National Champions ‘F1 AusGP’ STEM Challenge

Congratulations to our GWSC Year 10 ‘STEM’ Team of Aylin Cemiloglu, Katrina Tran, Parishi Shah, Seanna Herlekar and Simran Sihota, who won the National Finals of the 2022 ‘Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix’ STEM Challenge!

We are extremely proud of these five GWSC girls who are all history maker’s and also glass ceiling breaker’s, as they were the first all-female team to make it through to the National Finals of this prestigious competition and also the first all-female team to take home the National Championship!  


All five students represented themselves, their families and our college community so very well throughout the entire competition, which began way back in Term 3 of 2021. They firstly had to qualify for the National Finals by designing and developing a prototype 'Sustainable F1 Powerboat’, which addressed a series of STEM-based considerations associated with form and function, scale and measurement, matter and energy, systems modelling and analysis, in addition to data collection, processing and communications technologies. Our STEM Team named their vessel the ‘Sailin’ Sailfish’ Sustainable Powerboat, as it contained unique systems and materials that were environmentally friendly, whilst many of the key design elements within the powerboat were based on biomimetic studies of epipelagic sailfish.


From 187 entries nation-wide, our GWSC STEM Team’s ‘Sailin’ Sailfish’ Sustainable Powerboat was adjudged to be one of the top three designs from Secondary Schools in Australia, which secured their spot in the National Finals at the 2022 ‘F1 AusGP’. For the National Finals, they then had to prepare a Pitch Deck presentation which firstly outlined all of the key STEM principles from F1 racing that were incorporated into the design of their prototype powerboat. Our students also had to explore what engineering considerations and eco-materials they would utilise if they wanted to enhance the sustainability of their powerboat, whilst maintaining peak performance out on the water.


Our GWSC STEM Team presented their Pitch Deck on the main stage of the ‘Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix’ at the Albert Park Track, alongside teams from two private schools – St Monica’s College and Braemar College. All members of our ‘Sailin’ Sailfish’ Sustainable Powerboat team confidently delivered their presentation on stage in front of the expert judging panel consisting of representatives from the international aerospace company BAE Systems, the Royal Australian Navy, the Royal Australian Air Force, the Australian Grand Prix Corporation and also the STEM Hub. Our students delivered an informative and highly entertaining pitch in the competition final, then engaged in a ‘Q&A’ session with the expert panel, where they expanded upon and justified the sustainable design features of their powerboat.


At the conclusion of the National Final, our ‘Sailin’ Sailfish’ Sustainable Powerboat team were absolutely rapt when they were announced as the National Champions of the 2022 'Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix' STEM Challenge! The panel of expert judges were blown away by the detail and thought which our STEM team had put into their design and associated Pitch Deck, awarding them a unanimous victory 6 points clear of the runner’s up. It was amazing to witness the support and round of rapturous applause that Aylin, Katrina, Parishi, Seanna and Simran received from their fellow GWSC students, alongside members of the audience surrounding the main stage.


All members of our ‘Sailin’ Sailfish’ Sustainable Powerboat team were each then awarded with a special Grand Prix prize pack filled with signed F1 team memorabilia and AusGP merchandise. They were also taken on a VIP Experience and Tour of the exclusive F1 Paddock, where they met leading F1 Drivers Esteban Ocon (‘Alpine F1 Team’) and Kevin Magnussen (‘Haas F1 Team’), who kindly stopped to sign autographs and take photographs with our students. The ‘Sailin’ Sailfish’ crew were then taken on a behind the scenes tour of the ‘AlphaTauri F1 Team’ Garage, where they met and spoke with lead engineers, mechanics and pit crew whilst looking under the hood of the F1 cars. Team managers from the ‘AlphaTauri F1 Team’ also kindly organised official team merchandise for each of our students that was signed by F1 drivers Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda. Our National Champions also had the unique opportunity to walk through Pit Lane and tour the F1 Onboard Camera Control Room, where they were shown real-time footage from 360-degree cameras mounted on all of the F1 cars and also on the driver’s helmets. Such an amazing experience for all involved!


Special thank-you to Mr Robinson for mentoring our STEM team throughout this competition and thanks also to Ms Armen and Mrs Mundy for assisting with the supervision of our GWSC student support crew on the day of the National Finals at the ‘F1 AusGP’.


We would also like to thank the FiA, the Australian Grand Prix Corporation, BAE Systems and The STEM Hub for sponsoring, organising and running this STEM Challenge for our students. Thank-you also to the FiA ‘Girls on Track’ Program who have previously engaged our future female STEM leaders in a range of unique motorsport and mentoring programs, which greatly assisted our STEM team throughout the competition.


Congratulations again to Aylin, Katrina, Parishi, Seanna and Simran on winning the ‘F1 AusGP’ STEM Challenge National Championship, it is an incredible achievement and a well-deserved reward for your dedication, teamwork and tireless efforts. We look forward to following your future careers in the F1 or a STEM related field!


Kind Regards,

Mr Mark Robinson.

Glen Waverley Secondary College