Shepparton East Primary School students will compete at the Tournament of the Minds state finals this weekend.
The seven years 5 and 6 students will travel to LaTrobe University, Bundoora, this Sunday to compete in the problem-solving teamwork program.
Alexandra Phillips, 11, Amirah Ahmet, 10, Jasmine Lowe, 12, Eliza Bester, 11, Jamie Willaton, 12, Jack Ferguson, 11, and Jaiden Heinzmann, 12, won first place in the mathematics and engineering section of the regional rounds at La Trobe University in Shepparton on August 26.
‘‘Basically you’re in a group of seven and you do a series of challenges, we did engineering and mathematics,’’ Eliza said.
‘‘Our challenge was to make a rigged lottery machine. We completed that challenge and presented it to judges on the day and our machine was a lottery to send people to Mars.’’
The students had to choose three professions that would assist in the development of Mars, rigging their lottery machine to select those three professions out of many.
They had six weeks to work on the challenge, using limited materials on a budget of just $75.
‘‘It was very exciting, I think we all had a good time,’’ Jaiden said.
Jasmine said the group’s win was unexpected.
‘‘We put a lot of effort into it and it took a lot of time,’’ she said.
Group facilitator Shepparton East Primary School principal Trent McCrae said the students did a fantastic job. The students will have just three hours to work on their challenge at the state final on Sunday. ‘‘The kids are really looking forward to it,’’ Mr McCrae said. ‘‘They’re nervous because they’re up against kids from the rest of the state, but it’ll be good.’’