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 technologi…

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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.

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.

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. 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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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