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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 open to all UK residents in full-time education or training.

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 and 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, providing both a written report and 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 UK Young Engineer of the Year 2022 and UK Young Scientist of the Year 2022.

A select number of projects will be invited to showcase their projects at the Big Bang Fair in Birmingham in June 2022.


  • Online entry opens: Monday 6 December 2021
  • Online entry closes: Monday 4 April 2022 at 5pm
  • Finalists announced: Monday 25 April 2022
  • Finalist judging (virtual): Monday 9 May – Friday 20 May 2022
  • Award Ceremony: Wednesday 22 June 2022

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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TeenTech Awards

The TeenTech Awards are for students working in teams to look at problems large and small to see if they can find a better way of doing things.

  • Ages 11 to 21
  • Online
  • Flexible project work
  • Free

Careers resources