Rising to the STEM Challenge 10: Finalists announced!

12 June 2012

Students from across the UK have brought the spirit of the Olympics to their doorsteps by planning exciting and inspiring sporting events using maths and science. By showcasing their innovative ideas, eight schools have secured a place in the STEM Challenge 10 Final, the last competition in a successful series ahead of London 2012.

Cisco (www.ciscolondon2012.co.uk), STEMNET and the Pearson Foundation challenged students to consider the venue, location, sport, resources, facilities and equipment to plan a large scale, accessible and sustainable event in their home area.

Nearly 200 UK state-maintained secondary school teams took on the Maths and Science 2012 Challenge and were put through a rigorous regional judging process. Eight teams stood out to reach the finals:

  • All Hallows Catholic High School, Lancashire
  • Angley School, Kent and Medway
  • Kendrick School, Surrey and rest of Berkshire
  • Perins School, Hampshire and Isle of Wight
  • South Axholme School, Humberside
  • The Elton High School, Greater Manchester
  • The Gryphon School, Wiltshire, Swindon and Dorset
  • Woodham Community Technology College, County Durham and Tees Valley

These teams will present a Dragon’s Den style pitch to a panel of expert judges on 6 July at Cisco House, London, overlooking the Olympic Park in Stratford. The winning team will receive £2500 for their school’s STEM club, eight tickets for Olympic Hockey and London 2012 merchandise.

STEM Challenges are a series of competitions designed to encourage young people aged 11?16 to use the skills learnt in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics lessons to think and work creatively about the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games. STEMNET (The Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Network) works in partnership with major organisations to nationally manage each Challenge for UK Secondary Schools.

STEM Challenge 10 forms part of Cisco’s ‘Out of the blocks’ project which gives schools the chance to explore the events and venues of London 2012 whilst practising maths and science skills. More information about the ‘Out of the blocks Maths and Science Series 2012’ project can be found at www.mathsandscience2012.co.uk.

Supporting quotes

Kirsten Bodley, Chief Executive, STEMNET:

The STEM Challenges allow students to develop and apply valuable STEM skills to real-life, working situations. STEMNET are delighted to partner with the London 2012 team to ignite the enthusiasm of students in the lead up to the event. All of our finalists are incredibly innovative and inspired by their entries and it is amazing to see students working so well together and supporting each other as a team.

Neil Crockett, MD 2012, Cisco UK and Ireland:

London 2012 presents a wonderful platform to communicate to children how science, technology, engineering and maths can be practically applied to form the foundations of such an amazing event. Supporting education in the UK is at the core of Cisco’s legacy plan and we are passionate about making sure the workforce of tomorrow have the capabilities and skills to flourish in the digital economy. The Out of the Blocks initiative and STEM challenges are key to transforming the way young people view STEM subjects and we are committed to engaging them in new and innovative ways

Mark Nieker, Chief Executive, The Pearson Foundation:

The Pearson Foundation is glad to support the STEMNET Challenges and the Out of the Blocks STEM series. Together, these programs help students imagine their future and make an enduring legacy from London 2012.

About The Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Network (STEMNET)

STEMNET creates opportunities to inspire young people in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). This enables young people to develop their creativity, problem-solving and employability skills, widens their choices and supports the UK’s future competitiveness. STEMNET helps encourage young people to be well informed about STEM, able to engage fully in debate, and make decisions about STEM related issues. www.stemnet.org.uk.

About STEM Challenges

The STEM Challenges have received the London 2012 Inspire Mark and are part of Get Set, the London 2012 education programme. The first STEM Challenge required students to consider some of the steps involved in designing a National Handball Centre for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the second was to design a glove suitable for rowing, canoeing or sailing. The third STEM Challenge invited students to explore approaches to anti-doping laboratory techniques. The fourth Challenge asked students to pitch their plans for sustainable travel from their schools to forthcoming Olympic and Paralympic Game venues. STEM Challenges 5 and 6 focused on designs for leading GB paratriathlete, Jimmy Goddard and paralympian Rachel Morris. STEM Challenge 7, in partnership with BT, asked students to design an app for mobile phones which could be used by visitors to the Olympic and Paralympic Games. STEM Challenge 8 worked in teams to research and propose Paralympic Sports facilities to be made available in their local area.

About Cisco

Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in networking that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate. Information about Cisco can be found at http://www.cisco.com. For ongoing news, please go to http://newsroom.cisco.com. For more information on Cisco’s role as official network infrastructure provider to London 2012 please go to: http://www.cisco.co.uk/london2012.

Cisco and the Cisco logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Cisco and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and other countries. A listing of Cisco’s trademarks can be found at www.cisco.com/go/trademarks. Third-party trademarks mentioned are the property of their respective owners. The use of the word partner does not imply a partnership relationship between Cisco and any other company.

Cisco is the official network infrastructure supporter for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Planning has been crucial to the success of Cisco’s work for London 2012. With over 100 venues and locations to network, Cisco’s planning for the 2012 Games began years ago. And with venues as far afield as Hampden Park in Glasgow, the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff and Weymouth and Portland in Dorset, their planning and preparation have taken them all across the UK.

One important part of Cisco’s planning for London 2012 has been taking part in technical rehearsals and test events. By trying out key technologies before the 2012 Games begin, engineers can be confident that their network infrastructure will operate as planned during those crucial world-record moments.

About Out of the Blocks

Out of the blocks is a series of free Maths and Science resources that Cisco and the Pearson Foundation recently produced for London 2012. These resources were sent to Heads of Science and Maths in all UK state-maintained secondary schools in January 2012 followed by all UK independent secondary schools, Pupil Referral Units and Young Offenders Institutions. www.mathsandscience2012.co.uk.

About The Pearson Foundation

Out of the blocks and this Challenge has been proudly supported by the Pearson Foundation. The Pearson Foundation is committed to promoting education and partners with leading nonprofit, civic and business organisations to provide financial, organisational and publishing assistance across the globe. The Foundation aims to make a difference by promoting literacy, learning, and great teaching.