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3M Young Innovators Challenge 2022

The 3M Young Innovators Challenge is a STEM-based school competition run by science-based technology company 3M. It comprises practical, theoretical and creative challenges for Key Stage 2 primary school and home educated pupils located within the Leicetsershire and South Nottingham areas.

The challenges have been designed to align to different areas of the STEM primary curriculum and inspire young people’s interest in these subjects from an early age. They also support diversity, equity and inclusion in STEM by engaging pupils from diverse backgrounds; demonstrate how STEM subjects impact the ‘real word’; and help to develop creativity, confidence, team-working, organisation and presentation skills.

The three challenges

AeroTech Challenge: to design and build an aircraft – such as an aeroplane, jet, glider, bi-plane or rocket – as well as a launching device to propel it forward to cover the greatest distance.

Mighty Monument Challenge: to design and construct a lightweight free-standing structure, to hold as much load as possible (up to a maximum of 10kg). The structure can be themed on an existing world monument or be an original design to honour a person or event relevant to the school’s locality.

Slo-Mo Marble Challenge: to design and build a marble run to maximise the time taken by a standard glass marble to roll from the top to the bottom, incorporating at least three scientific methods of slowing the marble’s descent.

As well as the chance to compete for top prizes of £750 worth of equipment for their school and a £50 gift voucher for individuals, all participants are entered into the British Science Association’s CREST Award scheme, earning them a nationally-recognised CREST Discovery Award, funded by 3M.

Schools can submit a maximum of three entries per challenge from individuals or teams of 2-5 students. Running an internal competition with a whole class or year group is a great way to select competition entries and maximise the learning opportunity.

The closing date for entries to the 2022 competition is 24 March, with judging taking place from 10 to 26 May at 3M, Charnwood Campus, Loughborough where students will showcase their projects and STEM learning to two expert judges.

Finalists, along with their teacher, headteacher and a parent/guardian will be invited to a special celebratory event on 17 June where the awards will be presented by a guest of honour. Full details of all the challenges, including the entry requirements and process are available on the 3M Young Innovators website. Any enquiries about the competition can be emailed to younginnovators@mmm.com