By Craig Hingston
Australia has shone yet again on the world stage for science and technology, this time taking first and second places at the Jaguar Land Rover 4×4 Technology Challenge in England.
The competition is open to high school students from around the globe and the World Finals at Coventry attracted teams from every continent.
The hard fought title of World Champion went to a team from Pine Rivers State High School in Brisbane and the runners-up are from Dubbo College Senior Campus in regional New South Wales.
As well as taking up two of the three podium spots the Australians dominated the international competition by winning two category awards (including the coveted Best Engineering) and being nominated for three more.
The Brisbane team, who call themselves “Wombat Warriors” and wear Australian Army uniforms, came third at this event last year and returned with the goal of improving on that result. Proving that girls like science, technology and automotive engineering just as much as the boys…they were led by a female team manager, Lily Eiseman, who last year received the Women In Engineering Award.
It is the second time in three years that Pine Rivers teacher Corey Geiskens and his students have won an international STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) competition – in 2013 they became World Champions of the F1inSchools Technology Challenge.
It was the first time that Dubbo team “Zircon” has made it through to the World Finals.
Both teams had spent months designing and building miniature remote controlled 4×4 vehicles to negotiate an extreme off road course in the quickest time. At the same time, they prepared engineering portfolios and verbal presentations will were judged by engineers and academics. They earned the right to go to the UK after defeating all other Australian teams at the National Finals.