Last updated January 23, 2018 at 11:47 am
A team of four girls from St Mary’s College in Adelaide have slayed the opposition in a thrilling, nail-biting engineering challenge.
The Concept 2 Creation (C2C) challenge invites students to compete in a range of areas to solve an issue or problem. As the name suggests, it involves the life cycle of an engineering issue from coming up with a concept on how to overcome the problem to creating that solution.
On the day of competition, the girls were initially worried their design was too simple to win, but they focused on just getting through the challenge. This seemed to be a winning strategy as they took out first place in their category, much to their shock and delight! St Mary’s College competed in the ‘Exploration Challenge’ category – where they had to design, make and pilot a buggy to complete mining-based tasks, tested in real-time against other competitors at the STEM Nation Challenge Expo day, held this year at the Golden Grove Arts & Recreation Centre, in South Australia, on October 31.
The team from St. Marys were up against the odds in practical and psychological terms. They were the smallest team with just 4 members, & were the only all-girls group in their category. On top of that, they were first time competitors up against groups from previous years, and were completing the challenge in their spare time, as an extracurricular activity instead of an in-class project.
“It was daunting when we realised that none of us had touched an acrylic melting or drilling machine, 3D printing programs or played with the wiring to connect circuits and batteries,” said Jasmine, one of the winning team members.
Luckily, the girls had gained experience through the STEM Sista program before the challenge.
“The skills and mentality we absorbed from the STEM Sista program as well as the support we get from our teachers at school was the backbone to instilling confidence in our hearts and minds to successfully compete in the Challenge.”
Despite the experience, the girls enjoyed it all, “Whether it be trying to figure out how to use Tinkercad and a pair of your good-old callipers for the first time, or trying to get your head around how drills and circuits work, or designing and melting the acrylic as well as sawing until your biceps start to protrude, or trying to do wheelies and donuts around the classroom with Xenon [the name of our buggy].”
Against all odds, the opportunity to do something they were passionate about outside of the school timetable has been worth it.
“We dedicated a good 3-4 hours each week outside of the normal school hours, considering we did not have it as a subject.”
Their win has inspired the girls to further pursue a career in engineering and realise the sky is the limit when it comes to career choices.
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