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Future engineers excel at EPro8

Problem-solving skills were put to the test as students worked on real-world scenarios in the grand final of the EPro8 Challenge inter-school science and engineering competition.

Challenges ranged from constructing a lighthouse with a light that panned automatically to building a waka with a detachable sail.

The Typical Top Hats from Ilminster Intermediate won the years 7 and 8 category, followed closely by 50 Shades of Awesome from Wairoa College.

Frasertown1 were the top years 5 and 6 team, followed by Gisborne’s Sonrise Christian School.

The winning Ilminster team gained the lead when they received 40 points for making their waka sail while propelled on wheels and powered by a wind-blower.

They sealed the win by getting their fishing Contiki to drive forwards in the final half hour of the competition.

Six teams from each of the year categories (y5/6 and y7/8) made the final following heats earlier in the week.

The teams worked at stations set up with the equipment needed to complete the challenges, earning points for each stage.

EPro8 event manager Andrew Thiele thanked sponsors Eastland Network and QRS for making the competition possible, and Ilminster Intermediate for hosting the event.

“The events were a huge success,” he said. “There was a great atmosphere and the teams did really well.

“Congratulations to all the students who took part and showed their inventiveness, practicality and teamwork.”

Eastland Network general manager Jarred Moroney said the company relied heavily on engineers, “so it’s great to support the EPro8 Challenge which promotes practical problem-solving in a team environment”.

“One day Eastland Network will probably employ someone who has taken part in EPro8. We’re keen to keep sponsoring the competition and want to promote the event to a wider audience.”

EPro8 this year introduced a new category where teachers attempted the same challenges as their students.

One Ilminster Intermediate science teacher said it was a lot of fun and a good hands-on challenge.

Mr Thiele said teachers experiencing STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics) learning in a practical context was great for their own professional development.

EPro8 Challenge will be back next year with a new set of challenges designed to stimulate and encourage young engineers of the future.

CHAMPS: EPro8 2021 Challenge Champions Years 7 & 8, The Typical Top Hats from Ilminster Intermediate. Celebrating their win are students, from left, Isaac Ng, Calum Anderson, Baxtor Shanks and Shaun Diver. They are flanked by Eastland Network general manager Jarred Moroney (left) and engineer George Whakatope. Pictures by Strike Photography
WAKA BUILDING: Oscar How and Elanor Corker from Frasertown1 construct the platform to act as the base of their waka.