Previous winners

Read about previous competition participants, winning entries and the questions the teams worked on.

2021 results

The 2021 competition was held on 7 August 2021. The question was:

How many 1 in 100 year extreme weather events can NZ expect to experience over the course of the next decade?

202 teams from 61 schools across New Zealand took part.

Winners of The Pullan Prize for first place ($6000)

  • Team 1004 from Westlake Boys High School, Auckland (Year 13): Nate Williamson, Adam Bodicoat, Michael Zhou, Taewon Yun

Runners Up ($2000 for each team)

  • Team 122 from Northcote College, Auckland (Year 12/13): Scott Kwon, Jeremy Ballard, Michael Rubie-Wong, Alex Brown
  • Team 1007 From St Peter’s School, Cambridge (Year 13): Christopher Graham, Andrew Qiu, Jimmy Gan, Lincoln Hannah

Highly Commended

  • Team 1015 from Epsom Girls Grammar School, Auckland (Year 13): Prakhya Mathur, Winola Hu, Sophia He, Aldonza Watt
  • Team 39 from King's College, Auckland (Year 13): Felix Duan, Alvin Zhu, Thomas Gordon, Reagan Wang
  • Team 31 from Kristin School, Auckland (Year 12/13): Lillian Yuan, Jerry Song, Sophia Fang, Selwyn Liu
  • Team 105 from Papatoetoe High School, Auckland (Year 12): Vandan Bhatt, Talha Ashraf, Aryan Patel, Fergus Lee
  • Team 99 from Rangitoto College, Auckland (Year 12): Sun-woong Kang, Junzhe Li, David Zhu, Zalan Varga
  • Team 147 from Sacred Heart College, Auckland (Year 12/13): William Waters, Brandon Toh, John Dominic Alo, Ciaran Baker
  • Team 144 from Wellington College, Wellington (Year 11/12/13): Haveesha Perera, Chinmay Madhusudhan, Benjamin Hong, Abhishek Balram
  • Team 1014 from Whanganui High School, Whanganui (Year 12/13): Akshima Marwah, Blair Gowan, Troy Brennan, Calum Sinclair

2020 results

The 2020 competition was held on 1 August 2020. The question was:

How many satellites can be launched into orbit before astronomers on Earth can no longer observe the night sky without interruption?

267 teams from 81 schools across New Zealand — and our first Cook Island team — took part.


The Pullan Prize for first place ($6000)

Team 1200 from Auckland Grammar School, Auckland (Year 13): Nathan Jiaming Chen, Zhiyuan Qi, James Patrick Harnett, Luke William McCallum

Runners Up ($2000 for each team)

Team 1048 from Kristin School, Auckland (Year 12): Kevin Wei, Ethan Miller-Goulter, Sally Minkyo Kim, Hee Seo Kim

Team 1274 from Macleans College, Auckland (Year 13): Darsh Chaudhari, Daniel Ahn, Jimmy Zhou, Yunge Yu

Highly Commended

  • Team 1035 from Liston College, Auckland (Year 13): Matthew Ross, Micah Sullivan, Jacob Mathew, Michael Kennedy
  • Team 1052 from Kristin School, Auckland (Year 13): Elim Lin, John Yu, Kunli Zhang, Vanessa Xiong
  • Team 1100 from King’s College, Auckland (Year 12/13): Hanbo Xie, Nathaniel Masfen-Yan, Oliver Vannoort, Ethan Kyle
  • Team 1132 from Rangitoto College, Auckland (Year 13): Julia Zhang, Sisya Jiang, Anna Hua, Andrew Lee
  • Team 1158 from Auckland Grammar School, Auckland (Year 13): Ayaan Shahidali Saiyad, Mackinley He, Sven Jansen-Snip, Arnav Shekaran
  • Team 1160 from Macleans College, Auckland (Year 12/13): Abhinav Chawla, Ranudi Lelwala, Michael He, Sanjit Ramesh Chandran
  • Team 1237 from King’s High School, Dunedin (Year 11/12): Narayan Shastri, Samuel Blackwood, Radin Vajedi, Scott Butler-Pollock
  • Team 1254 from John McGlashan College, Dunedin (Year 13): Joe Mu, Ben Monaghan, Simon Basel, Chris Denton

2019 results

The 2019 competition was held on 3 August 2019. The question was:

If you had a million dollars to spend on online marketing, what percentage of the NZ population could you persuade to sign a petition that you wanted championed?

212 teams took part with entries from 77 schools throughout New Zealand.


The Pullan Prize for first place ($6000)

Team 1049 from Kristin School, Auckland (Year 13): Haoshu Wang, Chris Brand, Casper Wong, James Baker

Runners Up ($2000 for each team)

Team 1140 from Riccarton High School, Christchurch (Year 13): Leah Albrow, Aislinn Rogers, Angus Howden, Daniel Bruerton

Team 1079 from Macleans College, Auckland (Year 13): Isabel Li, Nicholas Yao, Kevin Hou, Richard Jiang

Highly Commended

  • Team 1100 from ACG Parnell College, Auckland (Year 13): Mina Cullen, Dexter Tan, Sidhaarth Kumar, Travis Manning
  • Team 1152 from ACG Parnell College, Auckland (Year 12): Andrew Evans, Zachary Amir, Antony Razzell, Aarnob Guha
  • Team 1197 from Auckland Grammar School, Auckland (Year 13): Kefei Zheng, Yusef Wilson, Sumukha Viswakarma, Alexander George Hornung
  • Team 1203 from Buller High School, Westport (Year 12/13): Rata Roa, Michae Suleman, Conor Dunlop, Lottie Stevenson
  • Team 1017 from Epsom Girls Grammar School, Auckland (Year 12/13) Els Jermyn, Asiya Katamat, Jessica Ou, Sharon Susanto
  • Team 1157 from Rangitoto College, Auckland (Year 12): Julia Zhang, Anna Hua, Sisya Jiang, Andrew Lee
  • Team 1121 from Rosehill College, Auckland (Year 12): Ramandeep Singh, Jasmeet Singh, Gabe Jonson, Harrison Carnahan
  • Team 1109 from Takapuna Grammar School, Auckland (Year 13): Libby Lord, Hannah Kim, Kyubin Lim
  • Team 1026 from Westlake Boys High School, Auckland (Year 13): Kaiwen Zhu, Matthew Lai, Yiming Xu, Simon Lai

2018 results

The 2018 competition was held on 4 August 2018. The question was:

How many tonnes of CO2 emissions could be avoided in your lifetime if New Zealand transitions to a completely electric vehicle fleet?

199 teams took part with entries from 75 schools throughout New Zealand.


The Pullan Prize for first place ($6000)

Team 1006 from Hillcrest High School, Hamilton (Mixed Year 12/13): Alice Ke, Maayan Levy, Belinda Yang, Gabriel Pan

Runners Up ($2000 for each team)

Team 1101 from King's High School, Dunedin (Year 13): Josh Stewart, Asher Quin, Alex Van der Weerden, George Bates

Team 1110 from Kristin School, Auckland (Year 13): Kane Wang, Denis Xu, Andy Jiang, Marty Kim

Highly Commended

  • Team 1048 from ACG Parnell College, Auckland (Year 13): Dunbar Sloane, Joel Hutchinson, Sasha Kilmartin, William Winspear
  • Team 1183 from Auckland Grammar School (Year 13): Steven Ma, Taiji Endo, Callan Loomes, Omar Nosseir
  • Team 1199 from Botany Downs Secondary College, Auckland (Year 12): Yash Shahri, Owen Eng, Daniel Liang, Wa Ben Wong
  • Team 1162 from King's College, Auckland (Mixed Year 11/12/13 ): Regan Chen, Marcus Ooi, Tony Zhang, Johnathan Leung
  • Team 1082 from Macleans College, Auckland (Year 12): Isabel Li, Elizabeth Koh, Nicholas Yao, Kevin Hou
  • Team 1140 from Mount Albert Grammar School, Auckland (Year 13): Miriam Leonhardt, Karen Geng, Anvilly Huang, Lance Martinez
  • Team 1211 from Palmerston North Girls' High School (Year 13): Lisabet Morgan, Emily Hunt, Lydia Bamford
  • Team 1122 from St Peter's College, Epsom, Auckland (Year 13): Leon Southey-Ray, Jack Kleinsman, Luka Hayward, Elliott Marshall
  • Team 1014 from Takapuna Grammar School, Auckland (Year 13): Aradhya Chawla, Brad Tan, Jia Qi Li
  • Team 1187 from Timaru Boys' High School (Mixed Year 11/13): Thomas Howard Valentine, Cole Robert Melhopt, Matthew William Lang, Reed David Stevenson

2017 results

The 2017 question was:

“How many rocket launches from Mahia Peninsula would it take to establish a lunar colony?”

180 teams took part with entries from 70 schools throughout New Zealand.


The Pullan Prize for first place ($6,000)
Team 1003 from Kristin School (Mixed Year 12/13): Jake Lyons, Amar Hamilton Vincent, Felicity Qin, Joshua Sampson

Runners up ($2,000 for each team)

  • Team 1116 from ACG Parnell College (Year 13): Arnav Shetty, Angus Berrington, Raghav Ramachandran, Daniel Jeng
  • Team 1131 from Mahurangi College (Year 13): Nathaniel Bedggood, Matthew Torckler, Jack Yarndley, Rupert Power

Highly commended

  • Team 1108 from ACG Parnell College (Year 12): Joel Hutchinson, Dunbar Sloane, Alexander Kilmartin and WIlliam Winspear
  • Team 1161 from ACG Parnell College (Year 12): Taylor Thorp, Ana Bogosanovic, Mark Hutchinson and Lachlan Broadhurst
  • Team 1060 from Kaitaia College (Year 13): Brendan Bell, Morgan Dolfing, Jacinta Van der Linden and Hannah Wetzel
  • Team 1040 from Lynfield College (Year 13): Angela Zhang, Yujia Wu, Daniel Adams and Jia Dua
  • Team 1051 from Saint Kentigern College (Mixed Year 12/13): Andrew Yian Chen, Tate McGregor, David Thibaud and Joshua Looker
  • Team 1141 from Wentworth College (Year 13): Robin Langdon, Tait Fuller and Alexander Gregory
  • Team 1049 from Whanganui High School (Year 13): Alister Hughes, Jesse Satherley, Liam Jones and Vitek Sosnowski
  • Team 1185 from Whangaparaoa College (Mixed Year 12/13): Regan James, Emma Hamilton, Connor Gentry and Harry Cull

2016 results

The 2016 question was:

“What is the fastest humanly possible time for the Olympic 100m freestyle event?”



The Pullan Prize for first place ($6,000)
Team 1089 from Saint Kentigern College (Year 13): Kevin Shen, Henry Mellsop, James Hansen, Cameron Low

Runners up ($2,000 for each team)

  • Team 1046 from Whangarei Girls’ High School (Year 13): Grace Elliot, Aria Zhang, Rebeca McKean, Mihi Shepherd
  • Team 1064 from Hamilton Boys’ High School (Year 13): Jacob Cheatley, David Lee, Christopher Mayo, Lachlan Cate

Highly commended

  • Team 1007 from King's College (Year 13): Amay Aggarwal, William Wang, Max Wilson, Luke Hindmarsh
  • Team 1027 from Kristin School (Mixed Year 12/13): David Cui, Hyeongjin Kim, Tina Zhang, Felicity Qin
  • Team 1066 from St Paul's Collegiate, Hamilton (Year 13): James Krippner, Blair Foster, Craig Stocker
  • Team 1099 from John McGlashan College (Year 13): Louis Jennings, Luke Nie, James Anderson, Matthew Dockerty
  • Team 1119 from St Cuthbert's College (Year 12): Noor Al-Shamma, Amy Song, Stacey Tian, Joia Che
  • Team 1169 from Scots College (Mixed year 12/13): Andrew Tang, Freddie Strauss, Brendan Patrick, Henry Fox
  • Team 1174 from Sacred Heart College Auckland (Year 12/13): Heinrich Metzler, John Gorham, Conor Nelson, Daniel Koenigsperger

2015 results

The 2015 question was:

“If a New Zealand student uploads a video clip that goes viral, how long will it take before 1% of the world’s population has seen it?”


The Pullan Prize for first place ($6,000)
Team 1153 from Wanganui High School (Year 13): Elia Nicolin, Amaan Merchant, Julian Schurhammer

Runners up ($2,000 for each team)

  • Team 1020 from ACG Parnell College (Mixed Year 12/13):
    Sheng Wang, Timo van Veenendaal, James Chung, Yu-Hao Liu
  • Team 1111 from Kristin School (Mixed year 12/13):
    Hyeongjin Kim, Yan Tian Zhang, Jack Liu, Marco Tyler-Rodrigue

Highly commended

  • Team 1004 from St Peter’s School Cambridge (Mixed Year 12/13): Anthony Wilson, Scott Yearbury, Samuel Frengley, Fraser Rose
  • Team 1059 from Wellington College (Mixed Year 12/13): Logan Wu, Callum Li, Jay Deshpande, Sebastian On
  • Team 1011 from Westlake Boys' High School (Year 13): George Han, Ritchie Li, Tony Liu, Harry Deare
  • Team 1088 from Saint Kentigern College (Mixed Year 12/13): Meheer Zaveri, Oscar Sims, Jed Robertson, Kevin Shen
  • Team 1052 from Hamilton Boys' High School (Mixed Year 12/13): Christopher Mayo, David Lee, Jacob Cheatley, Stephen Burroughs
  • Team 1143 from Selwyn College (Year 13): Stephen Bayley, Matthew Chen, Luka Cosic, Kiska Ababa
  • Team 1058 from Auckland International College (Year 12): Ngoc Minh Thu Nguyen, Miles Lee, Bao Nguyen, Pham Ngoc Quyen
  • Team 1144 from ACG Sunderland (Mixed Year 12/13): Mark Smith, Natasha Manuson, Anurag Nadgir, Tirth Thakar

2014 results

The 2014 question was:

"If Mount Taranaki erupted, how much would it cost the aviation industry?"

New Zealand is home to over 60 volcanoes and is located in the middle of the Australasian and Pacific volcanic plates. At the same time, New Zealand has an estimated 2,700,000 tourist visitors annually. The potential for a volcanic eruption at Mt Taranaki to disrupt and adversely affect the Aviation industry was analysed by our teams in 2014.


The Pullan Prize for first place ($6,000)

Team 1182 from Matamata College (Year 13): Renae White, Seamus Bardoul, Philip ten Houte de Lange, Kelly Petersen

Runners up ($2,000 for each team)

  • Team 1097 from Saint Kentigern College (Mixed year 11/12): Meheer Zaveri, Oscar Sims, Kevin Shen, Jed Robertson
  • Team 1148 from St Peter's School Cambridge (Mixed year 12/13): Lachlan Glass, Louis Kohn-Taylor, Fraser Rose, Hayden Fenn-Wells

Highly commended

  • Team 1042 from Kristin School (Year 12): Sharn Fonseka, Grant Holtes, Amelia Vincent, Matthew Sinclair
  • Team 1157 from Western Springs College (Year 13): Charles Jackson, Tanya Peart, Yue Zhang, Sacha Knight
  • Team 1023 from Macleans College (Year 13): Samuel Attard, Jim Wang, Benjamin Yi, Jenny Chiang
  • Team 1155 from Westlake Boys' High School (Year 13): Danial Valikhani, Matthew Bilton, Jeffrey Choy, Campbell Wang
  • Team 1132 from Macleans College (Year 13): Yatharth Mitra, Harpreet Singh, Aditya Arora, Pulkit Kalra
  • Team 1110 from Whangarei Boys' High School (Year 13): Brad Miller, Tim Gordon, Simon Wong, Shaan Hill

2013 results

The 2013 question was:

"The aim of Project Loon is to ensure everyone on the planet has access to the internet, by creating a balloon-powered network. How many balloons would be required to provide balloon-powered internet coverage to all of New Zealand?”


The Pullan Prize for first place ($6,000)

Team 1152 from Westlake Boys High School (Year 13): Kevin Howe, Guy Hermanoche, Callum Lamont and Eugene Fong

Runners up ($2,000 for each team)

  • Team 1045 from Botany Downs Secondary College (Year 13): Tzu-Jui Lin, Daniel Cheah, William Teng and David Long
  • Team 1141 from Matamata College (Mixed): Timothy Gray, Liam Nelson, Kelly Petersen and Renae White

Highly commended

  • Team 1014 from Rangitoto College (Mixed years): Fangzhou Jiang , Duo Ao Sun, Scott Huang and Jin Kyu Lim
  • Team 1085 ACG Strathallan College (Mixed years): Navneet Singh, Sehwan Park, Eric Jou and Glenn JouTeam 1023 Hillcrest High School
  • Team 1018 from Macleans College (Mixed years): Charisse Kuo, Samuel R Attard, Mu-ming Pan and Ian Seong
  • Team 1096 Kristin School (Year 13): Jason Cheng and Lingshu Liu
  • Team 1035 St Peter’s School (Year 13): Karl Alexander Peez, Hayden Thomas Moore and Daniel Ross Barker
  • Team 1114 Burnside High School (Year 13): Lilian Felicity Anne Clark, Eva Lok, Ashley Farquahrson and Michaela Dobson
  • Team 1075 Otumoetai College (Year 13): Cameron Bryce Apeldoorn, Seumas Mackinnon Beeedie, Lucas James de Rijk and Conrad Jeffery Dale
  • Team 1188 Bayfield High School (Year 13): Shaun Tocher, Indy Griffiths, Greg Underwood and Robert Polak

2012 results

The problem centred on Felix Baumgartner's planned record breaking high altitude skydive attempt, which he successfully completed on 14 October (2012).

Felix jumped from a height of 39km, launching himself from a capsule suspended beneath a balloon, at the edge of space. After Felix landed, a remote triggering system released the capsule from the balloon. The question asked on competition day was:

"In the event that electronic tracking is unavailable, what size search area is required in order to retrieve the capsule?"

143 teams took part, with entries from 69 schools all over New Zealand.


The Pullan Prize for first place ($6,000)

Team 3082 from Saint Kentigern College (Year 13):
Samuel Gilmour, John Theakston, Joe Lu and James Gardner

Runners up ($2,000 for each team)

  • Team 2005 from Botany Downs Secondary College (Year 13): Jenny Nguyen, Antara Nahian, Carla Sy and Clariss Wong
  • Team 3009 from Lynfield College (Year 12): Tim Hight, Jack Barker, Nick Waddington and Akash Charles

Highly commended

  • Team 2018 from Mount Albert Grammar School (Year 13): Matthew Battley, Taliesin Budvietas and Max Ashmore
  • Team 3024 from Green Bay High School (Mixed): Joses Bell, Grace Kapma, Jacob Neville-Smith and Jordan Wong
  • Team 3038 from King's College (Year 13): Richard Ngo, Jamie Beaton, Robert Wang and Cameron Kendall
  • Team 3046 from Matamata College (Mixed): Chris Earl, Kieran Hines, Thomas Schweizer and Timothy Gray
  • Team 3083 from ACG Senior College (Year 13): Hyunjin Ahn, Gabriel Thompson de Wit and Marcel Soanes
  • Team 3061 from Dilworth School (Year 13): Rommel Layco, Zac Johns, Bowen Shi and Adam Sowerby-Parlane

Special mention

Team 3074 from Tauranga Boys' College (Year 13): Matthew Robert Knox, Craig Balfour, Isaac Gilmour and Daniel Robertson, for the software they wrote to answer the question, which included a very nice graphical user interface.

Previous questions


"If a severe Tsunami warning was issued, how long would it take to evacuate the 13,000 people who live on Te Atatu Peninsula?"


"How much fuel is required for a manned mission to Mars?"


"Could New Zealanders save enough electricity via energy efficiency improvements in homes to avoid New Zealand requiring an additional power station being constructed?"