Energising Young Minds FAQ’s

What is Energising Young Minds?

Energising Young Minds is a competition run by School-gen.

 What is School-gen

School-gen is a Genesis Energy community initiative open to all New Zealand schools and their local communities.  Since 2006 School-gen has helped Schools teach children about energy, providing free, fun educational resources.


School-gen is running Energising Young Minds because we want to encourage young New Zealanders to get interested in science, technology, engineering and maths. We reckon the more Kiwi kids can get enthused in these subjects, the better.

Why is Genesis involved in Schools?

Genesis is the company that powers the School-gen programme. As an electricity retailer and generator, Genesis rely on a huge amount of combined know-how from the worlds of science, technology, engineering and maths.We also know New Zealand’s progress in this complex and fast-changing world will be influenced by the ability of our population to develop and harness skills in these areas. The Energising Young Minds competition is about helping schools to have the tools they need to engage kids in these important subjects.

What’s the prize?

We’re giving away $50,000 in total, made up of $25,000, $15,000 and $10,000 prizes to spend on science and technology equipment that will help their students engage in STEM learning.
Schools might consider things like a solar array so students can learn about renewable energy on the School-gen website or cool stuff like 3D printers, VR goggles and robotics kits.

 How does the competition work?

It’s easy. Schools enter (or are nominated) the competition and then have to get their local community to vote for them.
People can vote once a day up until 2 April 2018, so it’s important to get the message out to as many people as possible.
When voting closes on 2 April the top five schools will go forward to a judging panel made up of a Genesis Executive and two external judges.
To make sure it’s fair, we’ll be dividing the total number of votes by the school role – which means a small school won’t be disadvantaged.
Winning schools will be decided based on the challenges they hope the prize will address when teaching science, tech and maths and how they plan to engage their students in these subjects. 

Does the school need to be okay with entering? Yes! It’s important the School gets on board and that’s why our School-gen team will get in touch with them. 

How long will it take to get entries up?
Within two business working days of receiving the entry. We may need to resize the photo that is provided and check other aspects of the entry.
As soon as the entry has been approved, it will appear on the website and people can start voting for the school.

What can a school do to encourage their school community to vote?
We’re keen for Energising Young Minds to be publicised in as many ways as possible. Schools will know what works best for them, and we expect publicity channels will include school websites, posters, and even competitions within schools to encourage students to come up with ways of maximising the votes they receive from their community.

When are the winners announced?

We plan to announce the lucky winners on 30 April 2018.

Why only three prizes? What about the hundreds of other schools who are interested in this stuff?

Our revamped School-gen website makes STEM-based learning available to all schools around New Zealand, free of charge. It’s packed full of useful information, including instructional videos that show STEM learning in action. We’ll make sure these resources are regularly updated, based on feedback from students, teachers and parents.

How will schools get the $$?

Each winning school will work with the School-gen team to determine how best to spend the money. Under the Terms and Conditions, the school must spend it on equipment that will support science, technology, engineering and math learning. The products will then be purchased by the school and an invoice for the prize money sent to School-gen who will have Genesis reimburse the school. The school must attach the invoices they have received for the products for reconciliation.

Note that the prize money is GST exclusive – so that’s a bonus!

Which schools are eligible to enter?

All New Zealand schools are eligible to enter. The school doesn’t have to be a Genesis energy customer, and it doesn’t have to be a member of the School-gen programme.

How can small schools compete against big schools?

To make sure it’s fair we’ll be dividing the total number of votes by the school roll – which means a small school won’t be disadvantaged.

What are School-gen’s policies in relation to the use of information provided by the school / students entering the competition?

We will keep all personal information in accordance with Genesis’ Privacy Policy (which can be viewed at www.genesisenergy.co.nz).

Who can vote?

The more the merrier! Energising Young Minds is open to anyone to vote:  teachers, students, parents or members of the general public or local school community who have an interest in encouraging STEM-based learning at a school they care about.

Can a person vote in the competition more than once?

Yes, but no more than once a day for the period of the competition.

What happens if someone tries to set something up to automate voting?

Well we hope that won’t happen but we can actually identify automated voting. If it happens we’ll be in touch with the school and will take action from there.

How will the winners be selected?

The top five schools as voted for by their community will be put forward as Energising Young Minds finalists, and the three competition winners will be selected from these five.
A judging panel will choose the winning three schools based on the challenges they hope the prize will address when teaching science, tech and maths and how they plan to engage their students in these subjects.

How will the judges make that assessment?

School-gen will talk to each school to get information on what challenges they are facing in teaching around science, technology, engineering and maths and how they plan to overcome them. This information will be provided to the judging panel.

Who’s on the judging panel?

We’re still working our final details, but you should expect the panel to be comprised of a senior Genesis person alongside two external judges.