Theo Bromfield from @DSWFWildlife & Lewis Bedford Youth Ambassador from @BornFreeFDN both agree that #technology and #conservation are hugely important!— BIEA (@BIEAeducation) March 28, 2019
Know more about the BIEA 2019 International #STEM Youth #Innovation #Competition & STEM Conference at https://t.co/f8EjGY0JDK pic.twitter.com/3Ik91Qpokv
Born Free, in association with the British International Education Association (BIEA), 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 understand 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.”
About the competition
The annual BIEA International STEM Youth Innovation Competition is BIEA’s flagship programme designed to encourage students to pursue study and careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). It presents a unique opportunity to motivate the next generation of leaders who will change the way we explore and connect in the world. One theme is chosen each year to reflect the pressing issues and challenges in today’s world and how technology could be used to in solving these challenges. The competition spans three age ranges: 9-11, 12-14 and 15-17. Entry teams are made up of 3-5 students supported by a teacher, where teamwork is an important component of the competition. There are five main components to the competition: report writing, innovation, presentation, Dragon’s Den style pitching and fixed tasks.
About The British International Education Association (BIEA): Promoting and exporting the best British educational practices overseas, BIEA is a not for profit organisation which works to promote STEM and early-years educational practices to overseas teachers and institutions. BIEA has been promoting EYFS education across China and had found considerable success in getting overseas institutions to switch to British style practice. BIEA also runs the International STEM Youth Innovation Competition which aims to promote STEM education and careers for young people all over the world.
About Born Free: Their mission is to ensure that all wild animals, whether living in captivity or in the wild, are treated with compassion and respect and are able to live their lives according to their needs. Born Free opposes the exploitation of wild animals in captivity and campaigns to keep wildlife in the wild.
Born Free promotes Compassionate Conservation to enhance the survival of threatened species in the wild and protect natural habitats while respecting the needs of and safeguarding the welfare of individual animals. Born Free seeks to have a positive impact on animals in the wild and protect their ecosystems in perpetuity, for their own intrinsic value and for the critical roles they play within the natural world.