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The Big Bang Competition

Inspire inquisitive minds to think big, challenge facts, ask questions, and invent solutions with the UK’s top annual science and engineering competition!
The Big Bang Competition

The Big Bang Competition recognises and rewards young people's achievements in all areas of STEM, whilst providing them with the opportunity to build their skills and confidence in project-based work. The Competition is free, and is open to young people in the UK aged 11 to 18 who are in state funded education, home educated. or who enter as part of a community group. To support state-funded schools - joint entries can be submitted from teams comprising an equal number of independent school/partner state school students, via the state school entry.

The Competition is open for entries! Entries close on 27 March 2024 at 5pm, so you have plenty of time to work on a project.

Students can enter any project in the field of STEM – from health to the environment, and from computing to design and technology; from inventions, to communication campaigns, to research into solving a problem within the community. It doesn’t matter if your student(s) conduct their project using simple everyday items, or whether they undertake research in a scientific lab; it’s all about the idea and the enthusiasm behind it!

Competitors enter their projects online, either as an individual or as part of a team, and provide either a written report or video upload demonstrating their work.

All submitted projects will receive guidance from our judges, leaders in industry, and academia, to help participants continue to build their ideas, skills, and confidence in STEM project work.

Finalists will be invited to take part in video calls with our judges and will have the chance of winning some amazing prizes, including the coveted titles of:

  • The Big Bang UK Young Engineer of the Year 2024
  • The Big Bang UK Young Scientist of the Year 2024
  • The Big Bang UK Young Technologist of the Year 2024, supported by Siemens

A select number of entrants will be invited to showcase their projects at The Big Bang Fair in Birmingham in June 2024.


  • Online entry opens: Tuesday 17 October 2023
  • Online entry closes: 5pm on Wednesday 27 March 2024
  • Finalists announced: Thursday 25 April 2024
  • Special Awards judging (virtual): Tuesday 7 May to Friday 10 May 2024
  • VIP Judging (virtual): Tuesday 14 May 2024

Learning outcomes

  • Improve engagement, interest or enjoyment in STEM subjects

  • Improve attainment and progress in STEM subjects

  • Develop engineering employability skills

  • Improve awareness and aspirations for STEM-related study and careers

  • Challenge stereotypes by showing the diversity of disciplines, people and skills involved in engineering

Subjects and topics

    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Computing
    • Design and Technology
    • Engineering
    • Maths
    • Physics
    • Agriculture and food
    • Biotechnology
    • Chemical engineering
    • Design, art and fashion
    • Electronics, robotics and programming
    • Energy and environment
    • Entertainment, sound and lighting
    • General engineering
    • Humanitarian aid
    • Materials, products and manufacturing
    • Mechanical engineering, systems and processes
    • Medicine and healthcare
    • Space and aerospace engineering
    • Sport and fitness
    • Structures, construction and civil engineering
    • Transport

Gatsby benchmarks

The Gatsby benchmarks are a framework for good careers guidance for schools across all of England and in some areas across the rest of the UK. This experience helps your school to reach the following benchmarks:

  • Linking curriculum learning to careers
  • Encounters with employers and employees

Essential skills

The essential skills every young person needs to succeed in education and their future career. Find out more at the Skills Builder Partnership. This experience builds the following skills:

  • Aiming high - the ability to set clear, tangible goals and devise a robust route to achieving them.

  • Creativity - the use of imagination and the generation of new ideas.

  • Leadership - supporting, encouraging and motivating others to achieve a shared goal.

  • Problem solving - the ability to find a solution to a complex situation or challenge.

  • Speaking - the oral transmission of information or ideas.

What the teachers say

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