The Great InsectBot Mission Competition

Step into a NASA engineer’s shoes to design and create a robot, inspired from insects’ unique characteristics, with the capability of surviving on Mars and win an exclusive tour at the Rocket Lab facilities. Competition for rangatahi in New Zealand aged between 10 and 16 years old.

The Prize!

The competition winner will receive amazing “money can’t buy experiences” including a visit to Rocket Lab facilities as a VIP, meet some Space Ambassadors, and even put their mark on a real rocket!
Other prizes will include a series of space and engineering themed experiences thanks to our generous partners.
Competition closing date: Tuesday 9th August 2022

Ask your parent/guardian to register for free on your behalf and get sent your Mission Guide. Start researching and learning more about insects, robots, and Mars using our resources and links.

Using what you’ve learned, begin sketching and designing your InsectBot, making sure you answer the key criteria (listed in the Mission Guide) that the judges will be looking for.

Submit your entry to by the closing date: 9 AUGUST 2022. If your design makes the top five entries chosen, you’ll be entered into the next stage of the competition and sent a starter kit so that you can bring your InsectBot design to life.

How it works...


Enter by registering for free. Using all the resources and tips we will release during July, start thinking about your InsectBot design. Submit your entry by the closing date – 9 August 2022.


Entries will be judged by a panel of experts and shortlisted. Five finalists will be chosen and sent an ‘InsectBot Starter Build Kit’ in order to build their robotic insect entry.

Finalist attend STEMFest in Tauranga

Finalists (along with their whānau*) will be invited to Tauranga STEM Festival (STEMFest) on Sunday 2nd October 2022 as VIPs to present their InsectBot to a panel of experts.

*Finalists will be offered a contribution towards travel expenses to Tauranga for STEMFest in October 2022.

Winner announced!

The winner will be selected and announced on the day of the Festival.

Sign up to the Mission!


Make sure you bookmark this page as we will be updating it with useful tips and hints as well as resources to help you design your InsectBot entry.

More Information

Who is the competition for?

Rangatahi in New Zealand aged between 10 and 16 years old who are curious or have a passion for space and engineering. Entries accepted from all over Aotearoa.

This project will help rangatahi understand the engineering process by guiding them through a series of design thinking principles to enable them to design a robotic insect for an extraterrestrial environment.

They will learn how to design their robotic insect to meet the requirements of a given environment; be able to adapt their designs to changes in any new information about the environment from our weekly resources.

This Week's Resources

Five finalists of the competition announced in late August, will receive an InsectBot Starter Building Kit which will include several components, the core compulsory elements being: Processor Sensor Motor When designing your InsectBot be sure to consider the above compulsory components and highlight them in your design. Our judging...

Sponsored By

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Activity Inspired By

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Competition closes 9 August 2022

The competition timeline


Competition launches. Register your entry for free.

Research & development period using resources and expert tips online at


Design and refine InsectBot concepts. Submit your design to before the closing date – 9 August 2022. Competition closes. Five finalists selected by panel of experts. Each finalist will be sent their ‘InsectBot Build Kit’ to help them bring their design to life.


Work on your InsectBot build by using the experts’ resources at Finalists will have until STEMFest to finalise your build.


Finalists present at STEMFest. Winner announced at the Festival!


Winner will claim an amazing series of out of this world prizes!

Click here to view the full terms and conditions. This competition is managed by STEM Wana Trust, Registered Charity CC56830.

Inspired by NASA/JPL activity

With thanks to STEMFest Funders Tourism Bay of Plenty & TECT and Headline Sponsor Manawa Energy