Connecting Industries Worldwide

45 teams from around the world advance to BIEA 2019 International STEM Competition

Born Free, in association with the British International Education Association, has announced the shortlist for the 2019 BIEA International STEM Youth Innovation Competition.

Since its launch in January 2019, the competition has received huge interest from schools and teachers from around the world - reaching 30,000 schools globally and drawing applications from 34 countries and regions.

After an intensive and rigorous marking process, 45 teams are through to the next round based on their qualification scores, representing 18 countries and regions including UK, China, USA, Australia, Canada, India, Kenya and many others.

Each year a theme connecting world issues and technology is chosen for the competition, and this year’s theme is ‘Fighting Extinction via Drone Technology’. Teams are asked to come up with a drone design to aid in the conservation of endangered species, and projects submitted in the first round focused on an enormous variety of endangered animals, including snow leopards, black rhinos, pangolins, turtles, elephants and many more.

“The overall quality of the reports was astounding, more so when we consider that many young people were submitting reports in a second language,” said Dr Alex Holmes, Lead Competition Judge. “In some cases, the standards of secondary research and innovative experimental investigations to gather primary data for drone specifications were worthy of undergraduates rather than secondary school students.”

The teams through the next round now have to modify/build a drone to reflect their report design ideas as laid down in the first round within a fixed budget. They are required to submit two videos to the judges - one to demonstrate their drone in action and able to complete a set of tasks, a second video to visually present an outline of their project to date.

Upon successful submission of the videos, teams are invited to come to the international final at the London Royal Air Force Museum on 4th July, with a public showcase of their projects and presenting to a panel of expert judges. A grand prize of £5,000 is waiting for the top team, a variety of other prizes across the age categories will be awarded to participating teams.

Laura Gosset, Head of Education, Born Free, concluded: “Wildlife is coming under increasing threat from human actions so Born Free is thrilled to be partnering with BIEA on this competition. The submissions we have received so far have been outstanding and we are very excited to see the progress made by the finalists in the next round.

“This competition is about ensuring that the next generation understands the real-world application of STEM skills. Ultimately for us as a charity, how we can effectively use technology to protect and monitor wildlife populations could be the difference between extinction and survival for some of the world’s most threatened species.”

For more information about the STEM Youth Innovation Competition and to view the complete list of shortlisted teams, visit here.