About 123Tech


Partnering with the Ministry of Education, the IT industry is supporting the introduction of the new Digital Technologies & Hangarau Matihiko curriculum into schools and kura with the 123Tech Challenge. The Challenge is a great way to get started with DT&HM in the classroom.

In the challenge, small teams of 3-4 students complete a project-based challenge either in-class in schools, or through a local Code Club. Most will complete it as a classroom activity but the model caters to both.

The 123Tech Challenge is for everyone, not just tech geniuses (although they’re welcome too!). We partner you with an industry mentor and provide all the guidance and support you need to make a real difference – and maybe even win fame and fortune along the way!

Find out more about the Challenge below.

123Tech is New Zealand’s exciting digital challenge for school students built around the successful TechHub Challenge. Through 123Tech, we’ll help you solve problems in your local school or community using digital technologies – and have fun along the way!

Structure of the Challenge

The in-school component of the 123Tech Challenge is built around the very successful TechHub Challenge, previously operating at Years 9 and 10 but now available at all school levels across years 1-13.


Challenge levels

The 123Tech Challenge is available across the following school levels:

Discovery Challenge (Years 1-6)

Primary school students (years 1-6) undertake a series of heavily guided activities in small groups and build up a portfolio of completed activities. Those who complete 8 or more activities receive a Primary CREST Award and can participate in the Regional then National 123Tech Championship (details below).

Find out more about Discovery Challenge

(Primary and Intermediate teachers: Don’t forget to check out the First Challenge – below – for years 5-8 as well – available now)


First Challenge (Years 5-8)

Secondary Challenge (Years 9-10)

Senior Secondary Challenge (Years 11-13)

Small teams of 3-4 students identify a problem in their school or local community and with the guidance of an industry mentor, use Digital Technologies to solve it. The challenge can be undertaken as a term-long in-class challenge or through the school’s Code Club.

Students record their progress in an online blog, learn to create a project plan, execute, then produce a short report at the end. They’re guided through the whole process with great resources for teachers and students.

Each Challenge level is closely linked to the Digital Technologies and Hangarau Matihiko Progress Outcomes in the new curriculum content. The work undertaken through the projects at secondary and senior secondary levels can also be considered for NCEA assessments .

Those who complete the Challenge receive a Award certificate and can participate in the Regional then National 123Tech Championship (details below).

Find out more about Challenge for years 5-13


The new DT&HM Curriculum

In December 2017 the new Digital Technologies and Hangarau Matihiko curriculum changes were officially launched, becoming a requirement for all schools to teach from years 1 to 10.

The changes include new Progress Outcomes in each of the following areas:

  • Computational thinking for digital technologies
  • Designing and developing digital outcomes

These areas sit within the NZ Curriculum under the revised Technology Learning Area:

Computational thinking is about understanding the computer science principles that underlie all digital technologies, and learning how to develop instructions, such as programming, to control these technologies.

Designing and developing digital outcomes is about understanding that digital systems and applications are created for humans by humans, and developing knowledge and skills in using different digital technologies to create digital content across a range of digital media. This part of the curriculum also includes learning about the electronic components and techniques used to design digital devices.

The 123Tech Challenge weaves across both of these technological areas and also has relevance to other areas of the Technology learning area. The Challenge relates and integrates directly to the DT&HM Progress Outcomes, meaning it’s a great tool to begin teaching to the new curriculum requirements right now.


Regional and National Championships

All participating schools, kura and code clubs throughout New Zealand can nominate teams for the Regional Championship. Finalists in each level will be selected in each of the following areas:

  • Tai Tokerau (Northland)
  • Auckland
  • Waikato
  • Bay of Plenty / Rotorua / Taupo
  • Hawkes Bay / Gisborne
  • Taranaki / Whanganui / Manawatu
  • Wellington
  • Nelson / Marlborough / West Coast
  • Canterbury
  • Otago / Southland

Finalists will be interviewed by a friendly panel of industry and education experts from within their region with the winners for that year announced at an awesome awards event and expo in each region.

All Regional Winners are automatically entered into the National Championship.

One team at each level will be crowned the National Winners for 2020 in front of a national audience. There will also be a “people’s choice” award, and a number of additional awards for teachers.

If you’re keen to learn more, check out how to participate

Or if you’re a Teacher or Code Club coordinator, sign up now for more info.