Woolgoolga High wins Coffs Coast Science and Engineering Challenge

Coffs Coast high school students tested their STEM skills at the annual Science and Engineering Challenge at Woolgoolga High School last week. Photos: Emma Darbin.


HIGH school students from across the region enjoyed competing in the annual Coffs Coast Science and Engineering Challenge at Woolgoolga High School last Tuesday.

A total of 240 students from seven local high schools participated in the full-day event, and were supported by more than 30 volunteers on the day.

The Challenge is designed by the University of Newcastle, who along with their program partners Office of the Chief Scientist and Atlassian brought the event to Woolgoolga High School, which hosts the event every year for the Coffs Coast.

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All of the event organising committee and supervisors on the day are volunteers, many of whom are from the Woolgoolga Rotary Club and Woolgoolga Lions Club, who love to see the students getting involved in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) activities.

The goal of the Challenge is to inspire young people about the opportunities available in science, technology and engineering through fun and practical hands-on activities.

The Challenge was a huge success again in 2021, with Year 9 and 10 students participating.

Due to a last minute withdrawal of one of the local high schools, a Woolgoolga High Year 7 class stepped up to compete against peers that were two or three years older than them.

“And they did well,” said Chair of the Coffs Coast Science and Engineering Challenge Patty Delaney.

“Students showed great enthusiasm and determination to win for their school.

“Teachers from the schools involved have indicated that the Challenge has had a significant, positive and lasting effect on the students’ approach to science and technology in the classroom.”

Woolgoolga High School won the event again this year by only one point, with South Grafton High School coming a close second and Evans River School in third place.

Woolgoolga High School head science teacher Phillip Dalton congratulated the school’s Science and Engineering Challenge team on this year’s win.

“All students worked well together to solve the problems presented to them; great teamwork which paid off with a win on the day,” Mr Dalton said.

The Woolgoolga High School team will now progress to the State Finals in Newcastle later this year.

Coffs Harbour City Mayor Denise Knight officially opened the 2021 Coffs Coast Science and Engineering Challenge event, and Member for Coffs Harbour and former Woolgoolga High School student Gurmesh Singh was a judge on the day.




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