Poster competition! Can your students spread the word on tribology?

The topic of ‘rubbing’ may not sound the most inspiring for your students, so let’s give it its more technical term of tribology and it definitely sounds more interesting. Now, let’s name its key factors of friction, wear and lubrication and, instantly, it becomes clear that this is a subject that must affect multiple aspects of our everyday lives. Next, let’s appreciate that this an area encapsulating skills from a range of engineering and chemistry fields and, finally, we’ve got ourselves a fascinating and challenging science to tell students about.

As The Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers (STLE) explains, tribology is ‘everywhere’, from machines to vehicles, to cosmetics. It is the friction you’re missing when you slip on ice and the friction you’re experiencing when you light a match. Tribology is found in all manners of life and is a vital part of numerous industries. And now, the STLE is hosting a worldwide poster competition to encourage children to find out more about this intriguing science.

The Worldwide Tribology and Lubrication Student Poster Contest, aimed at children aged 4-18, is not simply a design competition. It’s a competition that will demand your students conduct an experiment, a competition that will challenge them to think critically and to communicate creatively.

The contest invites students aged four to 18 are invited to experiment with ways to reduce friction and to show how tribology can be used to develop future technologies.

Entries will be judged in the two categories of ‘technical’ and ‘artistic’. Winning posters will be displayed at the 75th STLE Annual Meeting & Exhibition in Chicago, US, this year and will also be rewarded with cash prizes.

The deadline for entries is April 1st, 2020, so don’t ‘stick’ around. ‘Oil up’ that scientific apparatus and see if the fascination of tribology can ‘rub’ off on your students!

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For resources, experiment ideas and more information about the competition, visit the STLE’s website: