Year 6 and 7 students geared up for a unique experience last week to participate in the Sustainable Engineering Challenge – allowing students to work collaboratively, testing hypotheses and developing their understanding of gears and simple machines.
Participants from Tenison Woods College (Mount Gambier), Mary MacKillop Memorial School (Penola) and St Anthony’s Catholic Primary School (Millicent) joined together to celebrate the Challenge in the lead up to Catholic Schools Open Week.
Students were tasked with creating gearboxes using kits provided to them. They also had to design the rotors necessary to power their gearboxes in front of an industrial fan.
The challenge incorporated elements of the mathematics and science curricula, including the calculation of ratios and the application of simple machines; as well as the general capabilities of problem-solving, creativity and collaboration. There was a staggering diversity of designs, and some of the teams managed blistering speeds…
‘The 4 Engineers’ team, from Tenison Woods College, managed a top speed of 8404 RPM, only just in front of the ‘MacKillop Mechanics’ with 8352 RPM.
The day was made possible due to extensive support from Vestas and Infigen. Vestas is the energy industry's global partner on sustainable energy solutions, with wind turbines across the globe. Infigen are a developer, owner and operator of generation assets. Representatives from these two companies came to help, encourage and judge the students – in addition to providing some amazing prizes.
Congratulations to the first place winners, the “MacKillop Mechanics” – who presented a combination of superior designs, preparation and collaboration. In addition being awarded merchandise and gift vouchers from Vestas and Infigen, the MacKillop Mechanics will visit Vesta’s Head Office in Melbourne to see where the turbines are put together.
Running second place were “The 4 Engineers” with a very close third from the St Anthony’s Team - “Future Generations of Sustainable Women Engineers (FGOSWE)”.
The future of engineering is bright indeed!