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Competitions

Last updated: 7 April 2021

Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Programme

(Not a competition but there is an application process)

The Summer Immersion Program (SIP) is a 2-week virtual introductory computer science course for girls aged 15 - 18.

This 2-week virtual program teaches girls—trans and cis—and non-binary students the computer science skills they need to make an impact in their community while preparing for a career in tech. Participants will get exposure to tech jobs, meet women in tech careers, and join a supportive sisterhood of girls in tech.

In addition to developing your Computer Science skills, you'll learn about female role models in technology, past and present. You'll be encouraged to take positive risks as you collaborate with other students to strengthen your resilience, intellectual curiosity, emotional intelligence, and sense of empowerment. 

Applications are currently open.

All details here.

Net Zero Superheroes

N-Z0 is on a quest to save the planet. Using his carbon neutralising sneakers, he's transforming pollution in to clean energy with every step, walking a steady path towards net zero. But he needs your help.

Your mission, as a school or individual (aged 10-14), is to propose and present an idea on how you can contribute to achieving Net Zero. This could relate to energy, recycling, sustainability, reducing emissions, or any other topic which contributes to the government target of Net Zero by 2050.

Along with an experienced mentor, N-Z0 will provide you with the information you need to understand the challenges of achieving Net Zero. This will help to inform your solution.

Closing date 14 June.

All details here.

The 2021 Beetlestone Award – for leadership and legacy in Informal Science Learning 

Are you a leader in the field of ‘informal learning in science’?

Or do you work with someone who is?

Now in its fourth year, this Award is to recognise someone who has already made or is clearly creating a significant legacy for the field. This Award has been made possible through the generosity of the Beetlestone family and other private donors.

The prize

  • UK-wide recognition amongst your peers in the ISL field.
  • The Beetlestone Award trophy
  • A personal award of £500
  • A bursary of up to £500 to facilitate dissemination
  • Attendance at the annual BIG Event free of registration charge.

The closing date for completed applications for this year’s Award is Saturday 1 May 2021.

Details of how to nominate someone, or to apply yourself, are now available here.

Magic of Materials Summer School for Year 10 students

(Not a Competition but limited spaces)

The Magic of Materials Summer School is a FREE three day residential course introducing students aged 14-15 to Materials Science and Engineering. It will be held at St Paul’s School, London from Monday 12 to Wednesday 14 July 2021. 

The course is organised and run in partnership between St Paul’s School and the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3). It brings to life the complex and diverse subject of materials science through a series of workshops and lectures led by teachers, academics and industry experts. The course will demonstrate the importance of the field across the sciences, engineering and technology.

This unique course is open to 24 non-fee paying school students from across the UK in year 10 or equivalent and is entirely free to attend. A maximum of three students from any one school will be selected. Places will be allocated on the basis of simple application forms requiring short statements from both student and nominating teacher. As this course takes place during term time approval must be given by the student’s school, otherwise they cannot attend. We particularly encourage students with a keen interest in STEM and materials science to apply.

Closing date for applications is 29 April.

All details here.

Clean Tech Competition for 15 to 18 year olds

This competition asks students to research a problem and propose a clean tech solution based around a theme –this year, it’s ‘preserving planet Earth’. It builds on pupils’ research, investigation and analysis skills, as well as their scientific writing.

In the first round, students are asked identify a problem and write an essay of between 5–15 pages proposing a clean technology solution. In the second round, students will create a prototype of their solution.

Entries are accepted from individuals or teams up up to three members The registration deadline is 23 April, with the essay submission deadline on 28 April. 

Details here.

MiSAC UK Annual Competition: Fungi and climate Change

A competition was introduced in 1985 in the UK to enhance student interest in microbiology. It became an annual event in 1994 and the MiSAC Annual Competition for Key Stages 3 and 4 (or equivalent) now attracts up to 2,000 student entries each year.

Each year, the topic chosen for the competition in the UK is linked to the National Curriculum. Special sponsorship provides money prizes totalling £1,000 for students and their schools. Each student entrant receives a certificate.

Aim of the competition: To develop an understanding among teenagers of the interrelationships between the activities of fungi and climate change. You are required to produce information for a social media website for teenagers called What you didn’t know about climate change. You should explain: the concept of climate change and its effects, how the activities of fungi affect climate change, how fungi themselves are influenced by climate change. 

Closing date 31 October 2021.

Details here.

Nominations for the Primary Science Teacher Awards 2021 are now open!

Do you know a teacher who deserves recognition?

The awards are open to all practising primary teachers (full or part-time) who:

  • are innovative and creative in teaching science;
  • inspire colleagues and contribute to developing science in their school;
  • engage pupils in the excitement and fascination of science.
  • support colleagues both in their own and other schools, either locally, regionally or nationally, to raise the profile of science and the quality of primary school science provision

Closing date for this year's nominations is January 14th 2022.

Details here.

British Science Week Poster Competition

The theme for the 2021 poster competition is Innovating for the future.

There are 3 categories for pupils from Nursery to Year 9.

Posters are judged on the following criteria:

  • Creativity in approach – innovative angle on the content or creative interpretation of the theme
  • Content – clear, accurate and informative about the STEM topic
  • Effective communication – presented and communicated in an engaging way

A great way to get everyone involved in British Science Week!

Closing date is 30 April.

Details here.

FIRST® LEGO® League

An online competition for teams of young people, to encourage an interest in real-world themes and develop key skills that are crucial for their future careers.

Registration is now open for 2020-2021 FIRST® LEGO® League Challenge season. Get your team together and think about the ways we can get people moving. 

FIRST® LEGO® League Challenge is a global STEM programme for teams of young people, to encourage an interest in real world themes and develop key skills that are crucial for their future careers. Young people work together to explore a given topic and to design, build and program an autonomous LEGO® robot to solve a series of missions. 

The programme has flexible options and awesome video tutorials to take you through each of the 12 guided sessions. Teams will be able to compete at a remote event at the end of the academic year (giving them plenty of time to prepare) using the dedicated Remote Event Hub platform. Help encourage your students’ interest in solving real world issues and develop key skills that are crucial for their future careers. We can still give them some excitement this academic year!

Details here.

For more information specifically on the Welsh tournaments contact Cerian at cerian.angharad@see-science.co.uk.

Apps For Good 2021 Awards are now open! 

The Apps for Good 2021 Awards is open and students can now submit their entries! The Awards will be a completely virtual event allowing students from around the world to compete in a safe and supportive online setting.

Entering is quick and easy through an online form and all students who enter will receive personalised written feedback from specialist shortlisters. Entries that make it to the finals will have the opportunity to pitch their idea to representatives from top tech companies for the chance to win trophies, prizes and bespoke engagement opportunities.

The judges recognise the enormous challenge students and teachers have faced this year and are looking for interesting and unique ideas that will help improve the lives of others, not expecting fully coded professional Apps- so encourage your students to enter today! For more information on the required standard, watch the video here.

Closing date for entries is April 30 2021.

Details here.

Bristol Science Film Competition 2021

The annual competition is open to amateur and experienced film makers.

  • Submitted films must be 10 minutes or fewer and be either a non-fiction, science-based film, or have a science fiction theme.
  • To be considered for the science fiction category, the film must have clear science inspiration.

Shortlisted films will be screened at a virtual or theatre-based filmmaker’s screening and on the Big Screen in Millennium Square, Bristol, at a later date. The winners will be announced at the filmmaker’s screening.

The closing date for the 2021 competition is May 1st 2021. 

Details here.

Farmvention Competition - NFU Education

Farmvention (when farming meets invention) is a national STEM competition run by NFU Education and aimed at children aged 5 – 14 (school years 1 -9) in England and Wales.

This year, the challenge is all about the problems that climate change creates for British farmers and how they are fighting it to become Climate Superheroes.

There are four themed inspiration hubs to get you thinking and each one is full of investigations to complete at home or school, alongside some exciting tours of our climate superheroes’ farms to inspire you.

You can enter the competition individually or as part of a team or class and there is a host of amazing prizes for the winning schools. Winners will present their ideas at a prestigious event at the Houses of Parliament and win £1000 for their school to spend on STEM or Outdoor Learning equipment! All entrants will become certified ‘farmventors’ and receive a reward pack including a certificate and mini prize. 

Entries close on 31 May 2021.

Details here.

The Big Bang Competition goes digital for 2021

The Big Bang competition recognises young people’s achievements in STEM and builds confidence in project-based work. The science stream focuses on investigation, discovery and use of scientific methods. Students can enter any project work they have completed at school, home or in a STEM club.

The first stage is online heats, where students compete for a chance to showcase their work at The Big Bang Competition Finals and get their hands on amazing prizes. Projects are judged by leaders in industry and academia, who provide feedback to all competitors/finalists to help them continue to build their ideas, skills and confidence.

As well as the opportunity to network with scientists, students can include their involvement in the competition in their extracurricular activities on UCAS forms and personal statements.

Find out how to get started and inspire students with past projects on the Big Bang website. 

Closing date has been extended until early May.

Details here.

The UK Junior Water Prize

The UK Junior Water Prize is aimed at solving environmental challenges with a link to water, which we know is super important for our future! For the competition, you need to identify an issue and undertake some research and experiments to find a practical and innovative solution.

You are eligible to take part if:

    • You are going to be between 15 and 20 years of age for World Water Week in August 2021
    • You haven’t started University yet
    • You started your project whilst you were in a full-time education
    • Your school or college (including home schooling) is in the UK

You can take part on your own or in a pair, as long as both partners meet the eligibility criteria above. School assignments qualify for entry, but you need to specify your role in the project.

The winning entry will qualify for an all-expenses paid trip to represent the UK and their school at the Stockholm Junior Water Prize in Sweden with a chance to win the cash award of $15,000 USD! 

Competition is open until 28 May 2021.

Details here.

Teacher Award - The Rolls-Royce Schools Prize for Science & Technology

The Rolls-Royce Schools Prize for Science & Technology is an annual awards programme that helps teachers increase science, mathematics, and technology engagement in their schools and colleges. The awards programme is open to all schools and colleges in the UK.

Previously called the Rolls-Royce Science Prize, the award has been refreshed to encourage entries not only from science and maths, but also engineering, design and technology projects including 3D printing, robotics and coding, data science, artificial intelligence and electrification.

Entrants will submit an application outlining an idea for a sustainable science, mathematics or technology initiative, specific to your school and which you would deliver between September 2020 and June 2021.

Closing date 28 May.

Details here.

The Linnean Society Special Species Competition – No age limit

We are currently accepting entries from all age groups (even adults!)

To enter, create a new species and send the following to learning@linnean.org:

  • The first name, age (in years) and city of the person who created the special species

  • A picture of your special species

  • It's scientific and common name

  • A paragraph giving the reasons for its adaptations and a description of its habitat (aim for around 50 words)

We will be highlighting great works as we receive them.
Winners are awarded in April, July, September and December.

The Linnean Society have resources to help you chose your species. 

Details here.