Three students from Toot Hill School in Bingham, Nottinghamshire won the BP Ultimate STEM Challenge competition at an event today at the Science Museum in London.
For the second consecutive year, BP, STEMNET and the Science Museum launched the nationwide schools competition, which challenges 11-14 year-old students to test their Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) skills by tackling real-world energy problems.
The competition was developed as a result of ground-breaking research conducted by King’s College London, the research partner in BP’s Enterprising Science programme. The research shows that despite 70 percent of school children saying that they ‘learn interesting things in science’ and that ‘scientists make a difference in the world’, only around 15 percent aspire to be a scientist.
The Ultimate STEM Challenge aims to get young people excited about STEM, encourage them to continue studying STEM subjects and to pursue STEM careers. According to EngineeringUK, at all levels of education, the UK does not have the current capacity or the required rate of growth needed to meet the forecast demand for skilled engineers and technicians by 2022.
Mary Sowter part of the winning team, spoke about what it was like to win this year’s BP Ultimate STEM Challenge. She said: I can’t believe it. When I found out we were going to London I was so excited, and to have won has topped off an amazing day. I’ve learnt so much from seeing the other schools’ projects, and today has really inspired me to take part in more STEM challenges in the future.”
Team member Jack Kellas added: “It’s fantastic, all our hard work has paid off.”
Their teacher, Bina Mistry said: “I’m so incredibly proud, even getting to the final was amazing, so to have won is the perfect end to the day. The whole event has been really motivating and inspiring.”
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Aimed at younger secondary school students yet to make their GCSE choices, the Ultimate STEM Challenge aims to get young people excited about STEM, to encourage them to continue studying STEM subjects and to pursue STEM careers.
BP is of one of the world's leading international oil and gas companies operating in around 80 countries and employing around 80,000 people. They provide 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.
BP invests £3.25 million each year in STEM-related educational activities in the UK and estimates its resources have reached an estimated 2.8 million UK students over the past five years.
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.
Find out more about BP's commitment to STEM.
Enterprising Science is a five-year partnership between King's College London and the Science Museum, funded by BP (2013-2017). This research and development project uses the concept of ‘science capital’ (science-related qualifications, interest, literacy and social contacts) to understand how young people from all backgrounds engage with science and how their engagement might be supported.
For more information visit: The Enterprising Science Project
STEMNET creates opportunities to inspire young people in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). This enables young people to develop their creativity, problem-solving and employability skills, widens their choices and supports the UK’s future competitiveness. STEMNET helps encourage young people to be well informed about STEM, able to engage fully in debate, and make decisions about STEM related issues.
For more information visit: www.stemnet.org.uk
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.
For more information visit: www.sciencemuseum.org.uk