BP Ultimate STEM Challenge asks students: what would you reimagine?

The BP Ultimate STEM Challenge is back! BP, in partnership with STEM Learning, is inviting UK students aged 11 to 14 to use their STEM skills to tackle one simple challenge: reimagine a solution to a real-life problem.

2018 marks the 50th anniversary of BP’s investment in STEM education - since 1968 BP has been helping young people to be more engaged 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 setting the challenge to reimagine literally anything using the technology and capability of today. This might be redesigning tools and technology that we have long taken for granted or reinventing something that really could change peoples’ lives for the better.

When developing the competition, BP spoke to young people about the problems that they would like to solve and they came up with lots of ideas from the every day to the extraordinary.

They wanted to improve access to building for wheelchair users, filter out air pollutants with new technology and even make sure everyone gets their fair share of pizza.

Some of these ideas are captured in a new launch video which teachers and STEM Club leaders can use to inspire students to get involved and make their ultimate ideas, designs and solutions a reality.

There is also a presentation available with lots of tips and inspiration to encourage students to come up with ideas, introduce the competition and guide them through the process step-by-step.

Whether your idea helps solve a global problem or makes day-to-day life run a bit smoother for people, BP wants to see a variety of creative ideas and solutions from young people across the UK, so now is your chance to take part!

Ian Duffy, Head of UK Communications and Community Development for BP, said:

“Having spoken to young people about what would inspire them when tasked with tackling a real-life problem, they said they wanted the opportunity to be creative, think outside the box and develop their own ideas. That’s why this year, we’re giving them one simple challenge to reimagine something that is relevant to them. The possibilities are endless and will engage students with many different strengths.”

Gill Collinson, Head of Centre and Partnerships at STEM Learning said:

“It’s great to see the Ultimate STEM Challenge is encouraging young people to use STEM to find a solution to a problem that they care about, be it a global issue or something which affects their everyday lives. Now in its fifth year, we’re especially excited to see the creative ideas that students come up with, whether big or small, the possibilities of using STEM to make the world a better place are endless.

“As with previous years, all participating schools can request a STEM Ambassador to support their STEM Club or class during the competition. Our community of over 40,000 volunteer STEM Ambassadors can help to open up a world of opportunities for students by providing invaluable insight into the pathways from STEM study to exciting careers. We strongly encourage all participating schools to take advantage of this free-of-charge opportunity.”​

Students can complete this challenge in a STEM Club, during a collapsed timetable day, in classroom lessons or in their own time.

The deadline for entries is 15 February 2019.

Winners will receive a fun day out at the Science Museum in London for the grand final, £1,000 to spend on science equipment or field trips, and Science Museum goody bags. All entries shortlisted for the semi-finals will receive a prestigious Bronze CREST Award.

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