Student voice: Science

Mount St Joseph Milperra’s year 10 challenge class designed and built models of ecologically sustainable houses, bridges, hover boards, bionic hands and more during the University of Newcastle’s Science and Technology Challenge. The competition was held in Term 2 at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), in Lucas Heights.

Students present explained how taking part in events that promote Science-based careers have changed their view of the subject.

_CE17219aSarah Buttie, 15:

“It gives you more of an idea of what you can do with Science, because it’s not just the basic things you do at school. There’s so much more. You can take Science into absolutely everything you do in your life and there are so many benefits it can give to society, and already has. The bionic hand challenge was what you could do in biotechnology and medicine. We did the building of the bridge challenge and looked at how engineering could benefit people and how they are making structures stronger and more suited to parts of society. Making our bridge light was a challenge, because you needed it to be able to hold weight and stay under the weight limit.”


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Whitney Xu, 15:

“I think you gain a further understanding of the applications of science in a real-world context, by doing activities where you’re given a scenario that if you had a career in science you would solve. In science you learn all of these things. Going to events like this you are able to apply what you have learnt. We can’t keep constructing things out of concrete and steel. There needs to be other alternatives, and we go to really see that in the bridge-building activity.”


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Sarah Leung, 15:

“Because it was very interesting, it’s engaging for the students. We got to learn how science is so important in our lives. Without these events we wouldn’t be able to see the larger picture. Science contributes to so many things, like helping to treat diseases, and just making lives easier and better. We had to create an ecologically sustainable house with limited resources that could withstand wind and collect a lot of water. It was very interesting.”



  • Sarah Buttie and Whitney Xu’s group won the bridge building challenge on the day by creating a structure that remained light while being able to withstand the most weight of all of the structures submitted. Sarah Leung’s group created an ecologically sustainable house for the Arctic that collected the most water of all the models submitted. This was one of the requirements supplied for the design, along with the need for a helipad. Students were given two hours for planning and construction for each challenge.

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