What is Fish Tank?

Our Fish Tank STEM competition is based on a popular television series – the 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 NexTech Fish Tank, Hawaii County students (grades 6-12) will 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 solutions to judges. Participants avail of a number of benefits:

  • Great experience and learning opportunity – building valuable problem solving, teamwork, and presentation skills
  • Opportunity to collaborate with and establish mentoring relationships with local STEM, government, and business leaders
  • Potentially qualify for a STEM honors project
  • Prizes and bragging rights
    • 1st Place Team – up to $1,200, plus $1,000 team prize**
    • 2nd Place Team – up to $1,000, plus $500 team prize**
    • 3rd Place Team – up to $800, plus $500 team prize**

           **Team Prize is paid to a non-profit organization, club, school, team of choice that is STEM related and supports STEM learning.

Competition Day 

  • Competition Day will be held virtually via Zoom on  April 25, 2020. Competitors and guests will be sent the Zoom access information via email.

Will I need to present or pitch, like in Shark Tank?

Yes – each team will have the chance to share a presentation to pitch their solution. Teams will have the opportunity to come up with their approach. In addition to the presentation, teams will share details of their research and solution in the form of a report.

What problem will we be tackling?

Our Fish Tank competition will focus on plastic pollution on Hawaii Island. Approximately 60 tons of plastics end up in our landfill every day. (EVERY DAY!) We’re looking for solutions to help our community deal with this problem and believe that our students will have brilliant ideas on how we might solve it.

How will projects be judged?

Projects will be scored based on the quality of the technical report (worth 60% of the total score) and the presentation (40% of the total).

I’m a participant in the 2020 Fish Tank. Where can I get more details?

Visit our Fish Tank Resources page for more details about the competition and the plastics problem.

I’m a participant in the 2020 Fish Tank and I’d like to communicate with other participants. Is there a way for me to do this?

We’ve created a private Fish Tank Facebook Group to help teams communicate with each other. Join this FaceBook group to participate. Facebook Group: NexTech Hawaii Fish Tank

I need more information. Whom should I ask?

If you have more questions, please contact us at  fishtank@nextechhawaii.org