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Northpower EPro8 student numbers double

The increasingly popular Northpower EPro8 Challenge is underway for 2022. A record number 624 students are competing in the series of science and engineering-based events. This is more than double the 232 that took part in 2021.

There are 156 teams from 21 schools – one from Kaikohe, five from Kaipara and 15 from Whangārei – are contesting for the honour of Year 5/6 champion and Year 7/8 champion in the Northland Regional Final.

This year’s series starts with an EPro8 Internal Event that is run within each school. This allows a lot more students to be involved. Teams are constructing robotic scarecrows, concrete mixers, and a random decision-maker (a ramp that a ball will roll down, with a bunch of bolts so that the route the ball takes is random!).

The top two teams from each school will make their way to the inter-school semi-finals and grand finals at Kamo Intermediate School over three days from May 3 to 5. At the finals, they will be given brand-new engineering-based challenges.

Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths

Event organizer and EPro8 founder Kelvin Thiele says schools have all the EPro8 kits they need.

We provide them the challenges, scoring system, that big red button to press when they have completed a task, and a leader board,” says Mr Thiele. “With the inter-school events, the students are benefitting from more time to practice with the construction equipment. The electronic components will be added to the challenge when we get to the semis and finals to add another dimension to the challenge.”

Northpower Customer Experience Manager Rachel Wansbone says she is delighted with the enthusiasm of the students and teachers taking part in the popular STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) competition.

To have doubled the number of students involved in 2022 is really pleasing and we wish them the best in the Northpower EPRo8 Challenge,” she says. “Last year Northpower invested in four sets of the EPro8 Construction Equipment which we have been lending to schools around Kaipara and Whangarei for students to hone their skills.