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Igniting bright energy ideas with Make the Future Live

What a year it’s been for Shell’s STEM schools’ competition, The Bright Ideas Challenge! Having invited students aged 11-14 to devise innovative energy solutions to power cities of the future, we received over 350 entries from all corners of Great Britain and our judges had the tough job of whittling them down to just eight regional winners and five finalists.

Each winning team received cash prizes to boost STEM learning at their school, plus we threw them the ultimate winners’ experience in London last week which included Make the Future Live, Shell’s festival of bright energy ideas at the Olympic Park on 5-8 July.

The festival showcased some of the latest technology that’s transforming the energy sector. This happened alongside Shell’s Eco-Marathon, where hundreds of university students from across the globe competed to see who can travel the farthest in their own ultra-energy-efficient vehicles.

What’s more, this year we had our very own festival space dedicated to The Bright Ideas Challenge winners, which brought the five finalists’ ideas to life in the form of 3D-printed prototypes with the help of supporting partners, HP and Altair.

Onsite at the Olympic Park, science communications expert Dr Emily Grossman delivered an interactive workshop for our winners to help them communicate their ideas to the public at the festival and shared top tips on boosting confidence when presenting.

Power was then given to the public to vote for their favourite idea and on Friday 6th July, The Bright Ideas Challenge Ambassador and TV presenter, Rachel Riley announced the National Champions who won the jackpot £5,000.

This year’s winners were The Beautiful Bright Beginning; a team of four Year 9 students from Whalley Range High School in Manchester. They pitched power-generating shoes that would convert kinetic energy into electrical energy to charge personal devices, such as mobile phones.

To top this brilliant year for the competition off, Shell and Hopscotch won Silver in the Corporate Engagement Awards 2018 which is a real testament to the partnerships we’ve built and the positive impact the competition has on schools, both inside and outside the classroom.

About the author

Ellie Thomson

Ellie works across a range of clients including HS2, Shell, Kellogg’s and DfE. She has an MSc in Environment, Culture and Society with Distinction from the University of Edinburgh, alongside a First Class Honours degree in BSc Geography from the University of Bristol. Most recently, Ellie worked at Marks & Spencer within their Plan A sustainability team and was a news and politics intern for the BBC, after becoming NCTJ qualified in 2012.

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