Innovative school projects ranging from wearable air quality detectors to a multi-purpose eco-friendly park bench have been shortlisted as finalists for the Youth Industrial Strategy Competition. 

Fifteen finalists from across the UK have been selected to attend the finals of the national STEM initiative. The Competition called for young people between the ages of 11 and 19 to come up with creative solutions to one of the four Grand Challenges that feature in the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy: Artificial Intelligence & Data, Future of Mobility, Clean Growth and Ageing Society. 

Participants could enter the Competition as a team or individually into one of three categoriesJunior, Intermediate and Senior 

Youth Industrial Strategy Competition project manager Caitlin Brown says she is thrilled with the response and the quality of the entries. 

“We have been blown away to see how creatively all of the entrants have engaged with the Grand Challenges,” she said. 

“There have been lots of amazing ideas around solving some of the biggest problems affecting our lives today. The range and breadth of projects has been incredible. We’ve had entries that are as diverse as an air quality sensor badge that will provide the cleanest and healthiest walking route to school through to a project that focused on the value of hydroponics over traditional fertiliser-based food production.  

 We are really looking forward to seeing the finalists display and talk about their work at the Competition finals at the Big Bang Fair in March, before the winners are announced in British Science Week.” 

Other finalists include a small-scale hydro-electric generator that sits within the mains pipe to create 24/7 electricity, a hydroponics scheme using fish waste to create lettuce, an electronic organiser to support those with early stage dementia, and interchangeable electric car batteries. 

The finalists will compete at the Big Bang Fair UK Young Scientists and Engineers Fair between 11-14 of March, with the three category winners announced during British Science Week. 

Each of the winning projects, one per age group, will win prizes that include £500 from the British Science Association, as well as a certificate and a trophy. 

The other finalists displaying at the Big Bang Fair will also take home prizes. Each of the students will be given a £20 Amazon voucher and a certificate, while each of the schools will be given a £100 CREST voucher for entries that came via a school. 

A further 12 projects, which included a robotic companion for the elderly and mobile apps focusing on travel and climate change, were given a special commendationEach of those students were awarded a £5 Amazon voucher and certificate, while their corresponding schools were given a £100 CREST voucher. 

The full list of Youth Industrial Strategy Competition finalists who will be competing in the Big Bang Finals in March. 

Interchangeable Electric Car Batteries                
Leighton Park School 

Mini hydroelectric generator for the home                   
Mary Webb School and Science College 

Creating a Human Inhabitable Environment on Mars 
Altrincham Grammar School for Girls 

Is exercise more effective at reducing borderline-high blood pressure than social interaction in the ageing society? 
St Benedict’s Catholic College 

The ease of movement 
Tiffin School 

Orkbrides Monorail 
St. Peter’s Church of England Aided School 

To What Extend Do Different Dyes affect the Voltage output of a Gratzel Cell 
Tonbridge Grammar School 

Royal Docks Academy 

Walton Priory Middle School 

Perfect Sense 
Allerton Grange 

Personal Assistant Dementia (PAD) 
Lady Eleanor Holles School 

Using AI To Improve The Safety of Visually Impaired 
Stamford High School Citizens 

Raindrop Recycle – Rainwater Harvesting of the Future 
Dundonald High School 

Clean Growth: Smart Bag 
St. Bernard’s Catholic Grammar 

Growing lettuces with fish 
Llanwern High School