge for the past six years at both the Bendigo and Melbourne campuses.

Pete Fullagar:

Universities also recognise that there is the national need for more scientists and engineers in this country and the Challenge is part of the community's engagement in making those changes.

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