A record 27 schools, 78 teams and 312 students will be taking part in the Northpower EPro8 Challenge for 2021 when it kicks off this week – an increase from 25 schools, 68 teams and 272 students in 2020.
The popular STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) competition is underway at Dargaville Intermediate on March 9. The second heat is on March 10.
From there the Northpower EPro8 Challenge moves to a series of heats at Whangarei Intermediate on March 10-12. From there Finalists will gather back at Whangarei Intermediate on March 17 and 18 for the Grand Finals!
Because the original four Whangarei events filled up so quickly, an extra heat was added to the Whangarei series, says event founder Kelvin Thiele.
“It is great seeing students work together to solve problems that they would not be able to solve individually. I am really passionate about putting maths into a practical context. Our challenges are designed to bring maths alive and real. Students have that might not be suited to classroom activities have the opportunity to shine through practical learning.”
Interestingly, 18 Northland schools have purchased EPro8 School Equipment in the last year, which they are now using to run engineering activities throughout the rest of the year, says Mr Thiele.
Northpower Network General Manager Josie Boyd is again pleased to back the initiative following the success of the 2020 event.
“We wanted to enable more schools to take part this year because we recognise the competition is a great way of getting younger students engaged with science and technology. The Northpower EPro8 Challenge is a fun way of learning engineering and problem solving skills, while also continuing to grow interest in engineering and science, which can lead to really important and interesting career paths. By taking part in the Northpower EPro8 Challenge, schools from throughout Kaipara and Whangarei are clearly embracing engineering and problem solving as part of their curriculum. We are looking forward to a fun event for the 2021 Northpower EPro8 Challenge.”