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 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 demand for 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 helped students become more aware of energy issues. Along with curriculum-linked resources that help students build STEM knowledge, the competition helps them to improve their problem-solving skills and creativity. These transferable soft skills will help your students fulfil their academic and professional potential, regardless of the field they choose.

To support your students in entering the competition from home, you can download our digital pack, that includes a how to video from our head judge along with more inspiring videos, top tips and guidance to help your students create a winning entry from home.

Through an array of fantastic STEM prizes, The Bright Ideas Challenge offers schools across England, Scotland and Wales a great opportunity to super charge their STEM provision, with a top prize of £10,000 up for grabs, as well as STEM goodie bags for each winning student. Of the 2019 entrants, 99% said they enjoyed taking part, whilst over 90% of teachers would recommend the competition to a colleague.

Why take part in The Bright Ideas Challenge?

  • Win amazing prizes, including £10,000 to supersize your schools’ STEM offer
  • Inspire your students to research topics they are passionate about such as new STEM technologies, 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

The Bright Ideas Challenge closes at 5pm on Friday 19th June. For more information and to download our at home digital pack, please visit our website.