Design a Satellite Mission winners announced

Published: 21 November 2022

From measuring heat loss to tracking blue whales, student creativity soared in entries to this year’s New Zealand Space Agency Design a Satellite Mission essay competition.

Chloe Drinkwater (Year 8) of Selwyn House School in Christchurch and a combined team of Alys Turley, Emily Buick-Constable, Saffanah Rahman and Zainab Farooq (Year 9) from Wellington Girls’ College took out the top prizes for age categories Year 7 to 8 and Year 9 to 10 respectively.

Ruqayyah Zaheer, Nusaiba Shahim, Zainab Syeda and Zainab Muhammad (Year 7) of Al-Madinah School in Auckland, and Hannah McDowell (Year 10) of Dunstan High School in Alexandra are this year’s runners-up.

Essays by Diksha Mahajan (Year 8) of Nelson Intermediate in Nelson and Abiha Asad (Year 8) of Zayed College for Girls in Auckland were also recognised with an Outstanding Essay award.

The competition challenged students to think about how satellites – such as the New Zealand’s government’s first space mission MethaneSAT – help fight climate change, and share their idea for a satellite mission in 500 words or less.

MethaneSAT space mission

MBIE General Manager Science, Innovation and International Iain Cossar said judges were highly impressed by the level of thought and detail that went into all entries.

“It was evident that students right across the motu had really thought about the ways in which data from space satellites could combat climate challenges on Earth, and what those challenges might be,” Iain said.

“Thank you to all the teachers who used this opportunity to bring space into the classroom and who continue to engage students’ interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

“With such a high calibre of entries, the future is looking bright.”

The prize for each category is a Lego model of the International Space Station. Runners-up and Outstanding Essay award recipients receive a Virtual-Reality-enhanced mini-Earth model. All prize-winning essays will be published on the New Zealand Space Agency pages of the MBIE website.

Design a satellite mission essay competition

MBIE media contact


Last updated: 24 November 2022