KS3 BP Ultimate STEM Challenge

Over the last few weeks, some of our most keen scientists in Year 7, 8 and 9 have been working hard on their entries for this year’s BP STEM Challenge.

The focus of this year’s challenge is about building sustainable communities that are focused on a net zero carbon footprint. As the climate crisis that threatens our planet continues, we are continuously looking for ways to reduce our carbon footprint and reduce fossil fuel emissions.

Students have been working in mixed year group teams to explore the different ways in which communities around the world are combatting their carbon footprint and using them as inspiration for their own work. They looked at cities in South America where more green spaces are being set up, containing plants to help remove carbon dioxide from the air. In this same city most people travel by public transport to reduce the number of cars on the road, further reducing fossil fuel emissions. They also looked at communities in Europe that are using biogas from animal and food waste to generate electricity and where increasing the availability of solar panels has helped them cut their use of fossil fuels for energy.

Our teams are in the process of finalising their designs ready to send off. We have had some fantastic ideas for their communities, a few of which are listed below.

  • A points card to reward people for choosing green alternatives such as cycling, recycling and public transport. These points can then be spent on other green initiatives.
  • A bike that charges detachable batteries that can be used to power electronics – saving use of fossil fuels through the national grid.
  • High Rise buildings kitted out with solar panels so they can be powered using renewable energy.
  • Electric car swap scheme for inner city driving – leave your petrol car and borrow electric.
  • An air filtering system to remove carbon dioxide from the air.

It has been an honour to work with these students this term and hear about all their wonderful ideas as they put them into their plans. I am very excited to submit their ideas to the judges and am very proud of the work they have produced. If successful, students could win up to £3000 to kickstart their projects in their local communities.

Students have enjoyed the project so much that there are a number of them interested in starting our own Eco-Hylands team to further promote environmentally friendly practice within our school community. I look forward to working with students further on this and seeing what initiative we can promote within school.


Mr M. Bonner

Second in Science