Regional Development Australia (RDA) Hunter recently hosted the 2018 Build ME a Future Days in conjunction with the University of Newcastle’s Science and Engineering Challenge, and BAE Systems.
“Build ME a Future Days engage students in hands-on, fun activities that build on the skills they are learning at school. The Days, which RDA Hunter’s ME Program has supported for five years now, offer students a valuable insight into how their skills can be applied in real-world situations and importantly, how they contribute to STEM based solutions to problems.” said RDA Hunter’s STEM Workforce Manager, Rick Evans.
700 Year 7 & 8 students from 28 Hunter high schools participated in the program of activities that focused on building students’ awareness of the real-world application of the STEM skills they are learning at school, and the career opportunities that studying STEM can lead to.
It also introduced students to the University campus, and the resources of its Faculty of Science, and Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, while providing a look into the real jobs available for STEM skilled people at BAE Systems’ Hunter facility.
The program of ‘design and build’ activities in which schools compete against one another for the title of Champion School was undertaken in a ‘round robin’ format in the Great Hall of the University of Newcastle from 21st – 25th May. Activities included:
MarsBuggy – students build a vehicle with a rubber band suspension system to successfully carry cargo cross an undulating, uneven “Mars” like surface.
Flight – students construct a Styrofoam glider to be flown from a launcher, and tested for accuracy, distance and landing capability.
MiniPult – using chopsticks, rubber bands and tape, students build a catapult and test their design for accuracy and distance.
SMART Show and Campus Experiences – University students and staff will escort participants across campus to see labs and lecture theatres, and to observe and participate in science and engineering activities, talks, demonstrations and a SMART Science show. The SMART show explores chemistry, physics and states of matter using Liquid Nitrogen!
“Every year the Science and Engineering Challenge (SEC) conducts inspirational STEM events right around Australia. We are really excited about working with RDA and BAE Systems to deliver the ‘Build ME a Future Days’ in Newcastle, for Hunter students” said SEC Director, Dr Terry Burns.
“The Hunter has some of the best and brightest students in the nation and we want to encourage them to consider STEM careers.”