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Ultimate STEM Challenge announces twelve finalist teams from UK schools

Release date:
26 February 2018
Twelve teams of students from UK schools have been announced as finalists of the bp Ultimate STEM Challenge, set to be held at the Science Museum in London on Monday 12 March

The national competition, launched in partnership with STEM Learning in June 2017, 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.


This year’s competition theme – My Sustainable Future – challenged young people to develop solutions to one of three real-world challenges: Handy Hydro, Parched Plants or Brilliant Biogas. All the challenges were designed to encourage students to think about how they could help to reduce natural resource use or bring down greenhouse gas emissions.


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

The twelve finalist teams will present their work to an expert judging panel at the Science Museum. Following their presentations, all finalists will have the chance to participate in a day of fun science activities.

This year’s final coincides with the Year of Engineering, a year-long campaign, launched in January 2018 to tackle the engineering skills gap and widen the pool of young people who join the profession. bp is supporting the campaign throughout the year with a variety of events and experiences and will also be producing a range of engineering-themed resources for the BP Education Service website.


Samantha Bulkeley, UK schools education manager at bp, said:

“I would like to congratulate all of the teams that have reached the Ultimate STEM Challenge final. During the judging process, we were impressed to see how students from all over the UK used problem-solving and teamwork skills to develop their own unique responses to this year's real-world challenges.


“The finalist entries all stood out for their creativity and innovation in helping to create a more sustainable future. We look forward to celebrating the hard work of all the students and seeing their projects come to life at the finals in March.”


The twelve finalists are:

  • Bethany School, Cranbrook
  • Bolton School Girls Division, Bolton
  • Bredon Hill Academy, Evesham
  • Colyton Grammar School, Colyton (4 teams)
  • Interhigh Education (online)
  • Oakhill School and Nursery, Clitheroe
  • Pensby High School, Wirral
  • St Peter’s Church of England Aided School, Exeter
  • Walton Priory Middle School, Stone

Notes to editors

For further information about the bp Ultimate STEM Challenge, please contact:

David Segurola, EdComs

Email: david.segurola@edcoms.co.uk

Phone: 0207 401 4034


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. www.bp.com/ultimatestemchallenge


About bp and bp’s commitment to STEM education

bp is of one of the world's leading international oil and gas companies operating in 72 countries and employing 74,500 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 50 years, bp has been working to address the STEM skills gap through targeted investment at all levels of education. bp supports a comprehensive national programme of STEM initiatives which contribute to every stage of education, including early years, primary, secondary, tertiary and vocational.

bp invests 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.


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 Enterprising Science 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 receiving 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


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.


Find out more at www.sciencemuseum.org.uk


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.


Find out more at www.britishscienceassociation.org/crest-awards


The Year of Engineering 2018

The Year of Engineering is a government campaign which celebrates the world and wonder of engineering.

Throughout 2018, young people and their parents will have the chance to take a closer look at engineering, with thousands of inspiring experiences of engineering on offer throughout the country. Through bringing young people face to face with engineering role models and achievements, the campaign will showcase the creativity, variety and innovation of the profession. It will also highlight the opportunities and benefits of engineering careers for all young people –regardless of their gender, ethnicity or social background.


To find out more about the Year of Engineering, visit the website www.yearofengineering.gov.uk or follow the campaign #YoE on Twitter.