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Registration of Interest: NZIFST CREST 2019 Food Innovation Challenge

Registration of interest no later than Friday 25 January, 2019.

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Teachers of senior secondary school students are invited to enter their students in the 2019 NZIFST/CREST Food Innovation Challenge. 

At this stage this is JUST a Registration of INTEREST

This is being sent to you now so that you have the opportunity to plan ahead. 

Actual confirmations will be required by Friday 22 February 2019. 

The Challenge, previously known as the NZIFST/CREST Student Product Development Challenge, is run by the New Zealand Institute of Food Science & Technology (NZIFST), in partnership with CREST (the international awards scheme administered by the Royal Society Te Apārangi). The Challenge prompts teams of senior secondary school students to develop a consumer food product, following the principles of food product development used in the food processing industry. The 2019 Challenge will be the eleventh year we have run the Food Innovation Challenge.

The Challenge involves collaboration between NZIFST, CREST, the Massey Institute of Food Science and Technology; the Department of Food Science at the University of Otago; other tertiary institutes offering degrees in food science and technology and the food processing industry. It is designed to introduce secondary students to the exciting world of food product development and career options in food science, technology and engineering.

Product development investigations are based on the Team Silver Challenge CREST project framework. Teams must comprise 2–4 students, from any of Years 11-13. Where possible, teams should be multi-disciplinary, including both science and technology students. Supervising teachers are encouraged to work in pairs and be multi-disciplinary too.

Dependent on the year level, the Challenge could be offered as part of a course/classroom programme, or viewed as project-based learning, as well as being assessed for learning achievements.  It could also be offered as an extension project for science, technology or integrated science/technology students.

Each team receives technical support from a local food company, with staff taking time out of work to mentor the students and help guide them through their product development projects. The mentor provides the team with a project brief, relevant to the mentor’s area of expertise. In the past, many of the teams have visited their mentors at work, used their laboratories or toured their processing plants.

NZIFST members offer additional support, for example, samples of specialised ingredients and information about how to use them. Each team also receives sponsorship from the food industry, to contribute to the costs incurred from participating in the Challenge. 

Students who successfully complete the Challenge, and meet the required standards, will be eligible to receive the Team Silver Challenge CREST award.

Assuming sufficient interest from schools, staff from Massey, Otago and Lincoln universities will provide professional development for the supervising teachers in April 2019, to help them guide their students through the Challenge.

To get an idea about what is involved you can have a look at the posters from previous years’ projects, which you’ll find here: NZIFST Food Innovation Challenge and on the CREST Challenges website, https://bit.ly/2pGG6xo.

CREST provides pedagogical and process support to the participating teachers and, sometimes, students (e.g. video conference to discuss Ethics, etc.).

The Challenge will start in February 2019 and will finish with a judging event before the end of Term 3 (September 27) 2019.

The Challenge IS time consuming, so excellent and timely time management is essential!

There is a Challenge timeline, with set milestone dates, which needs to be strictly adhered to (other organisations are involved too).

Registering interest in the 2019 NZIFST/CREST Food Innovation Challenge enables NZIFST and CREST to begin planning to support you and your students. The sooner you register, the sooner we can start looking for mentors from the food industry.

Complete the online form or go to http://bit.ly/2PGmtEe

  • Please send your Registration of Interest no later than 2pm Monday 11 February,2019
  • Registration of Interest is not a finalised commitment: however, confirmation of participation is required by Friday 22 February 2019.

On receipt of this form, CREST and NZIFST will contact you and begin identifying possible mentors for your team/teams.

For more information contact

Jenny Dee                           

Careers Coordinator


E jenny.dee@bossen.co.nz

M 027 2907 937


Jessie McKenzie

School Programmes Coordinator

Royal Society Te Apārangi

E jessie.mckenzie@royalsociety.org.nz

M 021 254 9114

P 04 470 5789




[1] Please note there is a cost associated with the CREST materials https://royalsociety.org.nz/what-we-do/funds-and-opportunities/crest-awards/order/