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Wednesday, May 6th 2015

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Catholic Schools Brainstorm Challenge Day

Catholic Schools Brainstorm Challenge Day

On Tuesday 28 April, our Year 8 Lumen class, 'Thinking in 3D' were lucky enough to attend the annual Catholic Schools Brainstorm Challenge Day, held at Scitech in West Perth. To begin the day, we started in the Horizon planetarium where we commenced with the Physics challenge. We raced around the interactive activities trying to get as many points as we could for our teams of three. We were up against a number of other schools including: Sacred Heart College, Iona Presentation College, Corpus Christi College and Mater Dei College. Some of the fun activities we pursued were; the black hole, a 3D photo booth, an interactive robot hand, a bike that took you on a virtual tour around Kings Park, a slinky treadmill, a smart board, which allowed you to draw and control the rain and many more! They sound like games, but they were actually very educational, involving many aspects of Physics to learn about.
The Engineering challenge was next up. We had to build a tower out of marshmallows and uncooked pasta. For every one centimetre of height we built we gained one point. For an extra 10 points, we had to balance a ball on the structure for ten seconds. By the time we had finished there was broken pieces of spaghetti and gooey marshmallow everywhere!
Next up was the CSIRO lab challenge. In our groups of three, we headed over to a bench with a range of scientific equipment on it, such as test tubes, droppers and beakers. Our challenge was to identify six mystery substances. We did this by performing a number of tests, including measuring the acidity level, seeing how the substance reacted to vinegar and just observing it.
Following this, we headed to the planetarium, (If you don’t know what a planetarium is like, it is a room full of seats set up in a footy stand fashion that has a gigantic, curved screen at the front) where we watched a movie on astronaut training and learnt that pace has a lot of the same conditions as water. We were also given a live show on space, our solar system, star constellations and finally on light years, followed by a quiz on what we had seen.
Our final task was the Robotics challenge. In our groups of three, we grabbed a computer and a robot. The robot was an extremely smart little device. It had light sensors, sound sensors, touch sensors and cameras. There wasn't much it couldn't do! The challenge was to program the robot to perform a range of movements when commanded by your voice and other stimuli.
At the end of the day we all gathered in the planetarium again for the final presentations. Newman came out first in the individual physics challenge, which was won by Luka Moukine. Luka’s team also came first is the overall team challenge, which was a fantastic result. They were closely followed by Sacred Heart College in second.
Overall, the day was a great success and we all had a lot of fun, working together to solve problems and to test our science skills. We would like to thank Ms Rose and Mr Richards for organising the excursion for the class.
Anne Johnston and Indiana Bell

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