The Energy Breakthrough is unique in that all teams must compete across three areas of assessment: Design and Construction, Display and Presentation and Trials.
Jump to view an area of assessment:


All Pushcarts, Human Powered and Energy Efficient Vehicles must go through scrutineering which entails a safety inspection to ensure the vehicles are safe and meet all the design specifications outlined in the relevant Part B of the Schools’ Handbook.

Scrutineering is led by experienced volunteers who ensure that the vehicle is safe for the occupant, other teams and spectators.c

Where entries do not comply with specifications, or are considered unsafe, scrutineers will provide assistance and/or direction with work required in order to comply.

Schedules and locations for teams to complete scrutineering and other judging assessments are provided in the Information Kit distributed to schools in early November.

Organisers will assume that teams will have arrived in Maryborough and be available from 12 noon on the day of the assessment. Late arrivals will be accepted only by negotiation.

Design and Construction


Following scrutineering, teams will be required to demonstrate to judges that all members have developed a thorough understanding of the Design and Construction aspects of their entry.

The focus of the Design and Construction is to assess the team’s understanding of the vehicle and the concepts involved in its design and construction. To this end, teams who have simply purchased a recumbent bicycle (complete or in kit form) and carried out basic modifications, will not score as well as teams who have built a vehicle from scratch. Consideration will be given to teams who have ‘Inherited’ a vehicle from previous teams but who have improved the design and/or construction in some way.


As part of the Design and Construction assessment, teams will be required to:

  • discuss and explain design and construction processes.
  • show all rider safety equipment, including each person’s gloves, helmets and glasses.
  • show copies of relevant design drawings.
This is based on issues such as whether the vehicle bought, made from new, modified from the previous year and to what extent the students were involved in the various aspects of design and construction. Teams can show design drawings and models to demonstrate work undertaken by students.
How effective/clever the design concepts are; the materials used; construction methods and types of gears, brakes and steering.
The students’ understanding of the vehicle design and key design concepts incorporated, the materials, components, running set-up.
The use of restraints, roll bars, rider protection and visibility.
Vehicle reliability, handling, lighting.
Presentation of licences for each team member, skills covered in driver training including driving at night, in the wet, etc.
The relationship between transport and issues including greenhouse, air pollution and the importance of renewable energy, etc.
Weight is an important factor in efficiency and HPV’s and EEV’s will be weighed and scored based on their weight compared to other teams and the rules.

Display and Presentation


The purpose of the Display and Presentation is for team members to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of their entry.

Judges consider the different approaches taken in the presentations, such as some students reading from notes versus student presentations with limited reference to prepared notes. Schools are encouraged to be innovative in their presentations. However, care needs to be taken to ensure that ‘distractions’ do not overtake the real purpose, that is, ‘students demonstrating their understandings’.


A specific time for each team to complete their Display & Presentation will be included in the Information Kit sent to schools in November. Each team is allocated time to set up their display prior to their time.

Event schedules will require teams to have arrived and be available from 12 noon on the day of the assessment. Late arrivals will be accepted only by negotiation.


Each team will be required to present for a maximum of 20 minutes to a panel of judges. This will be followed by up to 10 minutes of questions from the judges.

This oral report will relate to the development of the team entry, including ideas that did not work and why.
The judging panel consists of three members: a community representative, a young person with an interest in education and/ or technology and an education/teacher representative. Judges will ask questions of team members following their presentation.

All registered team members are required to participate equally in the presentation. Teams may choose to include up to two (2) additional students (i.e. support crew) to join their registered team members in their presentations. However, the presentation roles must still be shared equally by all participating team members.

The display may include photos, videos, models, prototypes etc to explain the involvement of students, school, community and/or industry in the program and the development of their entry. To reduce interference from nearby panels, no public address or small music (CD) systems will be allowed without prior approval of the Display & Presentation Coordinator.

The presentation should be designed in a way that ensures information is well presented by students and enables the students to demonstrate their knowledge, understanding and involvement in all aspects of the entry.


The assessment covers both oral and visual presentation.

Judges are asked to look for evidence of:

  • Student involvement
  • Levels of participation
  • Team work and enthusiasm
  • Individual contributions
  • Understanding of the project

It is understood that the levels of student involvement in the technical and practical activities related to the design and building of an entry will vary with age.

The oral presentation will be assessed according to:
The introduction and outline of the presentation; awareness of the audience; style of presentation (reading from notes or reciting); clarity of language; use of materials, diagrams and models covered.

The effectiveness of leader’s role; sharing of knowledge and responsibility in the team; acknowledgment of individual team members’ role; team attitude and enthusiasm and the extent to which the presentation reflects the students’ own work.

Knowledge of the aims and values of the Energy Breakthrough; highlights of the school and community participation; team planning; preparation and training and technical aspects of the development of the vehicle.
About the entry, including the challenges; the preparations; the school and community’s involvement and the students’ achievements.
The visual display will be judged according to:
The range of visual media and written text depicting vehicle development; the arrangement of items; the variety of information presented and the acknowledgment of sponsorship/financial support received.
The effective use of diagrams, models, photos, text, drawings, etc. to convey message.


In this section, the operation of each entry will be tested.
Will undertake a Performance Test.
Will participate in a 24-hour trials on a street circuit in Maryborough alongside the Energy Efficient Vehicles (EEV’s)
Will participate in a 24-hour trials on a street circuit in Maryborough alongside the Secondary Human Powered Vehicles
Teams will complete a 14-hour trial on a street circuit in Maryborough.
Teams will tackle a Time Trial, Obstacle Course and an 8-hour Endurance Trial.
The Circuits

There are two tracks in Princes Park, Maryborough surrounding the beautiful Lake Victoria. On both tracks there are some unlit sections at night, and the sealed surfaces are not “billiard table smooth”.