Day one of this year’s Northern Tasmanian Challenge Series was a day of firsts.
It was the first time in Tasmania every team in the engineering and science challenge had scored more than 1000 points, it was the first time so many teams had reached the bridge buster weight in the bridge-breaking finale and it was the first time a team had scored 1540 points.
Riverside High School, Exeter High School, St Patrick’s College, Scotch Oakburn College, Lilydale District School and Launceston Big Picture School battled it out over eight different science and engineering challenges on Monday.
Following the bridge-breaking finale, Riverside took home gold overall with 1540 points, followed by Exeter on 1387 points with silver and St Patrick’s on 1342 points with bronze.
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It’s part of a national initiative that aims to inspire year 9 and 10 students to consider pursuing a career in either discipline, by immersing them in hands-on activities and awarding points for each.
In previous years there would be regional heats, followed by the winning teams competing at state and later at nationals. However, due to COVID-19 Tasmania is the only state running the challenge in person and therefore each day is a final.
The Riverside team won the North’s day-one competition on Monday, with other Northern schools competing in the second day today.
Riverside’s Angus Purtell has competed in the competition before, with his school finishing second in last year’s state competition.
Upon news the school received the highest score ever for the challenge in the state, the year 10 student said he was very proud of his classmates.
“It was close,” he said.
“So it was a good competition.”
In one challenge they created a cost-effective bionic hand, in another economically powered up a city and were the architects of apartment towers.
They built a model water turbine and a model hovercraft, developed transport networks to link towns and designed codes to send messages along fibre optic rods.
Three regional based finals were held for the South in Hobart last week and two more will be held in the North-West from Thursday.
The challenge is coordinated by the University of Tasmania in partnership with TasWater, Rotary and the state government.
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