Interest and participation in science in schools has been declining for many years and there is a genuine need to rejuvenate interest in science at the high school level. One possible solution is the completion of challenging science projects which fulfil an authentic purpose in the community. This paper discusses the results of ongoing research into the establishment of a rural and regional Science Challenge which makes use of partnerships with local industries and community groups to encourage the development of authentic science projects. In the development of the Science Challenge, many issues are emerging in relation to teachers’ work, resources, administration and school cultures. This paper reports on the preliminary findings and indicates directions for the future.