Working Technologically

Technology and Engineering Category


We are very pleased to continue our collaboration with the Institute of Technology Educators (iTE) (formerly IIATE) who have been sponsoring the Technology & Engineering category since 2016.

The Years 7-12 iTE Innovations and Engineering Design category is open to all Design and Technology, Industrial Technology, Graphics Technology and Engineering Studies students.

We are also very pleased that OSHClub– one of Australia’s largest providers of out-of-school care will continue to sponsor the K-6 Technology and Engineering category. The OSHClub Inventions and Innovation Awards are open to any young Years K-6 inventor or tinkerer who has come up with a brilliant idea and has built a model or prototype, showing how their idea works.


There are cash prizes for the best entries in each of the age sections at state level.

Each student is awarded a certificate based on their level of attainment of specified criteria given in the scoring rubric for their age and category:

  • Certificate of High Distinction for every student who achieves a level 5 against the rubric.
  • Certificate of Distinction for every student who achieves a level 4 against the rubric.
  • Certificate of Credit for every student who achieves a level 3 against the rubric.
  • Certificate of Commendation for other state-level finalists.
  • Certificates of Participation for every student entry at school level.


All technology projects must be entered online using the Project Entry Form by 4 pm Friday 4th of September, 2020.

The project (folio, logbook, device, model and any other supporting material) must be hand-delivered and set up at the Professional Teachers’ Council (PTC) office at 67-73 St Hilliers Road, Auburn between 1pm and 4pm on Friday 4th September, 2020.

Students, teachers, parents or any other designated persons are welcome to set up the student project during this time period. They must leave by 4 pm when judging will begin. Students are not present during judging.

Students are strongly encouraged to arrive at the PTC Offices by 1 pm on Saturday 5th September. They can spend time with their project and share it with visitors and guests who will be attending, as well as have the opportunity to view other student projects. Lunch will be provided.

The Presentation Ceremony will begin at 2 pm where students winners in all categories will be announced.

All projects are required to be collected by 3 pm on Saturday 5th September. If a student is unable to attend the Presentation Ceremony, they must make arrangements for their project to be picked up as there are no storage facilities at the venue.

For those who are unable to set up their model at the PTC Office in Auburn, eg. regional students – video footage of the innovative device and a soft copy of the folio must be uploaded onto our registration system before 4pm on Friday 4th September, 2020.

What should be presented?


The following is a checklist that you need to follow when submitting your invention or innovative device:

  1. Model or Prototype and any props that help show how your innovation or device works.
  2. Poster or single-sided sheet, preferably laminated, that describes what the working model is, its application and operational details.
  3. Design folio or logbook that documents prior background research and the design process, from brainstorming to final design, through construction to final product, testing and evaluation. The design folio or logbook must also include an acknowledgement of any assistance given. Unlike scientific and mathematical investigations, the design folio or logbook should be a hard copy. There is no golden formula for the structure of a design folio or logbook but it should include all the sections that are listed in the Primary Inventions and Innovations or the Secondary Innovations and Engineering Design pages.
  4. (Optional) Electronic storage device which contains photos or video footage of your invention or prototype in operation. You may also upload the video directly with your online entry.

Presentation Ceremony – Saturday 5th September

The Presentation Ceremony will commence at 2 pm in the PTC office Rooms A & B.

1st, 2nd and 3rd Prize-winners in all age categories will be announced and winners will be presented with certificates.

Students will receive their money awards at our major Young Scientist Presentation Ceremony to be held at the Hope Theatre, University of Wollongong main campus on Friday 30th October, 2020 starting at 6pm (venue and date to be confirmed).

Students are to take their projects home with them at the conclusion of the Presentation Ceremony.

Selected technology and engineering project winners will be invited to represent NSW by entering the national BHP Foundation  Science and Engineering Awards. These nominated national NSW representative projects will then have until the middle of October to prepare a 3-5 minute video and a 1000 word report for the national BHPFSEA competition.


Since its inception in 2012, winners of our Working Technologically Category awards have gone on to win at both the national and international level.  In the first six years of the Engineering category of the national BHP Billiton Foundation Science and Engineering Awards (BHPBFSEA), 27 of the 54 national finalists came from the Working Technologically category of the STANSW Young Scientist Awards.

In February 2020, two NSW projects took out 1st and 2nd place in the Engineering category of the national 2020 BHP Billiton Foundation Science and Engineering Fair and the winning project will go on to represent Australia at the 2020 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair to be held in Anaheim. At ISEF 2018, Oliver Nicholls from Barker College took out the top STEM prize for school students in the world. Oliver was awarded the Gordon E. Moore Award for USD $75,000, in recognition of his autonomous robotic window cleaner being the most outstanding and innovative project at the fair and possessing the greatest potential impact for revolutionising its’ particular field of work.

In 2019, James Casey-Brown and Lucy Lake won a 3rd place and 2nd place Engineering award respectively at the BHPFSEA competition. Lucy went on to win a 2nd Place Grand Award at ISEF 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona.

It is also interesting to note that since we commenced the Technology & Engineering category in 2012, seventeen of the thirty-four selected ISEF finalists have designed and built an innovative device or application.


MYDA Promotion

For those who have been teaching Technology for more than 15 years, you should clearly remember the Minister’s Young Designer Awards. Organised by the then, Board of Studies NSW, the Minister’s Young Designer Awards (MYDA) was open to students in Years 7 and 8 from government and non-government schools. The aims of these awards were to encourage students to look at the world around them, to investigate products, systems and environments, and to design a successful solution in an area of interest to them. The challenge offered to Year 7 and 8 students was to develop a project that meets a clearly identified need.

Well, the iTE Innovations and Engineering Design Awards  and the OSHClub Inventions and Innovations Awards are very similar in their structure and criteria. The Institute of Technology Education (iTE) and OSHClub are looking for projects where the students have designed and constructed an innovative device or application that is an original application of technology that solves a need or problem. It can be a new or improved device or process that clearly incorporates a technological idea or concept. ICT-based projects in a technological context are also eligible. The innovative device or application is to be presented as a working scaled or full-scaled prototype of an invention or innovative device or application that you design and build, with an accompanying design folio or logbook documenting background research and the design process, from brainstorming to final design, through construction to final product, testing and evaluation.

The significant and welcome difference between these current awards and the old Minister’s Young Designers Awards is that they are open to students in Kindergarten right through to HSC students submitting their major projects in their respective Technology course and hoping to be selected for NESA’s Shape showcase. The other significant difference is that finalists in these awards can go on to represent NSW at the national 2021 BHP Foundation Science and Engineering Awards and Year 9-12 students can also represent Australia at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair to be in the USA in May 2021 (see Big Picture).

The Institute of  Technology Education is the professional body sponsoring the iTE Innovations and Engineering Design Awards, the major category awards in the Working Technologically category. ITE is offering 9 secondary prizes to the projects that best meet the Working Technologically outcomes. Visit the iTE Innovations and Engineering Design Awards page to get specific details about these awards.

In 2018 we were pleased to announce a new sponsor for the Primary Working Technologically category. OSHClub is a major provider of after school hours care and will be offering 9 primary prizes in the OSHClub Inventions and Innovation Awards to primary projects that will be assessed on the level of the Working Technologically outcomes that have been achieved.

The Benefits of Working Technologically?

Active engagement in the processes of Working Technologically increases a student’s capacity to solve problems and generate ideas in a society driven by rapid technological change,

“When applying the processes of Working Technologically, students actively engage with real world situations and use technology skills, knowledge and understanding to create solutions for themselves and others. They creatively and competently use a range of materials, tools, equipment and techniques to produce solutions relevant to their world.”     Year K-6 Rationale excerpt from Science K–10 (incorporating Science and Technology K–6) Syllabus

The Processes of Working Technologically

The Working Technologically processes adopted in the iTE Innovations and Engineering Design Awards are based on the Designing and Producing K-12 documentation prepared by the NSW Department of Education and Communities and :

  • exploring and defining the task
  • generating and developing ideas
  • producing solutions
  • planning and managing
  • evaluating and testing
  • communicating

These processes are at the centre of learning and teaching in Technology. It is the level of coverage of these processes that determines the quality of an innovative device or application submitted into the Working Technologically category. For further guidance, visit the OSHClub Inventions and Innovations page or the Secondary Innovations and Engineering Design Awards page where these processes are broken down and explained further.