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Shell: The Bright Ideas Challenge

Inspiring the scientists and engineers of tomorrow


Shell wanted a campaign that would help re-invigorate interest in STEM subjects, grabbing the attention of students from all backgrounds to help show that a career in STEM is for everyone.

And so… The Bright Ideas Challenge was born!

Now in its fifth year, this exciting, cross-curricular competition challenges students to think of creative ideas to power future cities. By giving young people a chance to think about shaping and progressing the world we live in through STEM, we want to inspire them to become the scientists and engineers of tomorrow.

At concept stage, we designed the campaign identity, visuals and a wealth of video content to kick-start the competition and inspire stakeholders.

Now our role is hugely varied – from running a highly targeted, multichannel comms strategy, including PR and advertorial campaigns, email and social, through to creating compelling education content and delivering insightful workshop sessions. We also adapt our resources to help educators deliver the programme in a variety of different settings depending on their teaching needs. The programme is evaluated yearly so that more young people feel engaged and empowered to apply their STEM skills and creative thinking to solve real energy issues.

Over 5,000+ students have entered the challenge to date, with over 13,000+ education resources downloaded. 99% of students enjoyed taking part in the competition and 100% of teachers agreed it helped students link their STEM skills to the real world.

From 2017-2019 our PR campaigns have reached over 10 million+ consumers across broadcast coverage and 7.5 million+ consumers across TV broadcasts, with coverage on top tier titles like ITV News and Sky News.

To really bring STEM learning to life, we also deliver the schools’ programme at Make the Future Live, Shell's festival of ideas and innovation. This has seen us coordinate thousands of students attending interactive STEM events at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and Mercedes-Benz World. In 2019, we also coordinated the production of a live Big Assembly which featured a panel of inspiring STEM role models discussing the power of STEM careers to change the world. To date, this has been viewed by 25,000+ students and teachers nationwide.

Find out more here: shell.co.uk/brightideaschallenge

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