St Mary’s College Ipswich has claimed victory on the first day of the Darling Downs Science and Engineering Challenge.

They faced off against Goondiwindi State High School, Downlands College, Crow’s Nest State School, St Mary’s College Toowoomba, Centenary Heights State High School, Concordia Lutheran College and Laidley State High School at USQ Toowoomba on Tuesday, May 23.

Over four days, the Challenge sees students from more than 30 local schools taking part in activities such as building bridges, wiring cities, creating Mars rovers, constructing earthquake-proof towers and building a bionic hand.

The event is designed to encourage students in year 10 to consider a future career in science and engineering by choosing to study sciences and mathematics in years 11 and 12.

St Mary’s College Ipswich Year 10 student Chloe Wise spent the day working on building a small bridge from balsa wood, pins, tape and paddle pop sticks. Her team’s bridge won the activity thanks to its lightness and ability to carry a heavy weight, but took serious creativity and planning to create.

“It wasn’t easy at first while we considered what we were going to do.

But once we were on track, we knew exactly how we wanted it to turn out and exactly what to do,” she said.

Miss Wise thanked her teachers and event organisers for the opportunity to test her skills.

“The day was really fun – it tests your ability and inspires you to think outside the box.”

Students will continue to engage in the Challenge at the Clive Berghofer Recreation Centre for the remainder of this week.