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Yancoal’s Gary Mulhearn with students from Blandford Public School.

The University of Newcastle’s award-winning annual Science and Engineering Challenge was back again for three exciting days in Muswellbrook on April 27, 28 and 29.

Thanks to a long term partnership with Yancoal Australia, over the three days up to 250 students from our local primary and high schools came together at Muswellbrook Indoor Sportsground to solve real-world challenges such as building an earthquake resilient tower, building hovercrafts, or sending encrypted messages with light.

Yancoal’s Mount Thorley Warkworth and Ashton Coal Mine are joint sponsors of the University’s Science and Engineering Challenge, a proud partnership that has been in place since 2002.

Yancoal Mount Thorley Warkworth’s General Manager, David Bennett was proud to continue its support of the challenge.

“We recognise the positive impact the challenge has on local students and are proud to be a part of it year-on-year. A strong STEM education is critical to working in mining and this program helps educate and drive the next generation of mining innovators into our industry. 

“The challenge always offers a fantastic program for local aspiring science and engineering students in our community,” said David. 

The not-for-profit Science and Engineering Challenge program launched in 2000, delivers a unique and accessible program in every Australian State and Territory, stimulating interest in STEM fields by exploring scientific concepts with practical problem solving. 

After a difficult couple of years due to the pandemic, the Science and Engineering Challenge has bounced back strong and are proud to announce they have seen over 400,000 students nationally since its inception.

The Rotary Club of Muswellbrook have been integral to the success of the event as the main body responsible for its organisation. The partnership between Rotary, Yancoal Australia and the University of Newcastle has been the key to the longevity of the event in the Upper Hunter.

Newcastle University Science and Engineering Challenge Team Leader Peter Newman said they could not continue to run this special event without the support and effort put in by Yancoal and Rotary.

“It’s not just the financial support,” said Peter. “We couldn’t do this without the generosity of all the people who give up their time to come along and help out over the three days. Together, our goal is to stimulate the students’ interest in these fields and inspire them to consider a future career in science and engineering.”

Judging by the buzz of excitement and the many smiles we saw among the students our next generation of STEM leaders are well on their way.

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