Notes and resources

Your team

This competition is open to all ākonga (students) with interest in technology and digital technology, visual communication, design, arts, social sciences.

As a conceptual design competition, you do not need specialist skills in digital technology. This competition involves thinking about human behaviour and applying knowledge to create a real-life solution.

You are required to form a team of no less than 5 eligible students/ākonga. Different people bring different skills and perspectives to the table. When we procure design services in business, we are relying on teams of people working together to produce a solution – usually within a specified time-period. This is the same process. Think about your team make-up. What skills, talents, lived experience and/or knowledge may benefit and enhance your design?

You may work as a class or class group or you may choose to work across Year levels within your school, across schools, across kahui ako, with students both inside and outside your own school or form a group with a non-school identity to work on your submission. It is up to you – just make sure you meet the Terms & Conditions – and that all members meet the eligibility criteria.  

Your supervisor/mentor

You need to find yourself an adult who will act as your team supervisor/mentor and co-ordinator.

As the name suggests, this needs to be someone who your team can rely on to fulfil the roles of team supervisor, mentor and co-ordinator.

This person’s key duties and responsibilities will include:

  • registering your team for the competition
  • being the key and sole communication contact between ourselves and your team
  • guiding the team to ensure all participants are aware of the competition requirements
  • acting as team co-ordinator to ensure all participants are actively engaged, informed and supported during and throughout the competition
  • mentoring and supporting your team as you progress through your conceptual design process – sourcing further resources and supports as required to assist you
  • supporting your team to plan, achieve deadlines and meet submission requirements
  • supporting and co-ordinating your team travel and arrangements if selected as finalist

Competition registration requirements are the role of your team co-ordinator. You will be required to provide the following details on registration:

  • the name of your team (be creative)
  • the number of team members
  • the Year levels of team members
  • the name of your kura/school (or group if not entering as a kura/school)
  • the name, contact email and phone number of your team key contact.

All competition correspondence will be sent through the key contact.

We do not require personal information of individual team members at registration. Instead, group key contacts are required to keep a record of team members by name and contact information.

Selected finalist teams will be required to submit this list as confirmation of participants on request.

Wellbeing engagement exercise

If not already completed at kura/school level, competition teams are strongly encouraged to familiarise themselves with the Student Wellbeing Measures student engagement exercise so you are aware of the nature of the information being collected that will be used to inform the wellbeing indicators.

You may access this information through one of the following options:

  • As a team, undertake the class student engagement workshop with your team supervisor/mentor as facilitator.

Facilitator/teacher handbooks and kits are available to support this engagement free of charge via an email request to

  • As individuals – undertake the interactive student module.

Interactive Student Module(external link)

Note: this option is not available after June 30.

These engagement sessions provide some further background behind the project and take participants through the key base questions underlying the concept of student wellbeing. Your team can use this understanding to help inform your design process.

The wellbeing questions are proposed using the domains in the Child & Youth Wellbeing Strategy Framework.

Indicators for Success — Child Youth and Wellbeing(external link)

Design process

Design thinking – TKI(external link)

This competition focuses on the Empathise/Define (Think | Whaakaro) and the Ideate (Design | Hoahoa) stages.

Cheryl Pym – Attributes and conceptual design PLD Youtube Video:

Attributes and conceptual design – YouTube(external link)

A proposed approach to the brief for students

The design cycle process generally involves a number of steps which we have broadly categorised for the purposes of this competition into a 'think' phase comprised of:

  • defining and understanding the problem
  • collecting information
  • formulating key design parameters.

and a 'Design' phase comprised of:

  • brainstorming and analysing ideas
  • developing/defining a solution
  • testing the solution
  • improving the solution.

We therefore recommend approaching this brief in 2 key phases. The first being a Think (Whakaaro) phase and the second a Design (Hoahoa) phase.

Phase 1: Think (Whakaaro)

In selecting finalists, as in our approach to selecting successful submissions in competitive real-life procurement processes, we are interested in those design approaches and solutions that show the submitters clearly understand the target audience, the purpose of the tool and the key outcomes of the brief.

In this phase, you should look to explore and research as much information as you can in relation to the Ministry’s Student Wellbeing Measures project and the purpose of this competition. Be familiar with the brief overview and full information. You may need to undertake some further mahi to develop a clear understanding of who you are designing for and what you are designing. Researching in your own kura/schools/communities could involve you talking to other ākonga and students, classes or groups. Remember to keep your research focused on the outcomes that will inform and define your design solution.  Your investigations should give you some clear boundaries, clarify your ideas and contribute to your design options.

Some questions to consider to inform your Think approach:

  • What problem are we trying to solve?
  • Who are we solving this problem for? (Who are the different types of ākonga and student users that this affects?)
  • How do we manage and prioritise competing issues so we can develop the best design outcome?

Remember also that in competitive procurement processes, we offer the submission opportunity to specific skilled groups, so we benefit from their subject matter expertise in providing innovative and knowledgeable design solutions. In this case, we are offering this opportunity to ākonga and students because we believe you are the subject matter experts!

We want to use your expertise as ākonga and students AND as digitally competent youth and rangitahi in exploring and understanding ākonga/student behaviour. For this reason, consider that a significant part of your design Think process needs to explore the following:

  • What features of digital technology ensure ākonga/students/youth will engage with a tool that requires the collection of personal information?
  • What features of digital technology encourage engagement and repeated engagement?
  • What makes ākonga/students want to use this tool?
  • How will this tool improve user experience and empower them?

As a matter of developing good design skills, we encourage you to take notes of all of your research, how you gathered the information and what the outcomes were of your exploration. This information is just as important as the final design you create as it defines the foundations and values of why you have chosen the design you have. However, a key skill in responding to a design brief is your ability to synthesis this research and understanding and use it to inform your design approach. We will NOT ask for your research. Rather, in your submission, you will be required to succinctly communicate your design approach and decisions as informed by your research.

As you wind up your Think phase, your team should be clear about the following:

  • Why have you chosen to go in the design direction you choose?
  • What informed you?
  • How did you choose what was important as your design focus and perhaps how did your investigation process help you choose what to leave out?
  • How did your research inform and modify your approach?

Phase 2: Design (Hoahoa)

Now that you have a good understanding of who you are designing for and have defined the design attributes that will achieve the outcomes of the brief, you can start to create ideas of what type of tool might help solve this problem.

In the Design phase, you will want to spend some time brainstorming all your ideas, sketching them, writing them, or even designing them in low fidelity (not a lot of detail). This way you can quickly get an idea of what has the most value before spending too much time perfecting what the final outcome might look like.

Take time to combine the best parts of your different ideas, and try to find some common trends across your work that link back to the investigations you have done e.g., This idea works really well because it would be something students would want to do, but this idea works well because it is easily accessed by ākonga and students across Aotearoa, how might we combine both?

In your initial design ideas, reflect on what you learnt in your Think phase and consider the following questions:

  • Does this idea solve the problem or meet the need we identified in our research?
  • Does this idea work for all target students across Aotearoa?
  • Does this idea maximise engagement of the target ākonga/student group?
  • Is this idea engaging: Would ākonga and students want to use it? Does it meet the key design features?
  • Does this idea support the functionality of the overall design solution?
  • Does this idea meet the key design features?

As you develop your design solution, you might also want to consider testing your ideas with other ākonga and students. This will require you to clearly communicate your design solution to others through drawing, basic prototype creation, explanation or writing. This process alone will help you to hone your design approach – removing ambiguity and clarifying your skill in communicating your design direction. In addition, the feedback provided by potential end-users will help to directly define and improve your design solution.

Your final design should be in the format outlined in the full brief information. Make sure to identify in the work you submit, what your final design is and why you have chosen it. Compare the final outcome to the questions you have asked along the way and where relevant, show us how it aligns with the things you found out in your research.

Your final submission should be your story, and you are telling this story to us by taking us on a journey with you, showing us how you have understood the design challenge, how you have informed your design thinking, how that turned into ideas and how those ideas become your final designs.

Remember to keep to the total submission word count and use annotations where relevant to help the judges follow your thinking.

Judging rubric

The Judging Rubric has been designed by the judging panel for their use when marking.

Judging Rubric [PDF, 1.4 MB]

Please note that the guidance in italics are just that: guidance. These are not judging requirements. If your team requires further guidance, please refer to the ‘submission tips’ which can be found in the long version of the brief.

Additional technological guidance for team supervisors/mentors

General information to support technology education including resource tabs and examples.
Technology Online – TKI(external link)

Outlines of planning, brief development, outcome development and evaluation including examples and related resources tabs.

Technological practice – TKI(external link)

General resources and glossary 

Resources – TKI(external link)

Glossary (external link)(external link) TKI(external link)

Questions and answers 

Don’t forget to keep up to date with the Q&A section on the competition webpage. We will be updating this regularly throughout the competition period based on your queries.

Questions and answers

Finally, you are not limited to the above resources. You can source any additional material you want to formulate your design solution. You are also not obliged to follow any resource based ‘rules’.

We want you to focus on fulfilling the brief.

Be brave, creative, innovative and have fun!

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