The Big STEM Challenge

The Big STEM Challenge is an inter-schools, curriculum based competition to engage children and young people in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM). There are three age categories – Primary, Secondary and 16 +.

  • Finalists will be invited to showcase their projects at Discovery Park to some of the UK’s biggest industry giants.
  • Each category project winner will receive a cash prize of £200.
  • All finalists will receive a certificate.
  • Experience and other prizes may be awarded at the discretion of the judges and sponsors.

*please note that in the event of a tie the cash prize will be split accordingly.

Individuals, groups or whole classes are asked to enter a STEM based project of their choice. Below are a few curriculum based project ideas for each age category. All projects MUST have a clear and identified goal and outcome.

Primary ideas

  • Design a natural pest deterrent which could be used to protect crops from a particular pest. E.g. slugs, birds, blackfly.
  • Research & make an effective packaging material which could be used as an alternative to plastic
  • Design and create a mode of transport that uses air/water resistance or levers/pulleys and gears

Secondary ideas

  • Design a physical or virtual solution based on an animal ecosystem which solves a problem in the human world. E.g. Bee hives = modular storage device 
  • Design your own renewable energy device. Describe the source and how it would harness/conserve and distribute energy.
  • Develop your own skincare product with a specific aim & benefit (e.g. to soothe eczema, reduce scarring, anti aging, anti bacterial etc.)

16+ ideas

  • Design and develop an invention, device, mechanism or piece of code that solves a problem or improves an individual’s/communities or environmental situation or challenge.

Finalists will be invited to Discovery Park, the UK’s leading science and technology park. Primary finalists will display their projects at a science fair and one will become the Primary BIG STEM Champion 2022. Secondary and 16+ finalists will present their projects to a “Dragon’s Den” panel of experts for the chance to be named Secondary and 16+ BIG STEM Challenge winners 2022.

ALL entries are required to submit a short (maximum 2 minutes) video explaining and presenting their project. We are not looking for professional quality videos – use your phone cameras – but remember to film them in landscape NOT portrait – just turn your phone on its side to film!

If you would like to discuss your project suitability please email us at

Closing date for entries: 31 May 2022

Enter project

Unsure whether your project is suitable?

Information Request Click here and complete the form, giving us details of your project idea and someone will contact you to discuss suitability and entry requirements.

A number of organisations support the event including PfizerITL, BAE Systems, Global Associates, Kent Renewable Energy, Megger and Discovery Park.

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