Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Here’s everything you need to know about the ASB Bright Sparks competition.

If you have a burning question that we haven’t answered, don’t hesitate to flick us an email at

Entry Information

Can I enter more than one school technology competition?

Yes. You can enter as many other competitions as you like and still enter ASB Bright Sparks.

Does it cost anything to enter?

No, it’s free to enter ASB Bright Sparks. If you make it through as a finalist and live outside Auckland, travel for you and one parent to attend the awards evening is free. You can also get selected parts and components sent to you, simply join the The ASB Bright Sparks Club to find out how.

When do entries open?

The entry form will be available online from September 10.

To stay up-to-date and to get notified when the entry form is released, sign up to the ASB Bright Sparks club here or email us at

When do entries close?

Midday October 4.

How do I enter the competition?

This year, all entries need to be submitted digitally. Once entries open on September 10, an online entry form will be made available. You’ll need to provide your details, submit a photo, get parental consent and submit a video to show off your project. We’ll provide you with guidelines on how best to represent your project in video form.

Who can enter?

Anyone enrolled in a New Zealand primary, intermediate or secondary school in 2018.

Where do I send my entry to?

We are not accepting projects by mail this year. All entries need to be in video form and submitted digitally. We want you to show off your project using the art of film - showcasing the building and planning processes, plus demonstrate your project’s amazing abilities and gadgets.

Further video requirement details will be provided.

Project Answers

Does my project have to involve some electronics or programming?

Yes. Even if your project is science, engineering or environment based, the judges want to see a connection to the high-tech product world. That connection could be broader than just including software and electronics. To get some inspiration, check out past entries and last year’s winners. You can also sign up to the ASB Bright Sparks club here where you can talk to mentors and peers, plus get tips and tricks for your project.

What category should my project go in?

The entry guidelines, which will be released later, will help you select a project category. You can enter your project into more than one category. If you’re still not sure, our judges will sort out what categories are a good match. You can also ask for advice through our forum.  

Mine is a software project, do I need to list all my code?

No. List the key sections of code, so we can judge your work. Remember to add annotations (notes in your code), to explain the most important lines.

Can I send my entry by email or on a flashdrive?

If you are having trouble uploading everything to the online entry form, then you can send your documents and videos to us at along with a completed copy of the entry form.

Can I enter more than one project?

Yes. You can enter as many projects as you like, but you’ll need a separate entry form for each.

Can I enter with a friend?

Yes. You and up to four friends can enter a single project, but any prize must be shared. Each person who worked on the project needs be included on the entry form.

Does my project have to be finished and working?

No. You can enter an unfinished project. We understand that many projects may encounter issues or are works in progress. Some unfinished projects have won top prizes in the past, so this won’t hinder your chances.

Can my project be one I made as part of my schoolwork?

Yes. Your project can be something you made in class time.

Am I allowed to receive help?

Yes. You are allowed help (mentoring) for your project, but you must tell us that on your entry form.

What else should I include with my project?

To give your project the best chance of being selected, you should upload any diagrams, photos, drawings, key code and notes that will help the judges understand how your project operates and how you developed it. This should accompany your video entry.

About the judging

Who are the judges?

Our judges are an independent panel of industry leaders. The seven expert judges are from various fields, such as technology, innovation, science, environment and electronics.

What are the judges looking for?

Judges assess your project on skill level, but also look for creativity, passion and potential.

Finalists, awards and winners!

Will I find out if I’m a finalist?

Yes. Finalists will be notified on October 8.

The list of finalists will be shared on the ASB Bright Sparks Facebook page and listed on our website.

How many projects are chosen for the awards?

It depends on the quality of the projects, but the judges normally choose around 40 finalists.

What happens if my project gets chosen?

If you’re one of our finalists, you will be invited to bring your project to the awards ceremony and project showcase in Auckland. If you (and one parent) need to travel from elsewhere in the country, we will cover the cost.

When is the awards night?

The official date is yet to be decided, but the awards night will be in November. Further details of the awards ceremony and project showcase will be announced closer to the time.