Boys love fast cars for the people who drive them, but girls love fast cars for how they are built, says Re-Engineering Australia Foundation founder Michael Myers.
“Girls are better at engineering,” he said.
Studies showed boys were interested in engineering because they were more people-orientated and looking for role models, but it was the girls were interested in the mechanics, science and design behind engineering, he said.
It is not about what you know, but who you know, and Mr Myers knows the right people, obtaining this 2007 McLaren MP4-21.
The car was driven by English Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton and is the only Formula 1 car to have been given away.
It is worth about $40 million.
Mr Myers brought the car to Orange High School in a bid to interest students in considering engineering as a career, particularly targeting girls.
“Engineering is not about cars, but cars are the magnet,” he said.
Students at Orange High School were able to check out the car while it was there, as well as listen to a presentation from Mr Myers, but members of the public can have a look at the McLaren at the InTech display at Kinross Wolaroi School over the weekend.
The motivation behind the foundation stems from Mr Myers’s experience at his children’s high school.
He had three daughters at a high school and wanted to give back to the school community.
He asked the principal how he could help out and the principal suggested he go along to a workshop held on Monday afternoons where boys were building cars.
He said he was shocked and amazed at the quality of the carbon fibre vehicle they had constructed.
“I asked them why they did it and they said ‘well no-one told us not to’,” he said.
“So I thought, imagine what they would do if we gave them the best in the world.”