Rock our Future Competition


Win $1,000 for your school with this exciting project for years 5-8, as well as a $100 Prezzy Card for the individual winning students in each year. Link it to your technology, writing and science learning. Aggregate (crushed rock, gravel and sand) makes up the bulk of products we quarry in New Zealand. Students are encouraged to visit a local quarry.

This year’s brief is for each student to write a poem exploring aggregate in New Zealand highlighting benefits, an explanation of what it is, and what it’s used for.

The poem must include the following:

  • Where does aggregate come from
  • What is aggregate
  • Why we need aggregate in everyday life


  • 4 x prizes of $1,000 for each student’s winning school (1 winner per year group)
  • 4 x prizes of $100 Prezzy Cards for each of the winning students (1 winner per year group)

Teachers, parents and students are encouraged to approach local quarries for a visit to obtain information for the poems. If you would like assistance in organising a quarry visit in your area, please contact, or phone 021 074 5164.

How to enter

Poems need to be submitted to us by the end of Term 3, Friday 27th September. Please complete the entry form and include each student’s name, year and school, and email this alongside the poems to and for larger or multiple files, we recommend using WeTransfer, a simple and free option.

Finalists will be contacted about judging. Judging will take place in October with winners announced by mid-November 2024.


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2023 Competition

The Brief: This year’s brief was for students to show three everyday uses of aggregate along with an explanation. They were encouraged to visit a local quarry and design a poster.


Schools from Northland to Otago were among the winners in the AQA’s Rock our Future school competition for years 5-8 in 2023. The Year 5 winner was Odin Apiata (left) from Ohaeawai Primary School, Northland, and the Year 6 winner was Ally Aikten (right) from Mornington School, Dunedin.

The Year 7 winner was Ana Kaufana from Oamaru Intermediate, and pictured below the Year 8 winner was Anika Beren from Springbank School in Northland.

Read all about their entries here.

2022 Competition

The Brief: Students were encouraged to visit a local quarry and design a poster of an activity at the quarry, why the quarry is needed, and the benefits the quarry provides to the community.


Year 5 & 6 winners below from Owairoa Primary School, Auckland

Year 7 & 8 winners below from Lee Stream School, Otago:

Read all about their entries here.

2021 Competition

The brief was: Students were encouraged to visit a local quarry and write an essay of no more than 500 words describing their experience at the quarry and what they learnt during the visit.


Year 5 & 6 winners were from Puni School, Auckland, and a Year 8 winner from Oamaru Intermediate. There were no Year 7 entries this year.

Read all about their entries here.

2020 Competition

Students were to design a final use for a quarry that has finished extracting rock.

The brief was: You have been hired by a quarrying company called Big Rock Solutions. The company has completed extracting rock from its quarry and now wants to turn the quarry into an asset for the community. They want the land to be useful, and whatever it is turned into to be sustainable, environmentally sensitive and add value to the local community. Neighbours and others in the community need to be considered in whatever final use is designed for the site.


Two schools from the Waikato and Manawatū took away the prizes.

Read all about their entries here.

2019 Competition

The brief was: students had been hired by a quarrying company currently exploring the problem of what to do when energy produced by diesel and coal (both non-sustainable energy sources) runs out. The students were to design a solution for the production of aggregate, including crushing plant, and mobile vehicles such as loaders, excavators etc. for the 21st Century.


Two groups of boys from Fitzroy School in New Plymouth have taken out the prizes and were awarded by CEO Wayne Scott and MP Jonathan Young on Friday Oct 25th.

Read all about their entries here.




Aggregates are the most consumed bulk product in the world after water. New Zealand uses 9-10 tonnes of aggregate every year for each adult and child.


To build an average house, you need about 250 tonnes of aggregate - for use in concrete, asphalt, mortar and building products.


The quarry industry is committed to working alongside local communities and follows stringent planning, environmental and operating conditions.