Primary And Intermediate Schools (Yrs 1-8)

The Tahi Rua Toru Tech Challenge uses a special versions of the Computer Science Unplugged programme to teach computational thinking to primary school students of all ages, without the use of computers.

Most students participate in the 123Tech Challenge as a classroom activity, however you can also enter through your local Code Club (check out for more information).

Check out our 2018 Discovery winners


123Tech for Primary Schools


123Tech Discovery: the starting point

Target level: Years 0-6 (Primary)

123Tech Discovery is made up of a number of specific and guided Digital Technologies-based activities that are performed generally offline. As the students complete their activities they make up a portfolio of learning, and when complete you can download their own 123Tech Certificate.

Discovery leve activities are generally based around the CS Unplugged material as a core, originally created by Prof Tim Bell at Canterbury University in Christchurch, but with age-appropriate guidance and structure around each activity to make it easy for teachers to administer and students to participate. Resources are available in English and Te Reo Māori.

Activities are based around a series of contexts. Each context offers a variety of activities providing the children the opportunity to:

  • solve a relevant problem set within a context
  • work in pairs or small groups
  • take part in practical, hands-on digital technology activities
  • think and talk about technology, during the activity and when sharing their ideas
  • share their ideas

Teachers can choose to deliver 123Tech's Discovery programme to the whole class or smaller groups with each student keeping their own portfolio of learning and achieving their Awards.


123Tech First Challenge: the challenge for Years 5-8

Target level:Years 5-8 (Senior Primary / Intermediate)

123Tech First Challenge is a team-based digital technology project challenge based on our successfull TechHub Challenge which was previously only availble to years 9 and 10.  The 123Tech Challenge has comprehensive age and learning-level appropriate support and guidance.

Similar but more advanced levels operate at secondary school (123Tech Secondary and Senior Secondary).

Each level builds on the previous in terms of the depth and complexity of both the process and the outcome. The challenge breif is simple, students must identify a problem in their own school or community and create a digital technologies-based solution to solve it.

The Challenge includes:

  • Sharing the learning journey via a blog (safe platform provided for teams).
  • Deciding on an interesting problem to solve that meets the Challenge breif (student groups are supported to develop a Project Plan – more structured at later levels)
  • Sharing and discussing the idea with an industry Mentor (provided as part of the Challenge), and getting advice on how to progress
  • Exploring ideas with some trial and error, and deciding on an aim, need and opportunity.
  • Carrying out the plan – with the support of the Mentor and Teacher, and using all resources at their disposal, try to solve the challenge and problem.
  • Pivoting is encouraged! Changing if necessary and revising as they go along.
  • Reporting interesting aspects of the project to others and on the blog.
  • Self-assessing using the assessment criteria provided and discussing with the teacher and mentor.
  • Completing a short report on how it went and reflecting on learning.

Those who successfully complete the Challenge to a suitable standard will be able to download a 123Tech First Certificate. Teachers and Code Club coordinators can then select the best projects to go forward to the Regional Championship. Winners of the Regional Championship can go on to enter the National Awards.

In earlier years (as the TechHub Challenge) the challenge question was based around mobile app development, however as part of the expanded Challenge, it now includes using any relevant digital technologies to solve the challenge problem.


Regional and National Championship

The Discovery and First 123Tech Challenge activities are completed in the classroom over 10-12 weeks and are a great way to get children to engage in the new Digital Technologies & Hangarau Matihiko curriculum content while working towards the DT&HM curriculum Progress Outcomes.

The Regional and National 123Tech Championships at the Discovery level are a fun and challenging event for those who excel at the activities in the classroom.

Teams participating in the Championship will come together and be given a series of Discovery-like activities to complete, gaining points based on their speed and success. The team with the most points will be crowned the Regional Winner and have the opportunity to travel to Wellington to compete in the National Championship.


More information

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

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