Are you up for the 2017 Toolbox Challenge? 

Future engineers or furniture craftsmen get moving – you only have until Wednesday April 12 to get your entries in for the nationwide 2017 Toolbox Challenge.

The Toolbox Challenge, run by industry training organisation Competenz, is open to all schools that offer engineering or furniture subjects in years 11 to 13. It offers a fun way to work towards NCEA unit standards plus the chance to be in for a share of the $10,000 worth of prizes for students and schools, this including technological gadgets, tools and health and safety equipment. 

The engineering side of the Toolbox Challenge requires students to create a project using any type of material, but it must include a moving part. Last year, Rangitoto College’s James Thompson took top spot in this section by creating a model traction engine with components created using CAD, a milling machine, jig, welder and a 3D printer. 

 View last year’s Toolbox Challenge finalist projects 



The furniture Challenge asks students to design and build a piece of furniture no bigger than one cubic metre and made from at least two types of material. Tom Hancox from Blue Mountain College in West Otago won this last year with his timber storage unit, complete with a hidden storage compartment. 





Design, construct, refine – you have 6 months 

Projects are completed in the classroom over the rest of the year, and one project from each category is then selected by your teachers or instructors  to represent your school at a national level. Industry professionals and Competenz experts judge the final entries, and there is also a chance for the public to vote on the best projects. 

Students are able to use a new smartphone app to keep up with what’s going on with the Challenge, and a new Toolbox Challenge website will be launched after entries close on April 12. The finalist projects need to be submitted to Competenz by October 24 for judging, and winners will be announced on October 31. 


Learn more about Competenz and the 37 industries they organise training for  

How to get an apprenticeship