Last updated: 9 November 2018

Aspire to Engineer: The Genetic Engineering Challenge

Aspire to Engineer: The Genetic Engineering Challenge is an educational challenge from the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 and led by Big Ideas.

The challenge engages students in the possibilities of STEM to make a difference in the world and inspires students through interviews with three world-renowned engineers: Professor Gebisa Ejeta, Dr Kathy Niakan and Professor Madeleine van Oppen.

Fantastic prizes for schools include a special prize from the Natural History Museum and video calls with the three world-renowned engineers for three runner-up schools.

The Genetic Engineering Challenge invites schools to create engaging and inspirational presentations about genetic engineering and how it can tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges today. It is open to schools and colleges anywhere across the UK (student ages 7 - 18). STEM and science clubs are welcome.

Email by Friday 14 December 2018 to register your interest. All registered schools will receive free Genetic Engineering Challenge posters and an online challenge pack.

Wellcome photography prize now open for entries

Calling image makers from all disciplines to enter the Wellcome Photography Prize, with the overall winner receiving a prize of £15,000. This is a great opportunity for you to inspire people to think differently about health, medicine and science. All the winning and shortlisted entries will go on show in a major public exhibition at Lethaby Gallery, Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, from 4-13 July 2019. 

The deadline for entries is 17 December 2018. 

You can also  receive updates about the prize by subscribing here and by following our Instagram channel

Farmvention Competition

Farmvention (when farming meets invention) is a national STEM competition run by the NFU aimed at primary school children

There are three exciting problem based challenges that can be entered by individual children or in teams. Designed to make children think about the day to day issues faced by farmers and growers in England and Wales, each challenge is supported by curriculum linked resources created in partnership with the Association for Science Education (ASE).

Closing date 21 December 2018

Google Science Fair

A good idea can come from anyone, anywhere. If you’re between 13-18, take part in the Google Science Fair and share your best idea using science, technology, engineering, and maths.

It doesn’t matter if you use pen and paper or a full-scale lab; it’s all about the idea and the thinking behind it – no matter how big or small.

What do I need to do?

Start thinking up ideas. Go solo or grab some friends to join and dive into all the guides and inspiration that can help you along the way.

There are so many fantastic prizes too!

Click here to find out more and share your best ideas with the world!

Closing date December 12th.

BP Ultimate STEM Challenge Competition

BPES logo 2018This year the BP Ultimate STEM Challenge is back and it’s even better! For the first time, BP, in partnership with STEM Learning, is inviting UK students aged 11-14 to use their STEM skills to tackle one simple challenge: reimagine a solution to a real-life problem.

This year the Ultimate STEM Challenge is setting the ultimate 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.

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

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.

Visit for full details, access to STEM Ambassadors and to download the FREE Challenge resources.

The deadline for entries is 15 February 2019.

European Systems Safety Society Competition 2018

Win a 3D printer for your school! This competition is open for Year 7 and Year 12 UK students.

The Challenge:

We challenge groups of pupils to work together to:

  • identify a hazardous situation (new or existing, funny or serious);

  • explain the likely consequences of potential hazardous events (there may be several different consequences, each with a different severity and/or likelihood);

  • assess the risk of each different outcome (based on likelihood and severity);

  • propose solutions to reduce risk (if necessary) by making the hazardous event less likely and/or reducing the severity of its consequences;

  • distil their thoughts via art or IT into a poster, concept solution, PowerPoint presentation, animated cartoon or video; and then

  • email their Entry Form and upload their results to the ESSS website for scrutiny by the judging panel.

Link here to the competition guidance and entry form...these documents can be found on the following site -:  

If you go to Resources, you will see, bottom left, Safety Competition. The three docs can be accessed, and downloaded,by clicking on the relevant box, then on the green arrow, bottom left. Also added here is an example risk assessment.

Closing date is November 30 2018

RAF100 Competition

RAF100 logoThe RAF100 Competition is an opportunity for young people to tell the story of an RAF base and bring together their understanding of history and physics

The history of the RAF demonstrates how people and their needs have pushed scientific development. How can knowledge of those people and the technology they worked with push us to think about developments for the future?

On this website there is an interactive map showing all the RAF bases in the UK and another of all the RAF bases used globally. The maps start from the First World War period through to today. Currently these maps only include very basic information about each of the bases. We would like schools and youth groups to provide the information about the bases.

In addition to helping tell the story of each base, the competition offers an opportunity for young people to bring together their understanding of how scientific ideas and technology have developed in history to explore current and future technological developments that might shape the RAF and civilian world of the future.

The prizes include opportunities to attend commemorative events during the centenary year, as well as gifts for the school.

Age groups: the competition will run with three age group categories: 11-14; 14-18 and 11-18.

Closing dates: the prizes are spread over 2018 and include tickets to events, so there are three opportunities to enter for different prizes:

  • Closing date  30 November 2018

Schools/youth groups etc can put forward as many entries as they wish for each of the deadlines, but each entry (research piece/film etc) can only be submitted once.

No More Cabbage! No More Cabbage

This year’s CLEAPSS competition updates a classic practical activity.

Help your children make and investigate the best alternative indicators to red cabbage. There are prizes available for children, the school and staff.

TALENT 2030 National Engineering Competition for Girls

The competition invites girls to solve the major challenges of the 21st century, showing how engineering makes a difference to people and the planet! Entering the competition is an opportunity to get creative, get thinking and most of all – have fun!
The competition is open to all female students in secondary education
• Girls can enter independently or through their schools
• There are 3 different age categories – 11-14 (Y7-9), 15-16 (Y10-11) and 17-18 (Y12-13)
• Girls can enter individually or in groups of up to 6
• Open to girls from all subject areas
• One entry per group/individual (schools can submit multiple entries but girls cannot)
The competition is FREE to enter and offers girls the chance to win £500 for themselves and £500 for their school.

More information here

Closing date 14 December 2018

Faraday Challenge Day applications for 2018-19 are open!

IET Faraday Challenge Days give students the opportunity to research, design and make prototype solutions to genuinely tough engineering problems. At each event teams compete to win a prize for themselves and a trophy for their school.

The event is free of charge and set up and run by our team of STEM professionals to give you the time to focus on your students.

IET logoDelivered by the IET in 68 schools and 12 Academic Partner universities – as well as further events available as requested by funders and sponsors – the Faraday Challenge Days are one day STEM activities for six teams of six students. Our 2018-19 season’s Challenge Days are designed for Year 8 students (England) and their equivalents (aged 12-13 years).

Download the application form here

Science4Society Week 2019 competition 'Globally Responsible Careers'

March 2017Run in collaboration with the ASE, the competition makes a great lesson or homework activity for an EPQ or a science club or for careers advisors to use.

What job do you want to do? What are your career aspirations? How might this job impact on the local/national/global environment? e.g. air/land/water pollution, biodiversity, flooding, climate etc. What are the scientific issues involved? How could you help to make this job more globally responsible?

More information here

Closing date 1 March 2019

The Art of Sustainability and STEM

Art of Sustainability logoYou are the designers of the future; all our futures. Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) will be at the heart of that future. Consumption and Waste is one curriculum topic in Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship (ESDGC). Future design will be about creating a Sustainable world. One where we are contributing to the Well Being of both ourselves and the natural world.

The Challenge is to design a Sustainable Kart to race in the Brockweir Soap Box Derby. Info here and here.

The winning team will have to demonstrate how their Kart delivers Well Being. Teams will have to think through Sustainability demonstrating how the whole life cycle of the Kart meets with cyclical design.

An award for the most Sustainable Kart will be presented at the end of the race also learners may be able to work towards a Crest Award as part of this project.

The next race date has not yet been set, but will be in the autumn of 2018 so there’s plenty of time.

Contact Steven England at for more details.

Cisco Little Big Futures

The Internet of Things (IoT) is about connecting the unconnected. Getting everyday objects to send, receive and process data to solve real-world issues.

Cisco and STEM Learning relaunched the Little Big Awards in 2017 to now be Little Big Futures. This programme has a collection of resources for students aged 11-14 to participate in five one-hour lessons across the STEM subjects and STEM clubs.

Each one-hour resource includes subject-specific investigations, exploring the Internet of Things. You don’t need any specific technology for these interactive and engaging activities. These resources introduce upcoming technologies that will soon be part of everyday life. They give your students the opportunity to be creative with their learning and explore careers education.

Cisco is also sponsoring schools to take part in the CREST Discovery Awards and they will cover the cost of applying.

Students will work in teams to investigate a real-world problem and report on their findings. You can request a local STEM Ambassador to inspire and support your students during this challenge

Schools Competition 2019 Imperial College London

The Faculty of Natural Sciences Schools Science Competition 2019 is open for registrations.

The best teams will be invited to present their idea at a showcase event at Imperial College in front of a live audience and a panel of VIP judges. The competition winners will each receive individual prizes, will be given the opportunity to visit a world-leading science facility in the UK. Find out more here…

Better Energy School Awards

Better Energy Awards logo.pngThe Better Energy School Awards aim to assist and encourage environmental education for young people aged 5-11. They promote cross-curricular work on the environment and ANY work you are doing at your school covering any kind of environmental issue can be entered. The Better Energy School Awards for excellence in environmental education link with the National Curriculum for England and Wales and the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence – explore our guides here.

Enter your school today – win up to £5,000! Read the competition rules here.

The Better Energy School Awards are split into four regions (South/Central, North, Wales and West, Scotland) and there will be a winner for each Award category in each region. The best entry chosen from all of the winners in each region will be made a Regional Champion and will receive £1,000. The best of the Regional Champions will be chosen as the UK Champions, who receive a total of £5,000 for the school funds.

In addition to all the winners, 16 Runners-Up will receive £250 each for the school funds. A further 20 Highly Commended schools will receive £100.

Representatives from the four Regional Champion schools attend a special Awards Ceremony in London, where they receive their prizes from specially invited celebrity guests. Previous venues include London Zoo and the Science Museum.

Step into the NHS Competition

Step into NHS logo.pngThe Step into the NHS schools’ Competition offers students in years 8 and 9 the chance to win a tablet or a £50 Amazon voucher.

There’s much more to working for the NHS than being a doctor or nurse. In fact there are more than 350 different careers in the NHS and, with that many careers on offer, there’s a job to suit anyone, no matter what your interests and skills are. The Step into the NHS competition asks students to choose an NHS career that interests them and create a job description and an advert to tell their friends and other young people about it. Students can work on their own or in teams of up to four.

Find out more and apply here…

RHS Greening Grey Britain

RHS Greening Grey BritainThe RHS would like you and your group to identify an area in your local community that could do with a bit of colour. Sign up to take part in Greening Grey Britain and the RHS will send you a free packet of wild cornfield seeds which are all perfect plants for pollinators.

Help spread the word of Greening Grey Britain and win prizes by sharing your photos on Twitter using #GreeningGreyBritain and @RHSSchools. Prizes will be awarded every week so get snapping! If you decide to green up an area in your community, you may also be eligible to apply for the RHS Level 5 School Gardening Award and receive £200 in gardening gift vouchers.

BBC Terrific Scientific

BBC Terrific ScientificThe campaign consists of 10 nationwide investigations and hopes to encourage one million children to take part. Terrific Scientific will also enable children to undertake genuine research using their science enquiry skills to inform the work of leading universities. The investigations are designed to be accessible and use everyday items.

Science and Wildlife Presenter, Liz Bonnin is an ambassador for Terrific Scientific and feature in this introductory film  which explains what the campaign is all about. Schools can sign up here to take part.

The Gratnells Science Technician of the Year Competition

ImageThe Gratnells Science Technician of the Year Competition is now in its eleventh successful year!

Once again this year we have a fantastic array of prizes and we've kept it much easier to enter with a simpler entry form. You can enter yourself instead of someone else entering on your behalf. You also have a choice of how to enter. You can download and print the entry form or you can enter online.

Closing date is Friday, 25th January, 2019.

More information here.