Since July 2022, STEMFest has been running a competition open to rangatahi across Aotearoa aged between 10-16 years of age.

We challenged them to 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. Five Finalists were chosen from all the entries and in September the five were sent an electronic kit to help bring their design/concept to life.

On Sunday the 2nd of October we invited our finalists to showcase their work and present their InsectBot creations to the thousands of visitors to STEMFest as well as the panel of expert judges.

Well done to all our amazing finalists for all their hard work, the judges were incredibly impressed the level of skill and creativity shown. After much deliberation, the judges came to an agreement and the winner was announced…

Congratulations to Matai for winning with his creation “SpiderRoach”!

Matai’s prizes includes a Stargazing with NZ Astrobiology Network, an exclusive class session with Space Dave from Te Awamutu Space Centre and a visit to Rocket Lab NZ facilities to meet some engineers working in the Space sector right here in Aotearoa. A huge thanks to all our friends for offering such amazing prizes.

Not only that, here’s a very special message for Matai from NASA Astronaut Dr. Kate Rubins.

The Great InsectBot Mission Competition 2022 has been funded by the US State Department.