Last year more than 600 students took part in the competition, themed around increasing efficiency. This year, students are being challenged to use their creativity to design an energy efficient solution to one of three real-world challenges:
The challenges have been developed to ensure they reflect the energy efficiency considerations that apply across all of BP’s operations, including how we inspect and maintain equipment, support our staff and explore new territories. All challenges can be completed by groups of two to four students at a STEM club, in class or as an independent project. Teachers will also have the opportunity to request support from a STEM ambassador.
The competition has been developed based on insights from Enterprising Science research, which shows that the more science capital (science-related qualifications, interest, literacy and social contacts) a young person has, the more likely they are to pursue a STEM career.
Finalists will be invited to a celebratory final event during British Science Week. There, they will present their work to the judging panel and compete for prizes, including an Ultimate STEM experience day, £500 to spend on science equipment or field trips and Science Museum goodies.
Last year’s Ultimate STEM Challenge was won by three students from Toot Hill School in Bingham, Nottinghamshire with their energy efficient design for wind turbines.
“I can’t believe it,” said Mary Sowter, part of Toot Hill School’s winning team. “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.”
Ian Duffy, head of communications and community development for BP in the UK, said: “We want every young person, regardless of their background, to benefit from the opportunities that a STEM education and career can provide. We are learning from our Enterprising Science research that an effective way to build science capital and foster STEM learning among young people is to show how science is meaningful and relevant to their lives. The Ultimate STEM Challenge does this by showing students how real-world applications flow from classroom science and maths. We hope that this year’s challenges will inspire those who think science ‘isn’t for them’ to take part.”
Teachers need to submit entries before the deadline of 13th January 2017 using the online form on the BP Educational Service website.
Visit www.bp.com/ultimatestemchallenge for more information.