Technology Olympiad National Winners!


The Technology Olympiad is an annual competition run in South Africa on national scale. In 2008 Domino Servite School won the national competition! Congratulations to Nkululeko Hlophe, Mxolisi Mbuthuma , Sakhile Radebe and their mentor Mr van Straten.

The requirements for the 2008 Technology Olympiad were to design, build and test a self-propelled earthmoving machine which could move plaster sand between two points across a flat horizontal surface three meters apart.

The machine had to comply with certain specifications:

  • It must transport the sand, one load at a time, using only one bucket made from a standard 330ml soft drink can.
  • The machine must ‘scoop’ a load of sand, traverse the 3 metre distance and then dump the load into a 2 litre ice-cream container.
  • The machine must start every cycle from the starting point where the sand is loaded.
  • The machine must traverse the distance with its load under its own power.
  • Once the load is discharged a team member may re-position the machine at the starting point by hand for a repeat cycle.
  • The machine must use pneumatics (air) and/or hydraulics (water) as its energy source to traverse the distance. No electricity, chemicals or chemical reactions may be used as a power source.
  • It must be operated from a control point on the machine by a team member.
  • The controls will control the loading, discharging and the traversing across the flat surface.
  • The cost of the machine shall not exceed R150 and when assembled it must fit into a closed A3 paper box.
  • The objective was to move as much of the sand heap as safely and accurately as possible in 10 minutes.

Six teams from Domino Servite participated in the regional leg of the SAIMechE Technology Olympiad in Durban on 23 August. The Ambassadors – Jonathan Lopes, Mbukiseni Ndima and Claude Peters came first and DSS 2 – Nkululeko Hlophe, Mxolisi Mthembu and Sakhile Radebe, fifth. These two teams were selected to participate at the National competition.
The National SAIMechE Technology Olympiad was held on 27 September at Jeppe High School for Boys in Kensington. The hard work began early Saturday morning with interviews, judging of the earthmovers and the reports. After lunch, a surprise workshop tested the skills they had gained during the year. The day ended with an awards dinner for team members, educators, facilitators, invited guests and donors. Adrian Arnold from Hatch and Ivan Terblanche from Bell Equipment inspired and motivated the learners to follow a career in engineering.

Each team member then received his/her certificate of participation and medals. Domino Servite’s DSS2 came first. They won a first year engineering bursary, an overseas trip to engineering companies in England as well as AutoCAD software.

The runner up team was from PROTEC in Tongaat, KZN. The Ambassadors came fourth. Congratulations.

Mr DV van Straten