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Marcus-Alexander Neil, UK Education Lead at Shell, explains the benefits of entering the Bright Ideas Challenge, for students, teachers and schools.
Why was the Bright Ideas Challenge originally established?
The UK needs a rich pool of future scientists and engineers. Their skills are essential to powering the UK economy and helping tackle some of the global challenges that lie ahead, including the need to create more and cleaner energy.
Yet there’s a huge skills gap to be filled, with most jobs on the Home Office Shortage Occupation List in STEM related roles or industries.
We want to play a role in encouraging more young people to consider using their STEM skills to positively shape tomorrow. That’s why we launched The Bright Ideas Challenge as part of our ongoing commitment to reach and inspire more young people to pursue careers in science and engineering.
What does the competition involve?
With two thirds of the global population set to live in cities by 2050, The Bright Ideas Challenge invites young people aged 11-14 years to devise innovative, cleaner energy solutions to power cities of the future.
Working in teams of up to five, students combine STEM knowledge, creative thinking, problem solving and collaboration to come up with ingenious energy ideas which could help create a better future for us all.
How much input is required from teachers, and what support is on offer?
We’re all too aware that teachers face jam-packed schedules. That’s why we’ve made sure the competition resources are carefully aligned to the curriculum.
It can be delivered across multiple subjects and comes with a range of curriculum-linked resources, including a step-by-step Teacher Toolkit, Student Workbook and a
Classroom Presentation centred around four mini-videos.
We’ve also launched a new Content Navigation Guide this year to help teachers easily access and deliver the competition, with guidance adapted for different settings.
In what ways does experiencing the competition benefit students and schools?
With prizes of up to £5,000 to supersize a school’s STEM offering and vouchers for each team member up for grabs, the competition offers schools fantastic opportunities to really boost their STEM provision and give students access to once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.
This includes the chance to take their bright ideas to the next level via a professionally facilitated prototyping session. Of the 2018 entrants, 98% said they enjoyed taking part, whilst the same portion of teachers said they would recommend the competition to a colleague.
How can teachers find out more about The Bright Ideas Challenge, and what is the deadline for entries?
For more information, go to shell.co.uk/brightideaschallenge where you’ll find all the details on entering as well as information on how to enter and the prizes up for grabs. So, what are you waiting for? Deadline for entries is 5pm on Friday 26 April 2019. Good luck!
The Bright Ideas Challenge, Shell’s secondary schools’ competition, is open for entries! For more information check out: shell.co.uk/brightideaschallenge.