SINCE the event started in 2002, the Maryborough Technology Challenge has gone from strength to strength.

The event, which features the 24-hour human-powered vehicle race, the CO2 dragsters, robotics, solar-powered boats, solar powered cars and the smiley pushcarts, has captured the imagination of students both in the region and throughout Australia.

The challenge aims to help develop efficient, environmentally friendly vehicles as forms of transport as well as using emerging technologies in ways to help further students' education.

Schools from across Australia have entered the event, which focuses heavily on the 24-hour endurance race.

The centrepiece of the event, the endurance race, will start at noon on Saturday and finish at noon on Sunday, testing the limits of teams from across a variety of schools.

Originally the track was 1.2km long.

After some adjustments, the current track is 1.53km long, forming a rectangle around Maryborough State High School and Central State School.

The two most important sections of the track for overtaking are the hairpin corner at the end of the start/finish straight and the 0.45km long hill at the back side of the school.

The number of entrants taking part in the event has increased dramatically over the years, from 16 in 2002 to 121 last year.

The challenge was originally modelled on a similar event in Victoria.