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bp launches new Ultimate STEM Challenge with a net zero theme

28 October 2021
Since 1968 bp has been investing in education in the UK. We have engaged young people in science, engineering and technology by linking the curriculum to careers and inspiring students to take on the challenges of invention and creativity.
Student planting seeds

To protect our planet for future generations, one of the biggest challenges the world faces is to limit rising global temperatures and so reduce some of the effects of climate change. To limit rising global temperatures, we need to be aiming to get to net zero. This is reached when the amount of greenhouse gases produced by human activity and released to our atmosphere is the same as the amount taken out. This year the bp Educational Service’s Ultimate STEM Challenge invites young people to look at the things they can do locally and to use science and technology to come up with a net zero plan for their own community.


The launch of the competition coincides with the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26). This summit brings parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The USC comes at a critical time when scientists are telling us that climate change is one of the greatest threats the world faces, and encourages young people to get involved, take action and help to make a difference. Science is at the heart of how we can all make a positive impact on nature and the environment.


bp Ultimate STEM Challenge

My Net Zero Community is a STEM competition and education programme that teaches young people about net zero and why it’s important. It’s an exciting opportunity for students to reimagine or invent a way of helping their local community move towards net zero.


Teachers, parents and STEM Club leaders can use the exciting launch video to introduce the topic, explain the concept of net zero, set this year’s challenge and inspire students to take part and make their ideas a reality. ​​​​​​​


It’s easy to take part

Simply download the ready-to-go packs with lesson plans, a homework activity and entry forms. Resources are designed for use in classrooms, at home and for remote learning.

STEM resources
The free, high quality materials for My net zero community can support pupils to develop their skills and knowledge in several curriculum areas including science, geography, design and technology, IT and computing. Taking part in the challenge will help pupils use their scientific knowledge and understanding to find solutions to real-life problems. We want to see a variety of creative ideas and solutions from young people, so now is their chance to take part! Submit all entries by email or freepost by 22 April 2022.

The challenge is open to 9 to 14-year olds across the UK. Entries will be judged in two categories: age 9-11 and age 11-14. Pupils may enter as individuals or teams of 3-4.


The competition will also launch in other countries for the first time later this year! More news on that to follow.


There are brilliant prizes up for grabs

The overall winner will receive £3,000 for a sustainable project in their community, while the runners up will receive £1,000 each.


For full details and resources see: bp.com/ultimatestemchallenge

Like bp, STEM Learning has been inspired by the UK hosting COP 26 this year, by driving a range of climate change initiatives. We know this starts with supporting teachers by ensuring they have climate change training and resources and our Climate Change Educational Partnership has a wealth of information available. It also means increasing young people’s understanding of the science and implication of climate change – through engagement with role models such as STEM Ambassadors. We are proud to be supporting this year’s bp Ultimate STEM Challenge: My NET Zero Community and would encourage schools to engage with their local STEM Ambassador Hub for support with their projects.Gill CollinsonDirector of Education and Programmes at STEM Learning

About the bp Ultimate STEM Challengebp is a long-term supporter of education and continues to encourage and energize every generation; helping them gain a better understanding of how important STEM subjects are now and in the future. Businesses need a steady stream of talented people with a strong foundation in science, technology, engineering and maths who will continue to drive progress and innovation and will solve the challenges that humanity will face in the years to come.


bp’s Ultimate STEM Challenge has been designed to help young people develop their creativity, problem-solving skills and employability by tackling real-world challenges. The competition has been developed based on insights from the ground-breaking ‘Enterprising Science’ research which shows that the more science capital (science-related qualifications, interest, literacy and social contacts) a young person has, the more likely they are to pursue a STEM career.