Students will showcase their science projects in front of a panel of industry experts.
The KM Bright Spark Awards, which aim to increase the cool factor of science, technology, engineering and maths was launched this week at the Kent innovation hub, Discovery Park.
The event was attended by key partners of the awards, including Pfizer, ITL, Benenden Hospital Trust and Prendon Panels.
Robert Crook from Pfizer said: “It’s really important to get young children involved and enthused with science and build the next generation of scientists who are hopefully going to bring forward the next round of scientific discoveries.”
Entries are now open for student teams with exciting projects that feature cross-curricular collaborations in STEM subjects.
The annual awards have a Dragon’s Den-style format with students invited on stage to showcase their science projects with the chance to win prizes. The three categories are: innovation, investigation and invention.
Finalists will be filmed in advance in school to show the detail of the project. This is screened at the event before the dragons begin their questioning of students.
Victoria Prenczek from Prendon Panels is keen to encourage more girls to enter the competition. “As a businesswoman, it’s really important to me to encourage young girls to get involved in careers that are a bit out of the norm, perhaps engineering or science, something you wouldn’t necessarily expect them to be doing,” she said.
A career may well be on the cards for successful Bright Sparks, as ITL’s Carl Lincoln said: “When we started sponsoring the Bright Spark Awards, we actually used it to find ourselves an apprentice. We were struggling to find someone and we thought what better way to do it than try before you buy by seeing people’s presentation and engineering skills in practice. We ended up taking someone on and he’s already doing a fantastic job!”
The awards are open to primary and secondary school teams of all ages. Event dragons include representatives from Pfizer, ITL, Benenden Hospital Trust, Prendon Panels, Hectic Lifestlyes, Golding Homes and BAE Systems.
To submit a nomination, click HERE and complete the simple online form. The best entries will be invited to the competition final at Discovery Park, Sandwich on the first Friday in July where the champions will be presented with a cheque of £500.