• Six-month school design and build challenge, hosted by Mahle South Africa (MAHLE) and South Africa’s Centre for the Advancement of Science and Mathematics Education (CASME), ends in nail-biting finish
  • Eight schools chosen to partake this year, plus fantastic prizes up for grabs
  • Concept is a winning formula for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) skills development and makes learning cool


Hillcrest Primary School – Hillcrest, Durban, South Africa, 1st and 2nd September 2022: MORE than 120 Grade 7 learners in Durban have learned the value of preparation and picked up essential business skills, such as teamwork, design and marketing, during the 2022 Mahle F1 in Schools Engineering Challenge, which came to an exciting finish at the beginning of September.

Learners from eight schools took six months to prepare their paper car designs, which they put to the test in a final presentation and race challenge hosted by Hillcrest Primary School in Hillcrest, Durban.

MAHLE SCHOOLS CHALLENGE, previously held in 2019 and back in South Africa after the Covid-19 pandemic, is hosted by MAHLE, an international automotive components manufacturer with German roots and factories in South Africa, and the Centre for the Advancement of Science and Mathematics Education (CASME). The aim is to promote careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) through fun and practical learning.

Prizes this year included R15 000 in cash sponsored by BATA SA, trophies, medals, automotive gear, tech gear, and stationery. Award categories included: Fastest Car; Best Engineered Car; Team Identity, Sponsorship, Marketing Research & Design; Pit Display; and Verbal Award (for verbal presentation and marketing scores). A Judges’ Award went to the team that made the most effort.

“The excitement in the build-up to the final of the MAHLE F1 Schools Challenge was intense,” said Jolene van Heerden, MAHLE South Africa Communications Manager. “The scoring for various disciplines in the design process set us up for a nail-biting finish!”


The Resies Racers Team from Resmount Primary School being evaluated by the judges.


Participating schools included Atholl Heights; Hillcrest Primary; Durban Primary School; Chelsea Prep; Brea West; Ekwandeni Primary; Vasukukhanya Primary School; Eden College, St Leo, Resmount primary School and Pitlochry Primary School.

The day 1 winners, were:

1st          The Matrix Mechanix from Eden College

2nd         Ghost Rider from Ekwandeni

3rd          Speed Machines from Chelsea Prep


The day 2 winners, who scored the most points during the final, were:

1st          SMG Motorsport Team from Atholl Heights Primary

2nd         Resies Racers Team from Resmount Primary School

3rd          Infinite Velocity Team from Berea West Senior Primary school


Meanwhile, MAHLE and CASME have also recently expanded their Science2Go mobile laboratory schools programme into the Western Cape. The programme has brought vital resources and teaching aids into some of the province’s toughest neighborhoods and will reach hundreds more school learners and teachers.

Van Heerden said MAHLE felt a responsibility to grow South Africa’s pipeline of skilled STEM workers and wanted to help CASME on its quest to stop the decline in Maths and Science in schools.

Van Heerden added that MAHLE was especially excited to see interest growing among young girl learners through MAHLE SCHOOLS CHALLENGE and the Science2Go projects. “Yes, Stem-related industries are still male dominated, but we are seeing a shift. MAHLE has always believed that change needs to start at grassroots level, therefore, our focus is on reaching and inspiring the girl child from Grade 6 and encouraging them to start thinking of a future career in the STEM industry.”

MAHLE hopes to eventually turn the MAHLE F1 in Schools challenge into a national competition and that the winning team will then be able to compete on an international stage.



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