Winners from around GB announced in national schools’ STEM competition

Secondary school students from across Great Britain have been named regional and category winners in Shell’s national schools’ competition, The Bright Ideas Challenge.

Each school’s bright ideas have won them £1,500 to boost STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) learning.

By 2070, it’s estimated there will be around 10 billion people on the planet, with demand for energy set to double. This means the world needs to find new ways to produce more energy.

The Bright Ideas Challenge asks young people aged 11-14 to address this demand and imagine innovative solutions for making our future cities clean, efficient, vibrant places to live, work and play. Students are asked to demonstrate their understanding and application of STEM in their entries, as well as their ability to combine this with creative problem solving and teamwork. The Bright Ideas Challenge 2020 is already open for entries.

The winning ideas from across Great Britain included everything from diverting water via man-made waterfalls to create hydropower from existing rivers demonstrating the wide variety of potential innovations across housing, transport, food production and waste disposal in future cities.

The teams will now travel to London for a VIP STEM experience where they will prototype their idea and compete to be crowned National Champions, taking home an additional £3,500 for their school and individual vouchers for team members. The National Champion of The Bright Ideas Challenge will be announced by Rachel Riley, Shell STEM Education Ambassador, at the VIP STEM experience in London on Friday 21 June.

Speaking about the winning ideas, Marcus-Alexander Neil, Shell UK Social Investment Lead, commented: “It is a real thrill to see the ingenuity the students have brought to their competition entries. As the next generation of scientists, mathematicians and engineers they are able look at things from a fresh perspective. Our hope is that participating in The Bright Ideas Challenge inspires many of these talented students to apply their classroom learning to real-world problems and become the scientists and engineers the world needs to meet our future energy demand.”

At their VIP STEM experience, the teams will take their ideas to the next level in a hands-on prototyping workshop with real engineering graduates at Imperial College London. They will also get a science communication masterclass to impress an elite panel of judges from prestigious organisations, including Imperial College London, Royal Academy of Engineers and Teach First.

The winners announced today include 12 geographical regional champions, as well as two special prizes for participants in Shell’s partner programmes; Tomorrow’s Engineers Energy Quest and Teach First.

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