EdComs helps BP launch third ‘Ultimate STEM Challenge’

On September 1 2016 BP launched its annual competition, the Ultimate STEM Challenge, for the third consecutive year in partnership with the Science Museum and STEM Learning. Since its beginning EdComs has helped BP to devise the competition and will continue to manage the entries, judging and final event at the Science Museum in March 2017.

The Ultimate STEM Challenge 2017 is designed to encourage young people aged 11 to 14 to use their STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) skills to solve real-world challenges.

This year, EdComs and BP have devised a set of challenges to encourage students to use their creativity to design an energy efficient solution to one of three topics, which are linked to BP’s operations: Rescue RocketsFuture FlightAuto Arm. The finalists will be selected next year and will take part in a celebratory event during British Science Week in March, where they will present their work to a judging panel.

The competition has been developed based on insights from the ground-breaking ‘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. The Ultimate STEM Challenge aims to give young people the opportunity to see themselves as scientists and engineers of the future and encourage them to continue studying STEM subjects and pursue STEM careers.

More than 600 students took part in last year’s Ultimate STEM Challenge, an increase of 33% from the 2015 competition. Our analysis indicated that last year’s competition succeeded in reaching students who are not well represented in STEM careers; 58% of competition entrants were female. Furthermore, our research showed that 40% of schools entering the competition set up a new STEM Club to take part.

Talk to us if you’d like to develop initiatives that encourage schools to participate in engaging educational programmes.

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