BP’s Ultimate STEM Challenge is back for a fourth year with three brand new challenges based on the theme of My Sustainable Future.
By exploring the practical uses of science, the challenges are designed to inspire young people to consider further study and careers in STEM.
In partnership with the Science Museum and STEM Learning, BP is inviting UK students aged 11-14 to use their STEM skills to help reduce our impact on the environment and create a more sustainable future.
Students can complete the challenge in a STEM Club, during a collapsed timetable day, in classroom lessons or in their own time. Schools can also request a STEM Ambassador to support their STEM Club or class.
Ultimate STEM Challenge provides an optional Challenge starter lesson to help teachers introduce the task and to give students useful background information. Alternatively, teachers have the option of asking students to work on the Challenge independently using the Student guide.
Teachers and students can choose from three brand new challenges on the theme of My Sustainable Future.
The Challenge: Create an efficient way of generating electricity from moving water.
One solution to a sustainable future is to use the forces found in nature to generate renewable energy, including solar power, wind power and hydropower. Hydropower doesn’t need to be produced on a huge scale; micro hydro installations offer a way to produce renewable energy from small, fast-flowing streams in mountainous areas.
The Challenge: Grow indoor plants using a sustainable method that conserves water.
Water is essential for human life. As almost 97 per cent of the Earth’s water is salt water in the oceans and seas, and the majority of our fresh water is tied up in glaciers, ice caps and groundwater, it is important that it is not wasted. Everyone has a responsibility for not wasting water, which is why BP investigates ways to manage water use and reduce the amount of water used in its operations. The agricultural sector uses about 70 per cent of the planet’s accessible fresh water. Could there be ways to use less, while ensuring that we can feed everyone?
The Challenge: Build a system that generates and captures biomethane from food waste.
Global warming is one of today’s biggest environmental threats and greenhouse gases such as methane contribute to global warming. Methane can come from many sources, both natural and manmade. However, biomethane (methane produced by animals or from biomass) can be a useful source of energy. Capturing and using biomethane keeps it out of our atmosphere and can provide a sustainable way for the world to meet some of its energy needs.
The deadline for entries is 12 January 2018, with winners receiving an Ultimate STEM experience day, £500 to spend on science equipment or field trips, and Science Museum goody bags!
Looking for hints and tips on how to submit a winning entry? Read our guide to find out what the judges are looking for, to help your students craft a creative entry.
For full details on the competition, access to STEM Ambassadors and to download the free Challenge resources, please click here. And to find out from this year’s student finalists about their experience at the Science Museum watch here: