2016 Griffith University Science and Engineering Challenge

On Thursday 19 May, the annual Griffith University Science and Engineering Challenge (GUSEC), was once again held at QAHS. This event was a great opportunity for the Year 10 Physics students of QAHS and other participating schools to compete in STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) activities. The event was hosted on campus and conducted by the students and the faculty from Griffith University.

The GUSEC is one of two events developed by the University of Newcastle and hosted by Griffith University in conjunction with Rotary in South-East Queensland. The goal of this event is to encourage students to pursue a career in the fields of science and engineering.

Throughout the day students participated in activities such as catapult building, bridge building, earthquake resistance structure, hovercraft, Mars rover, straw fingers, finding power to a city and the shortest way to get around stations.

2016 GUSEC activitiesAll events were hands on and required knowledge of engineering skills to construct a device to accomplish a task.  My group was required to accurately propel a tennis ball over increasing distances up to nineteen metres, to hit a target of around two metres. To build this catapult all students from various schools were given a bundle of sticks, some string and a note which contained the message of “Your Queen needs a Weapon of Destruction”.

The Lunar Rover test had students build a rover, using nuts, bolts, rubber bands and plastic arms, to traverse aggressive terrain. The Electricity Challenge saw students using their knowledge of electrical circuiting to solve challenges and provide power to a city.

Finally, the main event of the day was the bridge building competition, which is an activity in which students had to use materials such as balsa wood, pins and lollypop sticks to construct a bridge which was judged on its capability of holding the largest amount of weight.

The inspiring day was won overall by Kings Christian College, with QAHS coming a credible third position out of the eight participating schools. It was a fantastic day bringing out the best scientific minds of all students. In my opinion, everyone was a winner!

Simmonds, JohnJohn Simmonds
Year 10