FishTank design competition 2021


FishTank Design Competition is a NexTech program that was inspired by a popular television series – Shark Tank – where entrepreneurs and inventors pitch their ideas to judges who also happen to be investors. Here’s an example of a Shark Tank on the Rachel Ray show:



With the FishTank, Hawaii County students (grades 6-12) have the opportunity to work together in teams to solve important local problems. These teams will collaborate on a solution for about 10 weeks and will present their work and ideas to judges at a competition where they are ranked based on a number of criteria, including their engineering process, documentation, and solution outcome.

Yes. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we will be hosting this entire competition via Zoom. Teams will also be provided with access to online collaboration tools.

This competition is open to Hawaii Island students in grades 6-12 who meet the technical requirements for participation. These include:

  • Access to a high-speed internet connection
  • A non-DOE Gmail account
  • Desktop or laptop computer and webcam
  • Zoom video conferencing capability

Please note that this competition will be limited to 20 teams of 2-4 students.

NexTech Fish Tank offers local students a number of benefits:

  • A great experience and learning opportunity where they build valuable problem solving, teamwork, and presentation skills;
  • An opportunity to collaborate with and establish mentoring relationships with local STEM, government, and business leaders;
  • An opportunity to work on an idea that might qualify as a STEM Honors Project;
  • Prizes and bragging rights!
    • 1st Place Team – up to $2,200, (includes a $1,000 team donation*)
    • 2nd Place Team – up to $1,500, (includes a $500 team donation*)
    • 3rd Place Team – up to $1,300 (includes a $500 team donation*)

 *Team donation is paid to a Hawaii Island non-profit organization, club, school, that is STEM-related.

This competition is dedicated to COVID-19. Hawaii Island students will have the opportunity to contribute to ideas that can help our community recover from the impact of COVID-19. We are looking for solutions to help our community across a variety of categories and know that our students will come up with good ones. Here are the solution categories:

  • Health & Life
  • Education
  • Vulnerable Populations
  • Community
  • Business and the Economy

Yes. Each team will present their solution virtually. They will have 5 minutes to share the highlights of their project and their idea.

Teams will be scored on the quality of their technical report and notebook (documentation of the team’s engineering process), their teamwork, and the final presentation.

Here are the key dates to watch out for. Additional details will be provided at a later time. As needed, adjustments to the schedule may be made.

    • Registration - December 4 - January 8
    • Kick-Off - January 23 (Zoom Meeting) 
    • Project Proposal Submission - February 6 (Teams will submit a summary of what they intend to pursue for approval by the program committee)
    • Project Proposal Approval - February 9
    • Technical Q&A - February 20 (Consultation with an engineer) 
  • Project Report, Presentation Slides, and Notebook Submission - April 3
  • Competition Prelims - April 17

Final Competition - April 24 (Zoom Meeting)

To register for Fish Tank 2021, go to our Registration page here. The NexTech Fish Tank team will contact you with additional details in January. Please note that this competition will be limited to 20 teams of 2-4 students.

If you have more questions, click on the Contact link in this website’s navigation menu.