Heaton joins over 8000 New Zealand students in the EPRO8 Challenge.

On Thursday 8 June, four Heaton teams took part in the EPRO8 Challenge for the first time. 

This engineering and problem-solving race, coordinated by Kelvin Thiele requires teams to:

  • build large sized structures
  • solve practical problems
  • engineer using pulleys, motors, wheels and axles
  • invent machines that can complete simple tasks
  • undertake unusual and fun experiments
  • construct basic electronic circuits
  • solve interesting problems using practical mathematics

Over the last term, students have been preparing for the competiton overseen by Mr Greaves. Four teams were established; the Heaton Rockets, Heaton Stars, Heaton Sparks and Heaton Bolts. They competed against 8 other teams from local schools.

Gabby and Olivia (Rm15) were in the Heaton Sparks team. They have outlined below their experience of this challenge. 

‘The Epro8 challenge was a fun event planned to make you think. We had to design, problem solve and innovate. Using a few selected materials, we had the choice to create a working robotic guard dog, a laser pointer, a 2.2 metre long bridge or a theme park ride. Most of us were working with things we didn’t know how to use, but after a while phrases like, “Pass me a wing nut, a screw and a couple of joiners,” were absolutely natural. We started plugging in wires like pros (more like Epros), and started to think in different ways just to pursue one goal.

We did have a few setbacks though. Our battery ran flat about 10 minutes into the challenge and then our replacement battery did as well. We ended up spending 20 minutes on an electric laser pointer that wouldn’t even work.

In the end, we came 2nd which was a total surprise. We had been coming sixth but in the last minute we pressed the buzzer and earned 90 points (50 of which was earned by accident) which got us into the semifinals. 

All in all, it was a really memorable, fun experience and we can’t wait to do it all again in the semifinals at Opawa School on Tuesday 27 June.’

If you interested in finding out more about this event take a look at the EPRO8 Challenge website. 

By Sarah Cumming