Overview

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The Sir Paul Callaghan Eureka! Awards competition challenges secondary school and tertiary undergrads to deliver a 12-minute presentation about how an application of science or technology will benefit New Zealand’s economic, environmental and social wealth and well-being.

To deliver a successful Eureka! presentation contestants will demonstrate:

  1. Knowledge of an area of science, technology, engineering or mathematics

  2. 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 well-being, so helping deliver on Sir Paul Callaghan’s ambition for New Zealand

  3. 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


Entry Process

The entry process into the Sir Paul Callaghan Eureka! Awards is split into two forms. In the first form, due at the end of June, you will submit your contact information and in the second form, due one week after the first form closes, you will submit your presentation name and your choice of scholarship. The reason for splitting up entry into contact and presentation information is that you can sign up early and we can remind you when deadlines are coming up but when you first register you may not know what you are going to do your presentation on.

Entry into the Sir Paul Callaghan Eureka! Awards is open to all secondary school and undergraduate tertiary students, younger than 25. Full entry requirements can be found here.


The Two-Stage Competition Process

Following entry, and preparation of the presentation script, the next crucial stage is the Sir Paul Callaghan Eureka! Awards,  geographic and virtual region competitions. 

This is where contestants present a six minute summary speech of what they expect to be their final presentation.

The Eureka! Awards regional competitions are held in key centres, or by students submitting a video of their six minute presentation on-line.

The twelve best summary presentations are identified by the National Finals Selection Panel, using videos of all the geographic and virtual region presentations. A moderated marking system is used to ensure the outcomes are consistent across the country

In the 4-6 weeks before the National Finals Stage the twelve National Finalists will spend time polishing the quality of their final presentation.


Awards, Scholarships and NCEA

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Each year the contestant who the Judges decide has delivered the best presentation is awarded the Sir Paul Callaghan Eureka! Premier Award, and prize money of $10,000.

The Judges also select three runners up who  receive Highly Commended Awards, plus prize money of $5,000.

The remaining eight contestants who were selected as National Finalists each receive a Merit Award, and prize money of $1,500. 

As well as the Awards and prize money a number of Scholarships (collectively worth about $60,000) are also available to contestants to help fund their tertiary studies. While most of the Scholarships reflect the issues identified in the National Science Challenges there are also special Scholarships available for Maori and Pasifika students.

Silver Scholarships are worth $2,500 and Gold Scholarships are worth $5,000. See the full list of Scholarships at the link below.

Additionally, Secondary school students may be able to receive NCEA credits for the 6-minute summary of their Eureka! Awards presentation which they deliver at the geographic or virtual region competitions. Contestants will need to discuss with their teacher what they will need to do to meet the achievement requirements of any relevant standard. You can find more information and a list of standards identified by the Eureka! Trust and the Ministry of Education by clicking the button below.


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To help students prepare their presentation an online workshop was developed by The Otago Advanced School Sciences Academy (OUASSA) & Centre for Science Communication.

First time contestants are encouraged to work through the workshop segments in full. As they gain experience students who have entered for a second or third time jump through to the sections which are most relevant to them.

 

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:

  • Completed entry form with selected region and scholarship, the title of your presentation and a list of your sources
  • 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

Virtual Region

The virtual region provides students who are unable to attend one of the in person regional competitions a path to entering the Sir Paul Callaghan Eureka! Awards. To enter students must be:

  • Usually domiciled more than 75 kilometres from the venue where a Geographic Region Competition will be held.
  • 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

Virtual Region Video Standards

Virtual Region Competitions for consideration by the National Finals Selection Panel shall meet the following standards

1. Content Standards

The video shall:

  1. Be a single continuous take which shall include the beginning and end of the contestant’s presentation
  2. Demonstrate by use of at least one wide shot that the presentation is being delivered in front of an audience
  3. Be shot so that the contestant is positioned in such a way that the lighting allows the viewer to see facial expressions 
  4. Avoid positioning the contestant in front of a bright light source such as a window
  5. Include in the frame the screen onto which the contestants supporting slides are being projected
  6. Ensure the contestant is at all times positioned next to the screen so they are included in the frame
  7. Ensure that sound recording is of high quality 
  8. Not be edited in any way other than to include a caption during the first 15 seconds which sets out the contestant’s name, educational institution and subject of their presentation

2. Technical Standards

  1. Video camera or iPhone or quality android phones (acceptable if they are from the last 3 years)
  2. File type MP4, MOV or WAV
  3. HD (1920x1080)
  4. 25 to 30fps
  5. Camera on tripod
  6. Camera no more than 1.2 - 2m from the presenter depending on quality of image
  7. Mic the presenter if possible