Entry Requirements

Entry is open to secondary school and undergraduate tertiary students.

Unless otherwise agreed by the National Committee you must be younger than 25 years old on the date of entry. School students who are concurrently completing university courses will deemed to be school students. An “undergraduate tertiary student” includes students undertaking “honours” courses who have completed the requirements of a three year bachelor’s degree.

By the closing date you must provide:

  • A one to two page synopsis that includes the title and structure for your presentation together with a description of the key points you will make (including an analysis of the social and economic benefits for New Zealand of the innovation being presented).
  • Proof you are a registered student undertaking a course of study in a New Zealand secondary school or tertiary education institution.
  • Independent certification from a member of the staff of your education provider that the work submitted for the competition is solely yours. This stipulation does not require that you present only your own primary research –you are permitted to source other researchers’ material provided the sources are properly attributed in the presentation or the accompanying papers.

Virtual Region

Entry to the Virtual Region shall only be valid for a student who:

  • Is usually domiciled more than 75 kilometers from the venue where a Geographic Region Competition will be held.
  • Is unable to attend the regional event on the specified date and time by reason of an unavoidable conflicting commitment accepted as being valid by the National Convenor at least 14 days before the first Geographic Region event is scheduled to be held

A teacher or parent shall certify in writing that a student is eligible for participation in the Virtual Region by virtue of location, or unavoidable conflicting commitment. The video presentation submitted for entry into the Virtual Region shall be recorded in accordance with the Video Standards for Virtual Region 


Judging Criteria


Throughout the competition, at both regional and national levels, contestants will be judged on their ability to demonstrate:

  • Knowledge of an area of science, technology, engineering or mathematics
  • How their area of knowledge and interest can be (or is being) applied to enable tangible benefit to New Zealand’s economic, environmental and social wealth and wellbeing, so helping deliver on Sir Paul’s ambition for New Zealand
  • The presence and capability to communicate clearly, succinctly and persuasively to a general audience comprising people from business and the political arenas as well as the wider public

In addition, at the national level, contestants will be judged on their ability to demonstrate:

  • Agility and thoughtfulness when responding to questions on their presentation

Check out the Judges Scoring Sheet