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ASB and Bright Sparks set to further tech education for Kiwi kids

ASB is pleased to announce its principal sponsorship of Bright Sparks, an annual tech-education initiative renowned for fostering innovation and professional development in Kiwi kids.

Administered by The Skills Organisation, Bright Sparks started in 2000 and is the country’s premier technology showcase for young New Zealanders. Through promoting active discussion and providing a platform for students to show the world their ideas, the initiative is proud of the role it plays in nurturing future Kiwi innovators.

Now known as ASB Bright Sparks, the showcase boasts a track record of success, with past winners taking up positions at the likes of Google and Microsoft.

Chief Executive of The Skills Organisation Garry Fissenden is delighted Bright Sparks now has support from ASB, and looks forward to seeing the already popular competition continue to grow.

“It’s great to see a company such as ASB investing in innovation and technology. Technology is changing rapidly and it’s encouraging to see companies embrace and understand its role in our lives, allowing us to create newer and more advanced tools,” Mr Fissenden says.

“Over the last 16 years, we’ve seen more than 2,000 kiwi kids participate in Bright Sparks. And, for many involved it’s a highlight of their year. We look forward to making the competition bigger and better thanks to the backing of ASB,” Mr Fissenden says.

ASB has a strong focus on innovative technology and education (financial literacy initiative ASB GetWise has reached more than 55% of New Zealand primary schools) and sees a natural fit with Bright Sparks.

ASB Executive General Manager Technology and Innovation Russell Jones is delighted with the new partnership, saying it’s a step in the right direction to help foster education in tech enthusiasts.

“The Skills Organisation and ASB share a focus on youth and innovation, and this is a natural partnership that, I believe, will help boost the Bright Spark’s capabilities in discovering New Zealand’s young tech talent,” Mr Jones says.

“For 2016 we’re excited to expand the entry categories, and with males comprising 95% of current entrants, there is a real focus for both organisations to encourage significantly increased female participation this year,” Mr Jones says.

Open to students aged 12 – 17 years across the country, secondary schools nationwide were provided with information packs early May.

About ASB Bright Sparks

  • Bright Sparks provides a unique opportunity for young minds across the country to tap into their tech potential;
  • Starting in 2000, ASB Bright Sparks is the country’s premier showcase for tech-savvy young minds;
  • Entry categories this year include science, engineering, environment, science and software;
  • Entries open on May 2, 2016, and close on September 28, 2016;
  • A share in a $10,000 prize pool is on offer for the winners;
  • The competition will culminate in an ASB Bright Sparks awards evening on 1 November, 2016 in The Cube at ASB North Wharf in Auckland (students from out of Auckland will be flown to Auckland with one parent);
  • Members on the ASB Bright Sparks advisory panel are: Michelle Dickinson, Garry Reynolds, Chris Hamling, Craig Young, Les Black and Edwina Mistry;

For further information about ASB Bright Sparks visit www.brightsparks.org.nz or email support@skills.org.nz.

How does ASB Bright Sparks work?

  • ASB Bright Sparks works directly with schools to register students early in the second the school year;
  • Participating students are supported throughout the year by their teachers (who are offered additional training) and through online forums;
  • Participants can use the forums to speak to mentors, each other, subject matters and even to order online parts (often free of charge);
  • Participants will then mail their inventions (free of charge) to the Skills Organisation for judging;
  • All finalists are then invited to attend the awards ceremony in November in Auckland (travel costs for finalists and one parent are covered).

About The Skills Organisation

The Skills Organisation is a multi-sector industry training organisation (ITO) working with 23 industries who each have New Zealand qualifications available for their employees.

The Skills Organisation is focused on developing skills to improve workplace performance. We promote the skill needs of our industries in the education and training sector and broker the delivery of high quality industry training services to companies in our industries.

Recognised by the New Zealand government and our industries as the national standards setting body, we work with industry to:

  • develop skill standards and qualifications
  • manage national training systems
  • provide skills leadership.

Media contact

All enquiries should be directed to:

Georgina Bond

Senior Manager, Media Relations

Christian May

GM Corporate Communications

ASB's Terms and Conditions apply.

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