Four students from Walton Priory Middle School in Staffordshire have won the BP Ultimate STEM Challenge at an event held last week at the Science Museum in London. The EdComs team were in attendance as twelve teams presented their solutions to one of three real-world energy efficiency challenges.
Now in its fourth year, EdComs has worked with BP to develop and deliver the competition, which encourages students aged 11-14 to put their Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) skills to the test. The Ultimate STEM Challenge is run by the BP Educational Service in partnership with STEM Learning.
This year’s competition theme – My Sustainable Future – challenged the students 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.
The winning solution, created by Aimee, Eve, Jenny and Megan, showcased an energy efficient way of generating electricity from moving water through the use of a waterwheel and dam – they even conducted a series of experiments with a prototype in a local stream. The students were praised by the judges for their innovative scientific thinking, excellent presentation skills and passion for science communication. The team won an Ultimate STEM Experience day, £500 to spend on science equipment or field trips, as well as Science Museum goodies.
Three student teams were also rewarded for their innovative thinking and ability to bring their projects to life. Colyton Grammar and InterHigh Education won the ‘Highly Commended’ awards, while Oakhill College were awarded ‘Best Stand’.
The final was attended by Stephen Metcalfe MP, Apprenticeship Ambassador and Government Envoy for the 2018 Year of Engineering.
Eve, part of the school’s winning team, said:
“We’re all so exhilarated to have won! We knew we wanted to be practical and get our hands dirty, but we also loved presenting today and meeting all the other competitors.”
Ian Duffy, BP’s Head of UK Communications and Community Development, said:
“This year BP is celebrating the fifty-year anniversary of its support for STEM education in the UK, and we’re also a proud partner of the Year of Engineering 2018. Our long-term ambition has been to address the STEM skills gap through targeted investment at all levels of education, so it’s a pleasure to be at the Ultimate STEM Challenge final today, celebrating the achievements of these inspirational young people from schools around the country.
“By showing students how engineers make a difference to the world through solutions to real-world problems, we can encourage more young people to pursue STEM studies now and in the future.”
Everybody at EdComs was delighted to see the excitement and appetite for STEM from all of the finalists at the Ultimate STEM challenge. Congratulations to everybody who took part!
Sign up now to be the first to hear about our next Ultimate STEM Challenge launching later in the year.