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Engineering and Science take centre stage

Media Alert

Year 9 and 10 students, from secondary schools across Melbourne will pit their skills against each other this month in the '2009 Science and Engineering Challenge', which is being run by Victoria University, in partnership with the University of Newcastle.

The event will take place fromTuesday 28 to Thursday 30 April at the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds.

Schools competing come from the suburbs of: Braybrook, Bulleen, Essendon, Footscray, Gladstone Park, Hawthorn, Keilor Downs, Newport, Pascoe Vale South, Reservoir, Richmond, St Albans, Sunshine, Sunshine North, Toorak, Truganina, Werribee and Windsor.

Editors note: See below for full list of schools, dates and times

VU's Ian Campbell said: "Over the past 30 years, Australia has experienced a significant decline in the percentage of senior secondary school students electing to study the sciences and higher level mathematics that are the career pre-requisites for Engineering and Science."

"The goal of the 'Science and Engineering Challenge' is to arrest this decline."

"Whilst the underlying goal is to increase the national pool of science and mathematics year 12 students, the immediate goal of the program each day is to implant a seed in the minds of the students who compete in fun-filled activities based on sound science and mathematics principles. The seed is that, scientists and engineers actually do interesting and challenging things and to instil a positive mental image that makes them think they too could become a scientist or an engineer."

"There are a wide range of activities available in the Challenge event including designing, making and testing bridges, hovercraft, yachts, lunar explorer vehicles as well as water conservation strategies, city power supply networks, and radio telescopes."

"Regional competitions in every state lead annually to a national competitive event for outstanding secondary schools."

"The program has grown from small beginnings in New South Wales in 2000 as a secondary school outreach program by the University of Newcastle. It is now managed nationally by the University of Newcastle and supported by the Federal Government and industry with 27 partner universities, numerous Rotary Clubs and an army of thousands of volunteers including retired professional scientists and engineers and reaches over 18,000 Year 9 and 10 students. It is now the largest national outreach program for secondary students in Australia."

There will be excellent photo opportunities each day at the venue.

Where: Royal Melbourne Showgrounds, Town Square Pavilion, Langs Road,  Ascot Vale

When: Tuesday 28, Wednesday 29 and Thursday 30 April

Time: 10am to 2pm each day


Further information and interview contact:

Mr Ian Campbell, event organiser,

Senior Lecturer, Architectural and Building Engineering

Ph: (03) 9919 4257. Mobile: 0419 344 255.


Media contact:

Andy Gash, A/Media Manager

Marketing and Communications Department, Victoria University

Ph: (03) 9919 4950; mobile: 0411 255 900

List of Schools, dates and times


Activities start at 10 am and conclude at approximately 2 pm

All schools are involved for the whole day in their activities


Tuesday 28th April:

Sunshine Secondary College (West Campus) - Sunshine

Gladstone Park Secondary College - Gladstone Park

Gilmore College for Girls - Footscray

Caroline Chisholm Catholic College - Braybrook

Werribee Secondary College - Werribee

Reservoir District Secondary College - Reservoir

Footscray City College - Footscray


Wednesday 29th April:

Bayside Secondary College - Newport

St. Joseph's College - Pascoe Vale South

St. Bernard's College - Essendon

Brimbank College - St Albans

St. Albans Secondary College - St Albans

Reservoir District Secondary College - Reservoir

Melbourne Girls College - Richmond

Presentation College Windsor - Windsor


Thursday 30th April:

Keilor Downs College - Keilor Downs

Sunshine College (North Campus) - Sunshine North

St. Catherine's School - Toorak

Westbourne Grammar School - Truganina

Marcellin College - Bulleen

Lowther Hall Anglican Grammar School - Essendon

Scotch College - Hawthorn

Footscray City College - Footscray

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