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Twelve teams from UK schools reach the finals of STEM competition

Release date:
3 February 2017
Twelve teams of students from UK schools have been selected for the finals of the BP Ultimate STEM Challenge at the Science Museum in London on 13th March

The national competition, launched in September 2016 by BP, STEM Learning and the Science Museum, challenges UK students aged 11-14 to put their Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) skills to the test by tackling real-world energy problems.


Schools from all over the country took part in the competition for a chance to win an Ultimate STEM experience day and £500 for their school.


This year, students were invited to use their creativity and passion for STEM to design an energy efficient solution to one of three real-world challenges: Rescue Rockets, Future Flight or Auto Arms.


Samantha Bulkeley, UK Schools Education Manager at BP, who sat on the judging panel, said: “I would like to congratulate all of the teams for getting through to the finals. We saw some fantastic projects this year.


The finalist entries really demonstrated how these young people used their innovation and strong STEM skills to help solve real-world design challenges. We look forward to seeing the students bring their projects to life at the finals in March.”


The twelve finalist teams will be presenting their work to an expert judging panel at the Science Museum on 13th March during British Science Week.


Following the presentations, the students will have the chance to participate in a day of fun science activities.


The twelve schools to reach the final are:

  • Albyn School, ABERDEEN
  • Bohunt School, LIPHOOK
  • Bredon Hill Academy  EVESHAM
  • Clapton Girls Academy, LONDON
  • Colyton Grammar School, COLYTON (2 teams)
  • Kingdown School, WARMINSTER
  • Queen Elizabeth's School, BARNET
  • St Columba's School, KILMACOLM
  • Toot Hill School, NOTTINGHAM
  • Wellington College Belfast BELFAST

Notes to editors

About the Ultimate STEM Challenge

Aimed at younger secondary school students yet to make their GCSE choices, the Ultimate STEM Challenge builds on the success of the BP Ultimate Field Trip, which has engaged nearly 3,000 UK STEM university students in the past five years, and lays the foundations for younger students considering studying STEM subjects before making their GCSE subject choices.


About BP and BP’s commitment to STEM education

BP is one of the world's leading integrated oil and gas companies, operating in over 70 countries and employing around 80,000 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 45 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.


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 Enterprising Science research, which seek to further demonstrate that science is for everyone and can be found everywhere.


About STEM Learning

STEM Learning (formerly the National STEM Centre and the National Science Learning Centre) provides world-class professional development activities and quality-assured teaching resources to support the teaching of STEM. The website houses the largest collection of resources and CPD activities in the UK.


From 1 August 2016 STEM Learning and STEMNET merged, combining their operations, including the management of the network of STEM Ambassadors.


STEM Ambassadors use their enthusiasm and commitment to encourage young people to enjoy STEM subjects. They open the doors to a world of opportunities and possibilities which come from pursuing STEM subjects and careers.


STEM Ambassadors not only inspire young people, they also support teachers in the classroom by explaining current applications of STEM in industry or research.


STEM Ambassadors contribute to their local community and at the same time boost their own professional skills, experience and confidence.

Placing STEM Ambassadors and STEM Clubs alongside the highly-rated STEM inspiration and teacher support already offered by STEM Learning provides those who work with young people in


STEM subjects and activities with the support they need all in one place.


About the Science Museum

As the home of human ingenuity, the Science Museum’s world-class collection forms an enduring record of scientific, technological and medical achievements from across the globe. Welcoming over 3 million visitors a year, the Museum aims to make sense of the science that shapes our lives, inspiring visitors with iconic objects, award-winning exhibitions and incredible stories of scientific achievement.


About the British Science Association CREST Awards

CREST is a UK award scheme that recognises success, and enables students to build their skills and demonstrate personal achievement in project work.  It offers educators an easy-to-run framework for curriculum enhancement and is student-led, which means that young people take ownership of their projects and choose to undertake them in areas they enjoy or see as relevant.


Each year, over 32,000 CREST Awards are undertaken by 11-to-19-year-olds, giving them opportunities to explore real-world science, technology, engineering and maths projects in an exciting way.