GOOD THINKING: Byron Bay High Year 10 students Jayden Wills, Finn Crisp and Jackson Tygh tackle the challenge Mission to Mars, to build a Mars buggy.
GOOD THINKING: Byron Bay High Year 10 students Jayden Wills, Finn Crisp and Jackson Tygh tackle the challenge Mission to Mars, to build a Mars buggy. Doug Eaton

Uni says hello to future scientists

FROM a collection of small wheels, strings, nuts, bolts, eye hooks and rubber bands, Year 10 Byron Bay High School student Jackson Tygh and his team managed to build a "Mars buggy" capable of traversing a rough and uneven surface.

The Mission to Mars was one of eight activities students from 16 schools around the region took part in for the 2014 Northern Rivers Science and Engineering Challenge.

Other activities included the "bridge", where students had to build a bridge from balsa, pins, tape and Paddle Pop sticks, capable of carrying a moving load.

Some students were asked to build an Eco-Habitech model home that could withstand fierce tests to be as eco-friendly as possible.

The challenge, which finishes today, took place over two days at Southern Cross University in Lismore.

For the first time, the challenge will include a "Discovery Day" for primary school students in Years 5 and 6 to be held tomorrow.

The aim is to encourage young people to "make a difference in the world" by pursuing a career in science and engineering.

Head of SCU's School of Environment, Science and Engineering Professor Jerry Vanclay said the Bridge, Stringways, Helter Skelter Shelter and Eco-Habitech gave students a taste of some of the real-life problems they could face as scientists and engineers.

"We hope the activities inspire them to consider being a scientist or engineer when they grow up," he said.

SCU dean of engineering Professor Scott Smith said it was important to get students interested in science and engineering.

"We certainly want to encourage them to study these courses in Year 11 and 12 and hopefully lead onto further study," he said.

 

Exciting science careers

Firework designer: A firework designer is a chemist who uses elements and compounds like copper, sodium and strontium to create colourful bursts of light and sparkles.

Astronaut: To become an astronaut you'll need a degree in either math, physics, science or engineering.

Fermentation scientist: Fermentation

scientists study the process by which

beer, wine, bread, cheese, pickles

and yoghurt are made.

Race car technician: A race car

engineer's job is to continually

improve their car's performance

and make sure it's the fastest on

the track.



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