Calendar of Events


Special Awards
Wow the Judges!
Is your project
  • Topical?
  • Innovative?
  • Relevant?
Does your project
  • Raise awareness?
  • Provide improvements?
  • Have smart ideas?
  • Benefit Northland?

Students may enter their exhibits for up to three Special Awards


The following Special Awards are open to all exhibitors: Years 7 through to 13 inclusive

Conservation Award
An exhibit which shows an outstanding study on the conservation of one or more of New Zealand’s natural resources.

Sponsored by the Department of Conservation (DOC)


Electrical Award
An exhibit that investigates, or develops a process involving; electrical use, electrical components, electrical systems, etc.
Sponsored by McKay Electrical

Central Northland Regional Award
An outstanding exhibit which investigates a scientific issue related to Central Northland.
Sponsored by Farmlands

Earth Science Award
An exhibit in the field of earth sciences or geology. Think earth stability, rocks, volcanoes, erosion - anything to do with the earth.
Sponsored by the Geoscience Society of NZ - Auckland Branch and Auckland Geology Club

Safety Award
A scientific investigation of a health or safety issue, or development of a tool which enhances health or safety. This could be a health and safety issue at school, home or in the work place.
Sponsored by Northland District Health Board - Public Health

Energy Efficiency Award

An exhibit that promotes energy efficiency in the home or workplace. Think insulation, heating/cooling issues.

Sponsored by Chilltech

Primary Industry Award

An exhibit that promotes a Northland Primary Industry. Think agriculture, horticulture, forestry or aquaculture.

Sponsored by Farmlands

Construction Award
An exhibit that shows creativity and planning in a construction and/or engineering process.
Sponsored by Tui Technology

Planetarium Award
An exhibit which promotes a better understanding of the universe. Think earth and space science, astronomy, cosmology, telescopes & binoculars.
Sponsored by Storytime

Sports Physiotherapy Specialist Award 

An Exhibit that promotes the advancement of training for, or prevention of injuries in, sport.
Sponsored by Whangarei Physiotherapy

Dairy Industry Award

An exhibit dealing with matters/issues relating to the Dairy Industry in Northland. Think farming, milk/milk products, environmental issues.

Sponsored by Fonterra Northland Operations

Eco Awareness Award

An exhibit which encourages the responsible stewardship of our planet's resources. This could include ways to reduce, reuse, recycle or replace existing technologies, practices or techniques.

Sponsored by

The Boorer Family

Baking Industry Research Trust Award
An exhibit which shows the best understanding of flour usage or bakery products in their food related project. This award primarily deals with cereal products such as wheat, rye, oats, barley, rice etc. and their derivatives, e.g. flour, baking powder etc.
Sponsored by the New Zealand Baking Industry Research Trust

Engineering Award
An exhibit which shows an innovative and/or sustainable solution relating to an engineering issue.
Sponsored by BDX Group Ltd

Forest and Bird Protection Award
An exhibit that promotes the education of the public on the protection and appreciation of New Zealand's native species, natural ecosystems and landscapes.
Sponsored by Forest and Bird

Forest and Bird Protection Award
An exhibit that promotes the education of the public on the protection and appreciation of New Zealand's native species, natural ecosystems and landscapes.
Sponsored by Forest and Bird

Health and Fitness Award
An exhibit that promotes the advancement of health and fitness. Think personal training, fitness programmes, small group training & exercise regimes.
Sponsored by Activ8 Northland

Optometry Award
An exhibit which addresses some aspect of sight or vision. Think vision testing, glaucoma and cataract assessment, colour vision, eye glasses & eye scanning.
Sponsored by Specsavers Optometrists

Bream Head Conservation Trust Award

An exhibit that covers a biosecurity or diversity issue for a given area within Central Northland with a view to enhancing the local environment.

Examples might include:

Biosecurity: Kauri dieback, introduced invertebrates and reptiles, introduced weeds, introduced bird and mammal species.

Biodiversity: survival of endangered species, reintroduction of absent species.

Sponsored by Bream Head Conservation Trust

NorthTec Innovation & Enterprise Award

An exhibit linking science and technology to real world benefits and the economy.  Where a student considers a commercial or socioeconomic application of a project or has shown consultation with a social or economic stakeholder to inform a real world solution to a local problem or need. 

Sponsored by NorthTec

Airzone Math Award
An exhibit that uses the most suitable mathematical modelling for their project.
Sponsored by Airzone

Dental and Oral Health Award

An exhibit which investigates methods to impove or technology which assists in the improvement of oral or dental health. This includes oral health education tools, causes of disease, disease prevention and improved oral hygiene.

Sponsored by The Northland Branch of the New Zealand Dental Association

Advancement of Food Science & Technology Award
Exhibit relating to the study of food related topics including food safety, new or advancing formulations/ recipes, foods role in heath and well-being, the study of food ingredients, etc.
Sponsored by NZ Institute of Food Science & Technology

The Statistical Award

An exhibit displaying the best application of statistical methods and reasoning.

Students will need to work through some or all of the following actions:


* State the purpose of their investigation.

* Pose questions suitable for a scientific investigation.

* Define the variables that come from the experiment or survey.

* Design an experiment or a survey that fits this purpose. The design should aim to be representative and to avoid bias. Issues such as replication and randomization in experiments, and having a sufficient sample size, should be addressed. An existing administrative, experimental or survey dataset may be used as a source of data. (The dataset may be recent or historical. Some suitable datasets can be found at, or elsewhere).

* Locate and use external sources of information that support the investigation.

* Define the variables that come from this experiment or survey.

* Carry out the experiment or survey.

* Record notable features of the process.

* Edit, clean and assemble the dataset.

* Explore the dataset, to find and where possible explain variability: relationships and patterns, trends, and departures from these.

* Use appropriate graphical or other statistical procedures to explore the dataset. (Students should show understanding of the advantages and limitations of the analysis methods that they choose).

* Relate their findings to established scientific ideas.

* Report the results of the investigation.

* Use graphs to reveal the variability (patterns and departures from patterns) in their data.

* Use words, numbers and graphs working together to communicate the findings from their data.

* Discuss the value of the investigation in its context.

* State conclusions that are related to the purpose for the investigation. The conclusions should identify any aspects of the investigation that could be improved and any additional aspects of the problem which need to be investigated.

Sponsored by NZ Statistical Association and Statistics New Zealand

Nominations for the following Premier Awards are made by the Central Northland Science & Technology Fair Committee. 

The George (Hoori) Tuhiwai Memorial Award
Awarded to the best project which integrates traditional scientific knowledge with traditional Māori knowledge (Matauranga Māori) or an aspect of the traditional Māori world (Te Ao Māori).
Examples might include:
An Investigation into an important element of Māori life (Tuna or Kina for example) where the findings can then benefit scientists and Iwi.

Or: An Investigation into traditional Māori medicines and the elements/properties that make made them effective.

Or: A technology project which adapts or modifies traditional tools or methods to solve a modern day problem.
Eligible projects should display more depth than just naming things in English and Māori. A Māori world view should be evident and applied throughout the entire project.  It should be reflected in the topic, methods selected, reflection and application of any findings.

Sponsored by Northpower

Otago University "Hands on Science" Award

Years 11-12 ONLY. (Year 10 Students may be considered on the understanding that if selected they will have to wait a year to receive the prize.)
An exhibit that shows a clear statement of what the experiment is trying to discover or prove, with a clear statement of method and logical conclusion.
Note to Students: The prize is an all-expenses paid week at Summer School at Otago University during January.
For more information check out the Otago University Website.

Sponsored by the University of Otago and Canon NZ

Northpower Consistent Excellence Award

Years 12 - 13 ONLY
A tertiary award for a senior student continuing on to University education, who has entered three or more Science & Technology Fairs, consistently achieving a very high standard.

Note to Students:
The prize is a $1000 one-off payment to assist the winner with university costs. The student will be attending a New Zealand university within five years of obtaining the award. The winning payment is made to students who are New Zealand citizens or New Zealand residents, only upon proof of university enrolment being presented to the Central Northland Science & Technology Fair Committee.

Entry Criteria: To be eligible, students must:

  1. Be currently in Year 12 or 13 and have an entry in the current Science & Technology Fair.

  2. Have achieved a high standard in three or more Central Northland Science & Technology Fairs, achieving at a high level in these, as evidenced through winning awards. The current year can count as one of the three years.

The winning student will be nominated by the Central Northland Science & Technology Fair Committee, based on their performance in the current and previous Central Northland Science & Technology Fairs.

Sponsored by Northpower

Northland Regional Council Environmental Excellence Award

Awarded to the project which best demonstrates a scientific approach to solving environmental concerns affecting water and/or land.
This award recognises creative and innovative students whose project demonstrate a strong scientific approach to solving environmental issues and concerns which will, in turn, protect and enhance Northland’s environment. The region’s natural resources sustain our lives; we need to use these resources appropriately and sustainably.  For example, considering water and waste management, smarter transport, environmental enhancements and education and community initiatives.

Evaluation criteria:

  • Resources used appropriately and sustainably

  • Innovative ways to reduce environmental impact (clever design, new technology and behaviour change)

  • Regulatory and environmental compliance


Cash prize and senior student(s) may also get access to work experience arranged by Northland Regional Council

Sponsored by Northland Regional Council

Nomination for "The Prime Minister's Future Scientist Prize"

This prize is for a Year 12 or Year 13 student who has undertaken a science or technological/engineering project. This prize is worth $50,000 to the recipient. 50% of the prize will be awarded on selection and a further 50% awarded the following year.


  • Nominees must be studying in either Year 12 or Year 13 in a New Zealand school

  • Nominees must be either a New Zealand citizen or a New Zealand permanent resident.

  • Nominations may be made by either the school at which the student is studying or by the chief judge of a regional science and technology fair.

  • Nominations must be based because the student has undertaken a science research or technological development project; this may be undertaken for a science and technology fair entry, for a CREST or Brightsparks award (or similar structured programme), or a project that has been carried out by the student of their own volition.

  • Each nomination must be accompanied by a statement from the supervising or monitoring teacher and school principal verifying that the work reported is the student’s own work, setting out the extent of any assistance that the student has received from others.

  • Each applicant must provide a report (maximum six pages) on the scientific research or technological development, a one page statement setting out his or her wider contribution in school and local community, and a video illustrating the work undertaken. Raw data, graphs, computer outputs etc. may be included as appendices to the report.

Adjudication will be based on the following criteria:

  • Quality of literature review and objective setting process.

  • The quality of the design or investigative process for the research or development.

  • Execution of the developmental or investigative process.

  • Soundness of the interpretation of data and results.

  • The quality of conclusions reached in regard to application of the project or further work.

The nomination for this award is made by the Chief Judge for the Central Northland Science & Technology Fair. However, for the nomination to be confirmed and forwarded to The Royal Society of New Zealand for entry in the national award, the nominee must meet the eligibility requirements and provide the evidence required by The Royal Society of New Zealand. 

Follow this link for further information:

Entries must be received by The Royal Society of New Zealand by the due date.

Sponsored by The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) and administered by The Royal Society of New Zealand