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STEM bears winning fruit



Victorious: St Mary’s topped the Hervey Bay PCYC annual Science and Engineering Challenge.

THE best and brightest minds from St Mary’s College, Maryborough, came up trumps at this year’s Hervey Bay PCYC annual Science and Engineering Challenge. 

The Year 9 and 10 students, with basic engineering instruction from teachers Anne Elmer and Sue McMillan, used their exceptional problem-solving and creative skills to design structures, solve problems and create visions.

Over the course of multiple activities, judges, guests and teachers marvelled at the innovated designs, functional solutions to challenges that evolved, as well as creative ideas and conversations that were generated among students. 

The St Mary’s students placed consistently in the top three schools of each challenge, taking top spot in two categories. 

This resulted in the college winning the top prize for the district.

Year 9 student Dhriti Naidu, who created a straw hand that closed with a string pull, said it was a fantastic opportunity to showcase new ideas.

“I worked with a partner and we were tested on if the hand we built could pick up items such as a hacky sack and a Styrofoam ball,” he said.

Molly Clarke, also a Year 9 student, said she loved the whole experience of being a part of the Science and Engineering Challenge.

“It was fun to see how we could push ourselves and what we could create while having fun with friends,” she said.

“It was an added bonus that we won.”

Principal Graham Meertens said it was a credit to the St Mary’s students that they were able to compete and achieve at such a high standard in such a prestigious competition.

“It is a testament to the calibre of not only the student body, but also the science and engineering programs that run at the college,” Mr Meertens said. 

He said with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education being a priority in the college’s learning framework, it was encouraging to see the results of this focus. 

“Once again special mention to the fantastic group of students who demonstrated to the whole Fraser Coast community their supreme knowledge in the area of science and design,” he said. 

“The whole school community is extremely proud of their achievements.” 

The students are waiting to hear the results from other schools across the state to see if they are crowned overall Queensland winners of the competition.

Written by: Staff writers
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