UK’s top STEM Competition returns to celebrate creative young minds

The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Competition is back for another year – with entries for 2023/24 now open. Students aged 11 to 18 across the UK are being invited to think big, challenge facts, ask questions and get creative by entering a STEM project into The Big Bang Competition. 

Inquisitive young minds with an idea to transform the future can win a range of prizes, including the prestigious title of The Big Bang UK Young Engineer of the Year or The Big Bang UK Young Scientist of the Year. 

Also, new for this year, is The Big Bang UK Young Technologist of the Year, supported by Siemens – where young people can explore their inner innovator. Open to students of all abilities, every young person who enters will receive feedback on their project from real scientists, engineers and technologists.

Teacher Mrs Wheeler, from Invicta Grammar School in Kent, said: “The Big Bang Competition allows students of all ages to discover STEM from a new engaging perspective and experience the life of a scientist, first hand. A year 8 student that entered last year now has her eyes firmly set on her future career in programming and is really excited to be developing an app to enter this year. It really shows how our students are the future of STEM.”

Ready-made resources are available to help teachers guide and inspire their students through the stages of STEM project work with easy step-by-step guides using the Big Bang Challenge. This year, teachers can download four brand new challenge resources for free, with exciting new themes including AI and robotics, extreme weather and air quality.

Phil McShane, associate director of the Big Bang Programme at EngineeringUK, explained: “Getting involved with The Big Bang Competition is a brilliant way for teachers to inspire their students to think big, solve problems and build their confidence. 

“We want students from all backgrounds to discover the magic of STEM and be inspired by the possibilities of a future career in STEM. Our new Big Bang challenges are a great way to get started and discover some of the real-world challenges STEM is solving.”

Students are invited to explore any topic in the field of STEM, and can enter their idea either on their own or as part of a team, and in a range of ways – including via drawings, 3D models and video submissions.

Mark Wood, schools and corporate citizenship manager at Siemens – who are supporting the new technology stream – commented: “We are delighted to continue to work with The Big Bang Competition as a catalyst to inspire and aspire the next generation.  

“Technology is going to solve the global issues we all face now and in the future so it is essential to get young people interested and passionate about these topics and to encourage them to be creative and think big.  We are in their hands, and we are excited to work with the next generation to empower them to make our everyday a better place for everyone.”

The winners of the competition will be announced at an awards ceremony at The Big Bang Fair, returning to Birmingham’s NEC from Wednesday 19 June to Friday 21 June 2024. 

On attending last year’s final, teacher Neil Wright from William Farr CofE Comprehensive School in Lincolnshire, said: “Students had a genuine pride in themselves and their achievement – they had mixed with the best, been treated as professionals and proved to themselves that they could do it.”

The Big Bang Competition is open for entries until 27 March 2024 at 5pm – students and teachers can find out more and enter

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