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Same name, new challenges! The Science and Engineering Challenge has returned for 2013 and while we are still the same, a lot has changed. This year we welcomed Adam Strang as a new Team Leader. Adam is responsible for overseeing the management and conduct of a number of Challenge events across southern New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia. In 2013 we have also welcomed Jessica Buttsworth, who is the 2013 Science and Engineering Challenge Scholar, and Richard Baines, who covers all of our media and PR work. The second half of 2013 will see The Science and Engineering Challenge embrace social media and look to develop a strong online presence through Facebook. Our Facebook will be tailored to meet the needs of our target demographic: the students! Although this represents a shift in thinking, the layout and content will still be informative enough to engage an older audience. Live updates from each challenge will be posted as they happen and links to all of our important information will also be provided on Facebook.

National Final 2013 We are very pleased to announce that we will be working with Southern Cross University and the Rotary club of Alstonville to conduct the Science and Engineering Challenge National Final on Wednesday 30 October 2013 in Lismore, NSW. The eight competitors for this one-day day event will be the highest scoring winning school from: • NSW and ACT (1 school) • Queensland (1 school) • Victoria (1 school) • Tasmania (1 school) • South Australia (1 school) • Western Australia (1 school) • Northern Territory (1 school) • One wild-card entry from the highest scoring local school from the hosting region

Your Challenge will not escape reform, with the layout changing to a compact and easily accessible document that will be distributed both in hard copy and online. The style of Your Challenge will now be suited to target the important demographic of teachers, however it will also be generally appealing. Overall The Science and Engineering Challenge is embracing both old and new ideologies to make 2013 our best year yet! With the help of our existing team and the influx of new faces we will be taking The Science and Engineering Challenge to new heights. Information and updates will now be more easily accessible, regular and most importantly engaging for all involved.

The Bridge Buster lives up to its name at the Gold Coast Challenge

Stringing Our Way Around the Country The Science and Engineering Challenge has launched an exciting new activity for 2013: Stringways (and its Discovery Day incarnation String Along). Taking place over a half day, Stringways puts students in charge of planning the transport routes in a newly settled area of the outback.

A double decker hovercraft at Darling Downs Challenge

This year Challenge events have been given the opportunity to have Community Teams, such as this one in Cobar

Sitting before each team is a map of the region, with bolts representing cities and lines drawn to show rail and air traffic routes. Students must join the bolts using lengths of string, using the most efficient routes (and least amount of string) possible to maximise points. Different scenarios provide different challenges; sometimes they must visit cities in a certain order, sometimes they must return to a central city every so often. Stringways was designed to address the lack of maths activities in the Challenge’s programming. The activity is based on Network Theory, a branch of maths looking at how different things are connected and the efficiency of those networks. Currently, Network Theory is used for a fairly random assortment of purposes; some include epidemiologists using it to plot how diseases can spread across a population (and thus can help them predict the most effective ways to halt an epidemic), logistics managers using it to determine the most effective routes for transporting goods and even some law enforcement agencies using it to map and thwart criminal and terrorist networks. We’ve spent the first half of the Challenge year evaluating and refining Stringways at each new event we bring it to. The activity is a lot more cerebral and has much less building than many other Challenge activities, and feedback so far from students, teachers and event staff has been very positive.

Stringways in action

The final version of Stringways’ rules and scoring is now rolling out across the country. Keep an eye out for it at your next Science and Engineering Challenge event!

Your Challenge Q3 2013