STRUCTURE IDEAS: Year 5 students Mercia Zillmann, Nisa Khaerunnisa, Declan Taylol and Ayesha Salman were determined to make the highest-reaching tower.
STRUCTURE IDEAS: Year 5 students Mercia Zillmann, Nisa Khaerunnisa, Declan Taylol and Ayesha Salman were determined to make the highest-reaching tower. Melanie Keyte

Students soar in challenge to build for the future

SKYSCRAPERS teetered towards the ceiling in Gatton State School hall last Thursday as excited little builders swarmed around them.

It was the Lockyer's annual interschool STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) challenge, which saw some of our brightest young minds from six different schools test their skills.

STEM students reach for the skies: Schoolkids from Years 4-6 battled it out last week for the top spot in the 2017 Lockyer Zone Interschool STEM Challenge.
STEM students reach for the skies: Schoolkids from Years 4-6 battled it out last week for the top spot in the 2017 Lockyer Zone Interschool STEM Challenge.

Co-organiser Iaman Petrie said the students had to complete a series of practical tasks, including a maths relay and a tower- building competition.

"We used to just hold it as a maths competition but, as we keep hearing, STEM subjects are going to be very important in these kids' future," Ms Petrie said.

"Here, we've got them working together, within a team and building their problem-solving skills."

Classmates Bray Robinson, Stuart Hood, Patrick Walker and Cayles Ost built an Empire State Building-inspired tower to ensure the structure was strong.

"We're having fun and learning to build things so in the future, we'll know what to do," Stuart said.

Meanwhile, Mercia Zillman, Nisa Khaerunnisa, Declan Taylol and Ayesha Salman attempted to hit the trifecta: height, aesthetic, and sturdiness.

"We're doing a square tower because squares are pretty strong to build on," Mercia said.

"It's colour-coded too because it looks nice."

The Year 5 students said they liked the competition's hands-on elements and enjoyed getting competitive with the other teams.

Students from Tenthill Lower, Lake Clarendon, Flagstone Creek, Grantham, Peace Lutheran College and Our Lady of Good Counsel schools took part in the day, with Gatton teams taking the top spot in every division for the first time in four years.

Year 4 champions were the Mad STEMs, Year 5 winners were the STEM-tastics and team Three-Plus-Me won the Year 6 division.

"It's just a bit of fun."