Science and Engineering Challenge awarded UN Day honour
The Science and Engineering Challenge has been recognised by the United Nations Association of Australia in New South Wales with a 2022 United Nations Day Honour.
The nationwide Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) outreach program was started in 2000 by the University of Newcastle, and more than 20 years on has grown to engage over 30,000 students annually in practical, hands-on applications of STEM through design-and-build ‘challenge’ activities.
This prestigious United Nations Day honour recognises the significant contribution that the Science and Engineering Challenge has made to the lives of thousands of students across the country, inspiring a generation of students to pursue tertiary education and careers in STEM.
University of Newcastle Vice-Chancellor Professor Alex Zelinsky AO said that the contribution that the Science and Engineering Challenge has made to STEM is immeasurable.
“Our University is incredibly proud to receive this honour for the Science and Engineering Challenge. The program is Australia’s leading not-for-profit, national STEM competition for schools.
It’s a wonderful success, which has engaged and inspired many young people to pursue a career in STEM.
“We must recognise the foresight and all the hard work that went into creating such a fabulous program. We’ve seen first-hand it’s success over the last 20 years – the students love participating in the events and teachers find it very beneficial for students in translating what they learn at the challenge back in the classroom.
In presenting the award Dr. Patricia Jenkings, President of the United Nations Association of Australia NSW Division stated that “2022 is the United Nations International Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development. We are delighted to be awarding the 2022 UN Honour to The Science and Engineering Challenge.
For over 20 years, this program has been equipping future generations with the curiosity, knowledge, capacity and problem-solving skills needed to address global challenges and innovate for sustainable development. Their impact is helping to build a better, more inclusive society, in line with the fundamental principles of the United Nations.”
Director of the Science and Engineering Challenge, Professor Steve Weller said that it was particularly gratifying that the award had been received in 2022, designated by the United Nations as the International Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development (IYBSSD).
“The award is in recognition of the program’s longstanding efforts to advance inclusive and accessible STEM education and engagement in Australia.
“The success of the Science and Engineering Challenge derives from an outstanding team at the University of Newcastle, whose collective efforts over two decades are recognised by this award.”
The Science and Engineering Challenge is a cooperative venture between the University of Newcastle, 120 Rotary Clubs, local communities and local businesses, governments, professional groups, and 30 universities. The Challenge is currently conducted in over 53 regions across Australia, including every state and territory.
The hands-on activities that challenge student creative thinking and innovation are key to student engagement. Some of the activities that students participate in include building a hovercraft, making and using a bionic hand and designing a load-bearing bridge.
Teacher Gary McDonald from Penrith Selective High School said “It was a fantastic experience for the students this year, one that they really enjoyed and got so much out of. Our school had 12 year 9 students with us who have already begged me to be included for next year!”
/University Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s).View in full here.