More than 1000 high school students are visiting the University of Southern Queensland this week for the annual Darling Downs Science and Engineering Challenge.

Starting on 24 May, for four days the Year 9 and 10 students will engage in a set of fun and competitive activities involving principles of science, engineering, and technology. The competition provides students with a challenge and a selection of materials to complete the set task, it looks to immediately engage students in activities with a minimum of introduction and theory and allows students to explore scientific principles for themselves rather than being guided to a predetermined answer.

Each day, eight different schools will compete against each other. At the end of the four days, the team with the most points will receive a trophy and go on to compete at the State Final ‘Super Challenge’. On 24 May, students had a special visitor – Boston Spot Mini Robot Dog, a four-legged walking robot that can traverse uneven terrains, climb stairs, avoid obstacles, and autonomously navigate. This new level of mobility opens up many opportunities for research projects at the University of Southern Queensland.

The competition, sponsored by the Rotary Club Toowoomba East, continues until 27 May. The principles for the Science and Engineering Challenge are simplicity, fairness and sustainability. The winners of the preliminary challenge will go on to the State Final and finally will move on to the National Final Challenge which this year will be held in Bendigo, Victoria on Friday 29 October.

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