The Bright Ideas Challenge

The Bright Ideas Challenge is Shell’s free cross-curricular schools’ competition¬¬ for 11-14 year olds. The competition asks your students to consider an energy problem that will face cities in 2050, when 68% of the world’s population will live in urban areas, and propose a solution using their creativity, research skills and STEM knowledge.

We’re making it easier for you to provide quality science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) careers inspiration in the classroom by aligning The Bright Ideas Challenge resources to careers strategies across the UK. This schools’ competition is part of Shell’s ongoing commitment to inspire more young people to pursue careers in science and engineering.

Scientists and engineers have revolutionised our world. They’ve cured diseases, transformed communications and sent mankind to the depths of the oceans and into space. But despite their vital importance, the UK cannot meet the 124,000 engineers and technicians required each year (The state of engineering, Engineering UK, 2018). Through The Bright Ideas Challenge, we hope to excite young people about the positive role science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills can play in society, and to encourage them to become the engineers and scientists of tomorrow.

The competition invites students to imagine creative ideas to power cities of the future, ensuring they are vibrant, healthy and clean places to live; in 2019 all participating teachers surveyed agreed that the competition helps students become more aware of energy issues. The Bright Ideas Challenge aims to excite young people about how science, engineering and creativity can be combined to make a real difference to our world.

Along with curriculum-linked resources that help students build STEM knowledge, the competition helps students improve their teamwork, problem-solving and creativity. These soft skills are transferrable and will help your students fulfil their academic and professional potential, regardless of the field they choose.

The Bright Ideas Challenge offers schools across England, Scotland and Wales an opportunity to super charge their STEM provision and gives students access to a VIP STEM experience. With over £45,000 worth of prizes up for grabs, this includes the chance to take their Bright Ideas to the next level during a professionally facilitated prototyping session at Imperial College London. 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.

Why take part in The Bright Ideas Challenge?

- Amazing prizes are up for grabs. Win a share in a £45,000 prize fund, as well as a VIP STEM experience
- Inspire your students through STEM research into topics they are passionate about such as technology, renewable energy and food waste
- Take part in a challenge designed to contribute to your school’s careers strategy and help develop your students’ employability skills
- Inspire your students and develop their passion for design: regional winning teams bring their ideas to life in an expert-led prototyping session

How to enter The Bright Ideas Challenge

For more information about The Bright Ideas Challenge and to find out how you can enter, please visit our website.