Naujaat students tackle SET Challenge

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Students at Tuugaalik High School were competing to see how far they could fly off the handle in Naujaat this past month.

The students were participating in the Kivalliq Science Educators Community- (KSEC) developed Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) Challenge that had them building their own catapult-like devices and seeing who could launch a projectile the farthest with it.

Grade 7 students, from left, Quentin Tuktudjuk, Vincent Angotingoar and James Alaralak test their catapult in class before heading to the gym to participate in the SET Challenge at Tuugaalik High School in Naujaat this past month. photo courtesy Julia MacPherson

The SET Challenge was a unique experience for science teacher Greg Durrant, who was just concluding his first year in Naujaat and observing the Challenge for the first time.

Durrant said he was quite impressed by what he saw.

He said he didn’t really know what to expect with everything being new to him, but many of the students put a lot of thought, effort and co-operation into their SET projects.

The Challenge seems to be very enlightening for the students and also very productive,” said Durrant.

It shows them a different side of science and the possibilities that come with it.

It also shows them just how much fun science can be.”

Durrant said he also enjoyed participating in the school’s science fair earlier in the school year, which shares a number of similarities with the SET Challenge.

He said there was definitely a sense of competition among the various classes during the event.

Students definitely wanted to get theirs to travel the farthest and it was a special moment when one – I believe it was made by Grade 9 students – went totally outside the lines we had made to mark distance.

It was almost like a standing ovation when that happened.”

Durrant said he could see a budding connection between the students and science during the SET Challenge.

He said the students were able to relate what they were doing into that science connection, especially math and physics.

I say math and physics in terms of what they needed to do to ensure their project came out on top, so there was definitely some connection there.

The event also shows the students the more collaboration you have, the more effective you can be.

KSEC uses the Challenge to also promote teamwork, collaborative and collective effort, which is really good.

As the students were working together you could see they were really enjoying the activities, which shows the way KSEC designed the activities to allow for a lot of group work and team effort is, for the most part, pretty effective.”