Ultimate STEM Challenge returns with biggest competition yet!


The BP Educational Service (BPES) provides inspiring and engaging resources to support the teaching of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. The group brings to life the topics that young people learn in the classroom by providing real-world examples, challenges and information using videos, interactive activities, worksheets and much more. These resources are developed with the help of teachers and educational specialists, and are free for teachers and parents of 4-19 year olds. They are curriculum linked and reflect our focus on energy, environment, leadership and business skills within key curriculum areas.

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2018’s reigning champions / The team from Walton Priory School. // Images courtesy of supplier. 2018’s reigning champions / The team from Walton Priory School. // Images courtesy of supplier.

For the 2018/19 school year, UK pupils will be asked: what would you reimagine? The BP Ultimate STEM Challenge is back, and even better than before! For the first time, BP Educational Service - in partnership with STEM Learning - is inviting UK students aged 11 to 14 to use their STEM skills to tackle one simple challenge: reimagine a solution to a real-life problem. The competition is set to dominate the first several months of the school year, with the deadline for submissions being Friday 15th February 2019.

2018 marks the 50th anniversary of BP’s investment in STEM education - since 1968 the company has been helping young people to be more engaged in Science and Engineering by linking the curriculum to careers and inspiring students to take on the challenges of invention and creativity.

This year, the Ultimate STEM Challenge is asking pupils to reimagine literally anything using the technology and capability of today. This might be redesigning tools and technology that we have long taken for granted, or reinventing something that really could change people’s lives for the better.

The deadline for entries is 15th February 2019, with winners receiving a fun day out at the Science Museum in London for the grand final, £1000 to spend on Science equipment or field trips, and Science Museum goody bags. All entries shortlisted for the semi-finals will receive a prestigious Bronze Crest Award.

“Having spoken to young people about what would inspire them when tasked with tackling a real-life problem, they said they wanted the opportunity to be creative, think outside the box and develop their own ideas,” explains Ian Duffy, head of UK Communications & Community Development for BP. “That’s why, this year, we’re giving them one simple challenge to reimagine something that is relevant to them. The possibilities are endless, and will engage students with many different strengths.”

After discussing with students, BP found that ideas included improving access for wheelchair users, filtering out air pollutants, and even make sure everyone gets their fair share of pizza. Some of these ideas are captured in a new launch video which teachers and STEM club leaders can use to inspire students to get involved and make their ultimate ideas, designs and solutions a reality.

YouTube link

There is also a presentation available with lots of tips and inspiration to encourage students to come up with ideas, introducing the competition and guiding them through the process step-by-step.

Eve, part of last year’s winning team from Walton Priory School (who created an energy efficient solution to generate electricity from moving water) said: “The best part of our experience was designing and building the prototype to test in the stream. We knew we wanted to be practical and get our hands dirty, but we also loved presenting our project at the final and meeting all the other competitors.”

YouTube link

Whether your idea helps solve a global problem or makes day-to-day life run a bit smoother for people, BP wants to see a variety of creative ideas and solutions from young people across the UK, so now is your chance to take part!

Make this an essential part of your pupils’ return to school. For full details on the competition, access to STEM Ambassadors and to download the free Challenge resources, visit bp.com/ultimatestemchallenge.

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