The Ultimate STEM Challenge 2018

Written by: Pete Henshaw | Published:
Flying high: The 2017 Ultimate STEM Challenge winners (l-r) Hattie, Amelie and Cathryn (Image: John Sanders)

Could your students create an efficient design for generating electricity from moving water? Or grow indoor plants using a sustainable method that conserves water? Or perhaps they can build a system that generates and captures biomethane from food waste?

These are the three challenges that have been thrown down for students aged 11 to 14 in this year’s Ultimate STEM Challenge.

The competition is run by STEM Learning and the Science Museum, with support from BP, and the theme this year is “My Sustainable Future”.

Students can work in teams to tackle the challenge, and those making it to the national finals will be able to present their proposals and ideas to a panel of expert judges. The deadline for entries in January 12 and a range of resources and advice is available online.

This year’s winners, unveiled in March after the national finals at the Science Museum, took inspiration from flying animals, including the draco lizard, to answer the 2017 STEM challenge to find the best wing design for a remote controlled survey aircraft.

Amelie, Cathryn and Hattie, from Bredon Hill Academy in Evesham, centred their work around an investigation as to whether broader and longer wings would be most effective for gliding.

STEM Learning operates the National STEM Learning Centre and Network and other STEM initiatives including the network of STEM Ambassadors, and participants in the competition can draw upon the Ambassadors scheme to support their students.


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