Four students from St Peter’s Girls’ School took out the National ‘SUBS in Schools’ engineering challenge in March.
The national high school competition, the ‘Future Submarine Technology Challenge’, was devised and piloted by Re-Engineering Australia, along with leading engineering companies and the State Government, to help students actively engage with Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.
SUBS in Schools encourages students to work in teams to build a working model submarine that must perform a number of manoeuvres and meet set criteria. Teams must also develop a company portfolio, provide documentation of their design process and present a marketing plan as part of the challenge.
Emily Keough, Sophie-Louise Shearwood, and Fiona and Grace Dawson commenced their SUBS journey last year by participating in the program as part of a Year 10 elective subject. After winning the state finals in September, Team Athena continued refining their prototype and supporting documentation in preparation for the National Finals, which were held in Sydney.
Throughout the SUBS in Schools program, students learned about buoyancy, mechanics and electronics, while using advanced technology software and 3D CAD modelling. The program also involves project management and marketing skills.
A key component of the SUBS in Schools program is a mentoring opportunity with engineers and experts from the industry.
SAAB Australia partnered with St Peter’s Girls to provide ongoing support throughout the program. Our students worked with graduate engineers and experts to learn about the technology found in submarines, unravel the skills required to build a working prototype and problem-solve their design to produce the best result.
Throughout the project, the girls were fortunate to meet and speak with representatives from a variety of industry-leading organisations and it is these experiences that have left the girls most inspired for a future career in Engineering.
Following the success, the girls have been interviewed for a range of media articles, including pieces in The Advertiser and The Australian. Emily was also interviewed by 2GB’s Alan Jones.
Last week the students also presented their award-winning prototype to the Minister for Defence, Martin Hamilton-Smith, and spoke with him at length about the project, the challenges involved and the interest the girls now have in Engineering. Minister Hamilton-Smith presented the School with a small trophy to acknowledge the girls’ outstanding efforts.