On 25 to 28 February, 25 Northland Schools will compete in the Northpower EPro8 Challenge, an inter-school science and engineering competition.
Hosted by Whangarei Intermediate and Dargaville Intermediate, 70 teams from years 5 to 8 will undertake a range of engineering based challenges, with the top teams from each event moving on to a Northland grand final the following week.
The actual challenges teams will be undertaking is a secret until the event. Past challenges have included a building a Mars rover, constructing a crane, designing a party popper machine and calculating how many balloons it would take to make a friend float away. The challenges are all designed to give students a fun and rewarding introduction to science and engineering.
Northpower is delighted to sponsor the Northland round of the Northpower EPro8 Challenge, enabling more schools to take part this year, including for the first time Kaipara hosting an event at Dargaville Intermediate.
Northpower’s General Manager Network, Josie Boyd says the company sees the competition as a way of getting younger students engaged with science and technology in a fun environment, while also acquiring engineering and problem solving skills.
Mrs Boyd hopes that those participating in the competition will not only have enormous fun, but that the experience will foster ongoing curiosity and passion for engineering and science.
The Northpower EPro8 Challenge is by organised by Wellington engineer Kelvin Thiele.
Kelvin says it is incredibly rewarding seeing what the teams achieve.
“Schools are seeing just how important it is to have children involved in STEM and the children can’t get enough of the event.
“I love it when you tell the teams what the challenges will be – half of the teams look excited and half look scared. But by the end of the event they have all achieved something very impressive,” he says
Each team is based at a workstation containing equipment that is designed and 3D printed specifically for the Northpower EPro8 Challenge.
“This is because we wanted to take the hard work out of construction and engineering, so that teams could focus on solving problems,” Kelvin explains.
“We also wanted the completed challenges to look great, to be large scale and to be spectator friendly.”
Further information and a schedule of the 2020 events can be found at www.epro8challenge.co.nz.