Samsung Solve for Tomorrow now open to NCEA Level Students

Teenagers are natural innovators, constantly coming up with new ideas and fresh ways of thinking, that influence the world around them – everything from inventing new slang, to sparking conversations about important issues and developing epic new solutions to real-world problems.

Adolescence is a great time for ideation, with young minds fuelled with creativity and originality, without yet being held back by limitations. That’s why, following feedback from teachers across the country, Samsung is so excited to be extending the entry age for its STEAM competition, Solve for Tomorrow! Entries are now open to Kiwi students in years 7-10 AND years 11-13.

About the competition

Solve for Tomorrow is a nationwide competition challenging New Zealand’s next generation of innovators to change the world for good, whilst sparking a passion for science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths subjects (STEAM), and building design thinking skills.

Delivered in partnership with MOTAT, Solve for Tomorrow tasks students to show how STEAM can be applied to help solve an issue in their communities. The competition is now open to all secondary school students, with entries judged in two age categories, years 7-10 and years 11-13. Winning individuals or teams will share $24,000 in prize money and Samsung tech for them and their school!

You have the option to submit a project plan and receive early judges’ feedback – just submit before 24 June 2024. While optional, in keeping with design thinking principles, taking the opportunity to receive and implement feedback will strengthen your entry. Samsung and MOTAT highly recommend this step.

The programme has been designed to align with New Zealand’s National Education and Learning Priorities, and many of the STEAM and design thinking principles students are using for NCEA projects can be applied to Solve for Tomorrow.

Plus, if you’re planning on entering your students into a regional science fair, did you know that it is super easy to adapt your Science Fair entry for Solve for Tomorrow? The 2022 winners did exactly that!

2023 winners

Last year’s entrants came up with some mind-blowing ideas. However, while some winning ideas were very high tech, others came from simple insights and ideas – a good reminder that simple can sometimes be best!

To tackle Rotorua’s wallaby problem and protect its native forests, 2023 winner, Cameron Moore, designed a Humane trap for wallabies that doesn’t harm any of the other local wildlife. He even created a prototype of his invention, using the design thinking process and technology like artificial intelligence.

Auckland year 8 student, Thomas Costar, was awarded second place, designing a revolutionary drainage system that could be built into homes across the country to prevent energy loss.

Two entries received highly commended too – Sarah Perera invented a completely sustainable pen that biodegrades naturally; and Archie Gilchrist created “The Kiwi Saver” to protect our native bird from predators.


We have a number of opportunities to get extra support, through webinars, resources, latest updates and more. Head to the Solve for Tomorrow website to access these:

Key deadlines

  • 1 May: Entries open
  • 24 June: Project Plan submissions close 
  • 15 July: Project plan feedback provided
  • 2 Sept: Final entry deadline
  • 24 Sept: Winners announced

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