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New BP Ultimate STEM Challenge asks students to design a piece of wearable tech

Release date: 2 October 2019

Since 1968 BP has been investing in STEM education in the UK. We have engaged young people 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 inviting young people to get creative and design a new piece of wearable technology that will improve lives in the future. Wearable tech is all around us – from smartwatches to robotic prosthetics, the possibilities are endless, and we are looking for the next big thing!


For the first time this national competition is open to pupils aged 9-14. It’s an exciting opportunity for students to reimagine or invent a solution to a real-life problem that could change people’s lives for the better. Teachers and STEM Club leaders can use the new launch video to inspire students to get involved and make their ideas, designs and solutions a reality. 

 

It’s easy to take part:

 

  1. Simply download the ready-to-go packs with two lesson plans, homework activity and entry forms. 
  2. Students can capture their wearable tech idea on the entry form either in class or for homework. We want to see a variety of creative ideas and solutions from young people across the UK, so now is their chance to take part!
  3. Submit all the entries by either email or freepost by 14 January 2020.

 

There are brilliant prizes up for grabs:

 

  • Two lucky schools will win £750 to spend on school equipment or field trips
  • Attend an exclusive, all expenses paid experience at a one-day Hackathon
  • Meet real scientists, coders and designers to help bring their ideas to life
  • Achievement certificates - students will feel that they are part of something big!

 

“We at BP are proud to continue to invest in education in the UK. Initiatives like the Ultimate STEM Challenge help to inspire and raise the aspirations of young people and relate school subjects to future STEM careers," said Jill Douglas, UK schools education manager for BP. “For the first time, this national competition is open to 9-14-year olds.

 

“We’re inviting young people to be creative and design a new piece of wearable technology that will improve lives in the future. We’re looking for the next big thing. The possibilities are endless, and the winners will meet scientists, designers and coders who can bring their ideas to life!”

 

“We’re looking for the next big thing. The possibilities are endless, and the winners will meet scientists, designers and coders who can bring their ideas to life!”

Jill Douglas, UK schools education manager, BP

 

Gill Collinson, head of Centre & Partnerships at STEM Learning, said: “STEM Learning is proud to support this years’ Ultimate STEM Challenge. This year’s topic is wearable tech, an exciting and innovative technology offering a wonderful chance for young people taking part to develop their STEM related skills.

 

“Building on the success of previous years, there is a renewed drive to engage and encourage many more young people, particularly those who may not have taken part before, to benefit from the tremendous opportunity the Ultimate STEM Challenge offers.

 

“Students will have an opportunity to fully immerse themselves in this new world and approach, not only by learning about wearable tech and its possible applications to improve lives in the future, but also by physically making their product at the end of the challenge.

 

“Building on the success of previous years, there is a renewed drive to engage and encourage many more young people, particularly those who may not have taken part before, to benefit from the tremendous opportunity the Ultimate STEM Challenge offers.”

Gill Collinson, head of Centre & Partnerships, STEM Learning

 

“As with previous years, all participating schools can access the support of a STEM Ambassador – a local enthusiastic STEM volunteer – who can share their wealth of knowledge and expertise to support students through the projects and competition. STEM Ambassadors bring a wealth of real-world experience and invaluable insights into the pathways from STEM study to exciting careers.

 

“The Ultimate STEM Challenge is the perfect opportunity to create a culture of restless curiosity and interest in STEM study amongst all young people.”

 

After winning last year’s Ultimate STEM Challenge, Freya, a member of the winning team from Blundell’s School near Tiverton in East Devon said: “We’re both very pleased to have won! We can’t believe it! We’re so excited to tell the school when we get back. The best part of our experience was designing and building the prototype, it was a lot of fun! We also loved presenting today and meeting all the other finalists.”   

 

For full details on the competition and to download the free resources visit: bpes.bp.com/ultimate-stem-challenge.

Notes to editors

 

Further information about the Ultimate STEM Challenge

Please contact Larissa Khatchik

bpusc@nationalschoolspartnership.com

Phone +44 (0)20 7198 8374. 

 

The Ultimate STEM Challenge

Aimed at students yet to make their GCSE choices, the Ultimate STEM Challenge lays the foundations for younger students considering studying STEM subjects before choosing their subjects.

 

BP and BP’s commitment to STEM education

BP is of one of the world's leading international oil and gas companies operating in around 80 countries and employing around 73,000 people. It provides customers with fuel for transportation, energy for heat and light, lubricants to keep engines moving, and the petrochemicals products used to make everyday items as diverse as paints, clothes and packaging.


For over 50 years, BP has been working to address the STEM skills gap through targeted investment at all levels of education. BP’s early STEM initiatives began as a teaching resource that has since grown into a comprehensive programme contributing to every stage of education, including early years, primary, secondary, tertiary and vocational. Find out more at www.bp.com/STEM.


In order to inspire participating schools to continue running their STEM Clubs and engaging with STEM-based enrichment activities, the BP Educational Service website now has a dedicated STEM Clubs section. This sits alongside a suite of classroom teaching resources developed in response to the research, which seek to further demonstrate that science is for everyone and can be found everywhere. 

 

About STEM Learning

We support teachers of science, technology, computing and mathematics in working towards our vision that all young people, across the UK, should receive a world-leading STEM education.


We operate the National STEM Learning Centre and Network; providing support locally, through Science Learning Partnerships across England, and partners in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland; the network of STEM Ambassadors; alongside a range of other projects supporting STEM education.


STEM Ambassadors are volunteers from a broad range of jobs and backgrounds who are passionate about inspiring young people to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) studies and careers. With a community of over 30,000 volunteers, they are an important, free of charge resource for individuals and groups working with young people across the UK. Find out more at www.stem.org.uk.