St Mary's Catholic School has been announced winners of the Da Vinci Flying Machines competition, and will be the first in the region to view the Da Vinci Machines and Robots exhibition at Rotorua Museum.

Created for students of local primary schools and organised by Rotorua Museum, the Da Vinci Flying Machines competition was devised to get children thinking creatively and submitting ideas for their own flying machine.

"The response from schools was great," said Rotorua Museum education lead Emma Liley.

"We wanted a competition that connected with Da Vinci's famous creativity and thought a 'design a flying machine' competition would do that.

"To judge we enlisted the skills of Rotorua Boys High and Rotorua Girls' High head students Arapeta Paea and Jordyn Tereu, who had a tough job picking one winner from a large pool of entries. With a range of criteria to help them navigate the designs, they did a stellar job of narrowing it down," she said.

The winning entry was created by year 5 and 6 students Nevis Van Schadewijk, 11, Aidan Bye, 9, Wyatt Stevens-McNab, 10, and Harold Rounds, 11.

It included bragging rights as the first school in Rotorua to view the Da Vinci Machines and Robots exhibition, a free bus ride to and from the museum, a swim at the Blue Baths and given the Italian theme, pizza for lunch.

Rotorua Boys' High School head boy Arapeta Paea said both himself and Jordyn loved the creativity in their design.

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"There were lots of awesome submissions but for us this entry stood out and was the one we kept referring back to."

Wyatt Stevens McNab said they didn't always agree on the same design, but listened to each other's ideas and made compromises.

"My piece of advice would be, if you are going to enter a competition, don't give up and believe in yourself."

Da Vinci Machines and Robots is on display at Rotorua Museum from Saturday 10 December 2016 to Sunday 26 March 2017.

Entry is included with admission, which is free for locals with relevant ID.