Star Scientific and Rotary joined forces to present the 2021 Science and Engineering Challenge.                Held for the 20th time in 21 years it was a great success and this time with a significant change.
            Back in 2000 it was held for the first time, with only Gosford Rotary providing funds and volunteers and the Uni of Newcastle developing the challenges.
Now it has grown to every state and territory.          Over 22000 students participated in 2019, before Covid struck our country and the world.
           This year we reduced our event to just 1 day, we enjoyed volunteers from 7 different Central Coast rotary clubs, 5 independent volunteers and in a first we had staff members from 2 different Australian companies.
Star Scientific provided 4 staff members and contributed financially to the costs while Atlassian, an Australian multinational success story also provided 3 staff members.            This sort of company involvement in community events is a new development in our experience and is very much appreciated.
           Of course it would be most unfair to not acknowledge our regular grant received now for many years from the NSW Office of the Chief Scientist and Engineer and of course St Edwards College which not only provided their hall free of charge but also provided morning tea and lunch to our volunteers.
            Students were very engaged from the beginning with teamwork, inventiveness and persistance evident throughout, causing volunteers to uniformly comment on their excellent behaviour and what a pleasure it was to be part of such an event.                 We are confident this will translate to increased enrolment in STEM subjects in years 11 and 12.
            This year's winner was Gosford High School, narrowly from St Edwards College but with all schools enjoying high points in the 8 different challenges.
Prizes were presented by Liesl Tesch, the State Member for Gosford.           Liesl spoke to students on the future opportunities in STEM careers and emphasized to the girls how these disciplines are completely free of gender bias.
             It is hoped in 2022 to return to a 2 day event.