BY CARMEN KILLICK
APEGGA Public Relations Coordinator
APEGGA's annual Provincial Challenge celebrates the art of
science and encourages students' confidence in solving scientific
problems -- increasing their interest in science and building
important critical thinking skills. The competition encourages
students to practice the concepts learned at school, as well
as provide recognition of achievement in science education
by both students and teachers.
Held in Calgary during National Engineering Week, March
2-10, this year's Provincial Challenge had 250 students from
communities throughout Alberta competing for more than $1,800.
Prize money, awarded to first-, second- and third-place winners
in each division, may go towards school materials and field
trips for the winning schools.
Using limited materials, the various challenges encourage
students to think creatively. The project concepts are based
on physics and structural and material engineering principles.
Events differ for each division and change every year.
Competition was intense in the grades 1-3 division, where
students battled in the Testy Towers contest. The goal was
to build the tallest tower. Participants made sketches of
a variety of possible tower designs. Then, choosing one diagram,
they built the highest possible tower using drinking straws
Students in the grades 4-6 division participated in the Going
Geodesic Challenge. Contestants had 60 minutes to construct
the strongest self-supporting dome. First, contestants had
to predict the number of magazines their dome would successfully
support. The dome could be composed of newspapers, tape and
In the grades 7-9 division participants built bridges out
of pasta. The challenge was to construct an operational, freestanding
bridge, made out of just pasta and glue. The bridge had to
span a distance of at least 50 centimetres and have a solid
flat road surface at its midpoint, with a length of at least
15 cm and a width no greater than 20 cm. The load had to be
applied to the flat surface at the middle of the bridge. Contestants
had to predict the weight their bridge would successfully
hold. The bridge with the greatest predicted "operational
value" that successfully met its prediction was declared
Wits and wisdom were put to the test in grades 10-12 during
the Victor Vehicle Race. Contestants built a vehicle powered
solely by the energy of one standard-sized mousetrap. The
vehicle with the greatest predicted distance that successfully
met this value was declared the winner.
It was a great pleasure to receive the entries for the APEGGA
National Engineering Week Provincial Challenge. APEGGA congratulates
all of the contestants for their dedication to scientific
pursuits and for taking the time and effort to enter the contest.
The competition was intense.
National Engineering Week is an annual opportunity to increase
public awareness and appreciation of the engineering profession
and of technology. Thousands of engineers, engineering students,
teachers, and leaders in government and business participate
APEGGA, along with other Canadian provincial and territorial
associations, hosted more than 500 events and activities to
help elementary, junior and senior high school students discover
the exciting world of science. APEGGA has consistently played
an important role as a major sponsor and organizer of engineering
week activities in Alberta. Through events such as the Provincial
Challenge, APEGGA has sought to raise the profile of its professional
members and highlight their accomplishments.
Check here for APEGGA's
National Engineering Week website.
The 2001-2002 Provincial Challenge Winners
First place: Percy Pegler Elementary School, Okotoks: Sean
Badun, Tanner Ryerson.
Second place: Percy Pegler Elementary School: Ryan Ferguson,
Third place: Ecole Oriole Park School, Red Deer.
First place: Ecole Coloniale Estates, Beaumont: Rebecca Mugford,
Sabrina Nault, Scott Sych, Callahan Weller.
Second place: Jean Baptiste Sewepagaham School, Ft. Vermilion:
Richard Ribbonleg, Larrisha Ribbonleg, Dave Ribbonleg, Marvella
Third place: St. Benedict School, Edmonton: Alyssa DeGraff,
Lisa Wilcox, Madison Keller.
First place: Ecole Coloniale Estates: Marc Labossiere, Matt
Halmstrom, Liam, Gould, JR Friday.
Second place: Jean Baptiste Sewepagaham School: Shannon Tallcree,
Michelle Noskiye, Wanda Nanooch.
Third place: Jean Baptiste Sewepagaham School: Cody Seeseequon,
Jacob Noskiye, Bronson Laboucan.
First place: Jean Baptiste Sewepagaham School: Colinda St.
Arnault, Dale Loonskin, Marcel Laboucan.
Second place: Beaumont Composite High School: Crystal Cornelius.
Third place: Grand Centre High School, Cold Lake: Brett Bodeux,