Epro8 Challenge 2021

It has been a busy time for our students participating in the local and regional Epro8 Challenge.

An inter-school science and engineering competition, Epro8 hosts over 10,000 students from 800 schools throughout New Zealand. Students take part in a series of events designed to boost their technological knowledge, linked to the technology curriculum.

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This year, two teams of Year 6 students from Wairakei Primary School took part. Each team was given a workstation, which contained an impressive assortment of easy to use equipment, including gears, wheels, pulleys, joiners, nuts and bolts, tools, aluminium framing, motors and electronics.

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Teams were given four challenges to choose from, one of which was building a waka/yacht that moved freely on land. The more difficult challenges were higher scoring and teams battled to complete the challenges in the three-hour time limit. Parents and teachers were confined to the sidelines, not able to speak at all to the competitors, who were reluctant to even stop for a snack or a drink.

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Our teams were awarded second and third place at the local competition, which saw them gain automatic entry into the regional semi-finals, held at John Paul College in Rotorua on May 27. Whilst our teams did not progress to the finals, we were very proud of the POWER they demonstrated - taking the opportunity to try something out of their comfort zone, and exhibiting respect and sportsmanship in a high-pressure environment.

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The key competencies of thinking and participating and contributing were certainly in action and we congratulate the students involved - Max K, Elliot, Ali and Matt (Team Wairakei 1 - ninth place) and Max H, Asharntay, Baylee and Clare (Wairakei 2 - sixth place). A big thank you to our support crew, who provided transport and quiet encouragement from the bleachers: Jo Knowles, Diana Sutherland, Kate Francis, Mathieu Turquier, Debi Hendra, Suzanne Aitken and Phoebe Kearney.

In Rotorua, we had to build a boat made for a wooden doll. It was difficult and fun. - Ali

The boat had to have a platform and move across our space using wind. Your Majesty (that was Andrew, the man in charge) used a leaf blower to blow it. It was fun and a new experience for me. I’d like to do it again next year. - Matt

I liked how it was a really big challenge. It was really fun and there was so much we could do with all the equipment. My favourite challenge was the ‘Paint the Hall’ challenge which had a bucket that would spin and paint the walls by itself. I liked using the fans and the motors because they could make things move. - Max K

It was so fun. There was a lot of equipment to use and you had to think about the challenges carefully. - Clare

I enjoyed it a lot and it was worth going. I just wish we had got to the finals. - Max H

Keywords: Epro8 Challenge, STEAM, Science, Engineering, Technology

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