At the 2013 Science and Engineering Challenge, SCU Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Lee (left) and Professor Jerry Vanclay, the Head of the School of Environment, Science and Engineering, watch on as Year 10 students from Alstonville High (left to right) Jonathan Cusack, Nick Clarke and Mick Williamson test the bridge they made out of paddle pop sticks, balsa wood, tacks and tape. Supplied John Waddell
At the 2013 Science and Engineering Challenge, SCU Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Lee (left) and Professor Jerry Vanclay, the Head of the School of Environment, Science and Engineering, watch on as Year 10 students from Alstonville High (left to right) Jonathan Cusack, Nick Clarke and Mick Williamson test the bridge they made out of paddle pop sticks, balsa wood, tacks and tape. Supplied John Waddell John Waddell

22 schools for Science and Engineering Challenge

THE Northern Rivers is bursting with young Einsteins it seems, as a record number of high schools line up for this week's 2015 Northern Rivers Science and Engineering Challenge.

Students from 22 high schools will be competing in the event which starts tomorrow and runs for three days. 

The Challenge, held at Southern Cross University's Lismore campus, sees school teams complete several hands-on activities designed to demonstrate the varied and practical elements of science, technology and engineering.

The Northern Rivers Science and Engineering Challenge started as a one-day event with eight schools in 2007.

Foundation Professor of Engineering at Southern Cross University Scott Smith said the Challenge gave Years 9 and 10 students a taste of some of the real-life problems they would solve as our scientists and engineers of the future.

"The importance of immersing our young generation in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) experiences cannot be understated. Immersion in an engaging, fun and practical way can be achieved through the Northern Rivers Science and Engineering Challenge and the Northern Rivers Discovery Day at Southern Cross University," Professor Smith said.

"We are pleased to expand the Challenge to three days to account for the overwhelming interest in science, technology and engineering from the region's schools."

Primary schools students will be converging on the University on Friday June 5 for a junior version of the Challenge, the 2015 Northern Rivers Discovery Day, after last year's inaugural event.

Eight primary schools are competing.

Discovery Day is designed to provide meaningful, hands-on experiences that challenge young people in Years 5 and 6 to make a difference in the world by choosing a career in science and engineering.

Both events are hosted by Southern Cross University and the Rotary Club of Alstonville.



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