2017 sees the Fraser Coast Technology Challenge celebrate its 16th year, with a renewed emphasis on providing relevant activities and resources for students and teachers to support, encourage and foster recognised STEM outcomes.
The Fraser Coast Technology Challenge has become a regionally significant signature event that was first held in 2002. It was inspired by the Victorian based RACV Energy Breakthrough and is currently promoted and run by the Maryborough Chamber of Commerce Inc. Since that first event, the Technology Challenge has grown to become the premier student based challenge in Queensland with now more than 2,600 primary and high school students from across the state competing across a number of categories of innovation and imagination in a weekend of competition and fun. It is now a major event in the Queensland education calendar, providing a unique opportunity to introduce students to competitive activities that involve elements of design, construction, innovation, technology and most importantly participation.
But it is so much more than just a weekend away, schools that participate in the event embrace the opportunity to continue attending because they can use the elements of designing, making and racing a human powered vehicle, solar powered boats or cars, CO2 driven model dragster and coding of robotics all within the current educational framework. Lesson plans have been developed by many of the participating teachers who make them available to other teachers in the following curriculum areas:
• The Arts
• Health and physical education
• Studies of society and the environment (SOSE)
The event has been instrumental in transferring learning from the classroom into the real world, by helping students prepare for a post-school life and encouraging them to develop their skills across all the curriculum areas, with participating teachers using the opportunity to engage students with subjects that fuel their enthusiasm.
One of our principle goals over the next few years is to build a state based curriculum for the event in partnership with the Department of Education, relevant schools, Universities, educational based technology companies and even our regional council libraries. These partnerships will see the Fraser Coast Technology Challenge as a resource for schools enabling them to embed the competition into their lesson plans with assessable outcomes, and provide a platform of support and development for all schools and students participating in the event.
In recognition of the importance of this iconic Event for the Fraser Coast region and the education sector, it receives unprecedented support from the local community. Our community service clubs, local scout groups, local sporting clubs and a significant number of independent volunteers are actively involved in the event and on site for the duration to make sure that all competitors are safe and the event proceeds smoothly.
Supported through its developmental years under Events Queensland Regional programs, the event is made financially sustainable with the help of sponsors the likes of; Fraser Coast Regional Council, RACQ, Downer, Gilking School supplies, MyOsh media, DATTA Queensland, Richers Transport, Ergon, Handy Hire, Gillespie Electrical, Wide Bay Sound Systems and many more, all recognising that the students participating in the event are the consumers and decision-makers of tomorrow, they acknowledge an opportunity to help educate today’s youth and inspire them to become the engineers, designers, innovators of tomorrow.
The Fraser Coast Technology Challenge is set in the iconic Queensland City of Maryborough on the beautiful Fraser Coast. It is staged in the educational precinct around the Maryborough State High School twin campuses and the Maryborough Central State School. The precinct is bordered by Kent Street, John Street, Sussex Street and Ferry Street.
With and expectant 5600 individuals attending the event, this will be comprised of more than 2600 Competitors and some 600 support personnel, event staff, community workers and stall holders and 2400 Spectators
This year’s Fraser Coast Technology Challenge Maryborough is held on September 8th, 9th and 10th with the Friday being a set up day and the main events starting around 9am on the Saturday morning up at the Maryborough State High School off Kent Street. – Written by Mark Williams