With a McLaren Formula 1 race car as a tangible example of the engineering behind the fastest of vehicles, schools may race to take part in the Re-Engineering Australia Foundation's 2013 F1 in Schools Technology Challenge.
The vehicle was recently donated to the Castle Hill-based foundation, which aims to get young students interested in science, mathematics and engineering.
REA founder Michael Myers said students will take between 13 weeks and a year to design, manufacture and market a model Formula 1 car.
About 150 students from Girraween High School have joined the challenge.
"It's about letting kids touch the most advanced technology and realise they can also design like that," Dr Myers said.
"Theoretically, it's called action learning. They get to understand why we do maths and how that relates to a real job.
"We're a catalyst to get kids interested . . . and the teachers take over and bring the maths and science together."
This includes complex equations, wind tunnel testing, and aerodynamics before students precision cut a 65 millimetre-wide block of balsa wood into a race car.
Dr Myers said about 500,000 students have completed the program nationally since 2002, and about 64 per cent had changed their career choice as a result.
Brett Sizeland completed the F1 in Schools Challenge five times and placed fifth at the Singapore World Championship in 2009.
"I learnt a lot of engineering skills from that like CAD [computer aided design]," he said.
"We talked to uni students when we were doing the project and they were jealous because they didn't get to touch it until second or third year at uni and we were doing it in years 8 and 9 at high school."