The Blair Project seeking teams for ultimate motorsport STEM competition


The Blair Project, a Manchester-based provider of STEM education for young people and adults, is seeking secondary schools, colleges and youth clubs across Greater Manchester to register for its upcoming ProtoEV STEM Challenge.


Set to launch in January 2023, the ProtoEV STEM Challenge gives young people from ages 11 to 19 the opportunity to learn how to retrofit petrol go karts and convert them into fully electric ekarts which they get to test and race to see which is the fastest and most energy efficient. In the process, the teams learn about the electrification of transport, and leave equipped with the skills required for a career within the digital, technology or engineering sectors.


Through ProtoEV, underrepresented youth discover talents that they never knew they had; develop skills that industry needs and get hands on with electric vehicle propulsion systems and battery technologies; and discover career progression pathways. The Blair Project is building the schools to employment talent pipeline that the UK needs to reach Net Zero.


The challenge requires students to learn about physics, aerodynamics, design, manufacturing, branding, graphics, sponsorship, marketing, teamwork, media skills and financial strategy, and apply them in a practical, imaginative, competitive and life changing way.


The Blair Project seeks to engage young people who may have low awareness of careers in engineering and technology, inspiring them to pursue well-paid careers as innovators, technicians, scientists and engineers. It is focused on championing diversity, inclusion and social mobility in STEM, with a particular focus on growing the pipeline of female, BAME and working-class talent.


Having begun in Greater Manchester in 2018, this year ProtoEV is being rolled out nationally to widen the opportunity to students living in London, Oxford, and the West Midlands in partnership with Oxford Brookes University’s Centre for Motorsport Engineering and University of Birmingham.


Nile Henry, founder and CEO of The Blair Project, said: “This an exciting opportunity for schools, colleges and youth clubs to get involved in something that is truly transformational. Since launching ProtoEV in 2018, 55 students have been involved in the challenge, with 95% going on to pursue further education and careers in STEM.


“We know that there is a diversity problem in STEM and in the world of motorsport but can’t stand by as talent potential is wasted. At The Blair Project, we look to enable young people to meaningfully engage with the sector and remove the barriers that are stopping them from taking up careers in STEM and motorsport and driving lasting, transformational change.


“After some time off due to the pandemic, we are incredibly excited to relaunch ProtoEV, and can’t wait to see what our teams achieve!”


Teams can find out more and sign up here:


Amazon launches the Alexa Young Innovator Challenge to help young people bridge the skills gap, as research shows demand for jobs that require computer science, AI or machine learning skills are expected to increase by 40% over the next five years


Amori, Hannah, Maya, Deborah and Erika,l all in Year 8, from Prendergast Ladywell School pictured at Amazon’s Jobs Fair of the Future event, marking the launch of the ‘Alexa Young Innovator Challenge’, an AI-inspired educational programme for secondary school pupils, at their offices in London. New research reveals that computer science and AI related roles could contribute £71 billion a year to the UK economy. Photo credit: Matt Crossick/PA Wire.


London, 8 November 2022 – Amazon has launched the inaugural Alexa Young Innovator Challenge, an educational programme for secondary school students aged 13 – 18 to create an Alexa Skill to promote social good in their community. Designed to inspire young people about the potential of AI, teachers and educators will be able to access free curriculum-linked lesson plans and materials to engage students, while supporting the development of AI learning in UK classrooms. By taking part, schools will have the chance to win prizes, including £2,500 worth of tech products for the winner and a £2,500 donation to their school. The 20 runners up will also receive an Amazon gift card to the value of £250, redeemable on and £500 will be donated to their school.


New research – commissioned by Amazon from YouGov – found that currently, 79% of STEM teachers have limited access to AI resources and 64% to computer science resources in general, highlighting the real difficulties schools face when trying to engage students in this vital field. Of the 72% of secondary school teachers surveyed who agree that schools should be making an active effort to increase education and resources around AI and computer science, three quarters (75%) say that without this, there will be long-term skill gaps.


YouGov’s research showed strong support for boosting AI learning in UK schools among secondary school teachers, students and parents, with 65% of secondary school teachers agreeing that AI should be part of their school’s syllabus, and 87% of the UK STEM teachers surveyed believing access to free AI and computer science learning resources linked with the national curriculum would help students better engage in computer science. 69% of all secondary school teachers believe that education in computer science better prepares students for future careers in all sectors.


By taking part in the Alexa Young Innovator Challenge, students will be able to explore the possibilities of using AI to help solve societal issues ranging from climate change and healthcare, to poverty and homelessness. Winners will be selected in two age categories, together with 20 runners-up, by judges including Technology Director at Amazon and UK Ambassador for Amazon Future Engineer, Lauren Kisser; YouTuber and computing graduate Tobi Brown, who is a member of The Sidemen; TV presenter and STEM education advocate, Carol Vorderman MBE; computer scientist and entrepreneur Professor Sue Black; and maths and computing prodigy, and Stemettes founder, Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon.


Chris Hillidge, Director of STEM at The Challenge Academy Trust said: “This competition is an amazing opportunity for students to engage with coding in a real-world context and use ‘tech for good’. Coding in a real world context is a valuable learning opportunity for young people and the Alexa Young Innovator Challenge gives young people to influence the world around them in a positive way.”


AI is ‘science fiction’ to one in three secondary school children


Teaching AI in secondary schools will also help the almost half (46%) of secondary school children surveyed who said they would like to know more about careers using computer science and AI. One third (33%) of secondary school children surveyed said they have only heard of AI in science fiction movies and literature.


To help remedy this, Amazon is also offering virtual Class Chats with schools across the UK, where Amazon leaders and current apprentices will share insights from their education, career journey, and discuss the future potential of AI with teachers and students. This comes as research reveals that 82% of secondary school teachers believe their students would be more interested in AI and computer science if they had the opportunity to speak to industry leaders in these sectors.


Youtuber Tobi Brown and Amazon’s Lauren Kisser pictured with students from Prendergast Ladywell School at Amazon’s Jobs Fair of the Future event, marking the launch of the ‘Alexa Young Innovator Challenge’, an AI-inspired educational programme for secondary school pupils, at their offices in London. New research reveals that computer science and AI related roles could contribute £71 billion a year to the UK economy. Image courtesy of Matt Crossick/PA Wire.


Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon said of her involvement:Supporting women in accessing resources and information to help them consider careers in STEM has always been my number one priority. The tech revolution never stops and we know that AI is going to be a vital part of the future of the industry so it’s great to see an initiative like the Alexa Young Innovator Challenge identifying this and looking to help inspire the kids of today, who will be our future scientists and technologists. I am passionate about the role of creativity and imagination in technology and development, and I think showing kids what tomorrow’s world of work could look like does exactly this.”


The launch of the Alexa Young Innovator Challenge reinforces Amazon’s commitment to support the education and skills development of learners from all backgrounds. It forms part of Amazon Future Engineer – Amazon’s comprehensive childhood-to-career programme that inspires, educates and enables children and young adults to realise their potential in computer science through bursary schemes, teacher training, and online tutorials. Since launching in 2019, Amazon Future Engineer has reached over 280,000 students across the UK.


AI is the world’s fastest growing technology[i] and the UK is striving to be among the world’s leaders in this field, with 56% of businesses planning to increase investment in AI technologies within the next three years,[ii]” said Lauren Kisser, Technology Director at Amazon and UK Ambassador for Amazon Future Engineer. “Through the Alexa Young Innovator Challenge, we hope to not only build confidence in students’ ability to understand and control this incredible technology but also inspire young minds, regardless of their background, to realise their potential as creators, thinkers and builders of the future; using AI to create innovative solutions to real world problems.”


For further information about the Alexa Young Innovator Challenge visit



[ii] Amazon Future Engineer, September 2022, Capital Economics


Capital Economics methodology
This research has been commissioned by Amazon from Capital Economics, an independent macroeconomics research consultancy. The views expressed remain those of Capital Economics and are not necessarily shared by Amazon. While every effort has been made to ensure that the data quoted and used for the research behind this document is reliable, there is no guarantee that it is correct, and Capital Economics Limited and its subsidiaries can accept no liability whatsoever in respect of any errors or omissions. This document is a piece of economic research and is not intended to constitute investment advice, nor to solicit dealing in securities or investments.


Based on official data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), Capital Economics has used a broad definition of ‘computer science related’ jobs to estimate the number of computer science related jobs in the UK economy and their contribution to economic output. A range of data and projections on demographics, the labour market, economic growth and adoption of technology have been used to generate estimates of future demand for computer science roles.


YouGov parents, secondary school teachers and secondary school pupils survey

All UK parent, UK secondary school teachers and UK secondary school pupils figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2031 teachers (1,792 secondary school teachers and 239 headteachers), 1,079 teenagers aged 13-18, and 1,002 parents of children aged 18 and under. Fieldwork was undertaken between 2nd – 21st September 2022.  The survey was carried out online.











Clearlake Capital-Backed Discovery Education Acquires DoodleLearning

Discovery Education—the worldwide edtech leader backed by Clearlake Capital Group, L.P. (together with its affiliates, “Clearlake”)—today announced the acquisition of DoodleLearning. The Bath-based DoodleLearning’s maths and English products create personalised learning experiences that help improve students’ academic achievement and confidence. Terms were not disclosed. 


The acquisition of DoodleLearning supports Discovery Education’s mission to prepare learners for tomorrow by creating innovative classrooms connected to today’s world. DoodleLearning complements Discovery Education’s other award-winning digital services, which include Discovery Education’s K-12 platform, Mystery ScienceSTEM Connect, the MathScience, and Social Studies TechbooksEspressoCoding and Health and Relationships


“Discovery Education is dedicated to creating a best-in-class edtech ecosystem that supports our mission to prepare today’s students for future success,” said Discovery Education Chief Executive Officer Scott Kinney. “This acquisition is an important milestone in that effort, and we look forward to both partnering with the talented DoodleLearning team and scaling the reach of their innovative, adaptive maths and English products.”


Prior to founding DoodleLearning, Chief Executive Officer Nicola Chilman and Chief Operating Officer Tom Minor taught maths. In 2011, after experiencing firsthand technology’s ability to accelerate student learning, Chilman and Minor created an app combining high-quality digital content and educational supports that encouraged children to learn in an engaging and personal way. 


Today, DoodleLearning offers four products supporting instruction in maths and English for ages 4-14 that have been used by over one million children in the U.K. and around the world. As part of the Discovery Education family of services, DoodleLearning will continue to apply its educational ability to building and deploying affordable learning solutions for students worldwide.


“The entire DoodleLearning team is excited to join Discovery Education’s efforts to build and scale a powerful edtech ecosystem of digital resources serving teachers and learners worldwide,” said Nicola Chilman, DoodleLearning Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder. “Our team will naturally fit into Discovery Education’s mission-driven culture, and we look forward to working with our new colleagues on our joint mission to prepare today’s students for future success.”


“DoodleLearning is excited to join the Discovery Education team,” said Tom Minor, Chief Operating Officer, and Co-Founder of DoodleLearning. “The company has laid out exciting plans to increase the number of instructional minutes it supports each day, and DoodleLearning is poised to play a significant role in this effort.”


DoodleLearning is Discovery Education’s latest acquisition. In October of 2020, Discovery Education acquired Mystery Science and in July of 2020, Discovery Education purchased Spiral. In August of 2019, Discovery Education announced the acquisition of Inspyro.


For more information about Discovery Education’s award-winning digital resources and professional learning services, visit, and stay connected with Discovery Education on social media through Twitter and LinkedIn.


Transforming Science Education through Twig: From the UK to the world

Revolutionising science education, Twig provides award-winning resources to over 60 countries in more than 20 languages, preparing the next generation of scientists and citizens for the biggest issues in climate change, sustainability and innovation.


Inspiring students everywhere to engage with STEM through thousands of high-quality videos, investigations, experiments, and other digital resources, we’ve created some huge waves in the world of science education. In fact, in 2021, we were honoured to be named as the Assignment Report’s UK Education Industry Company of the Year, and to receive the trophy for Best Global Education STEM Learning Company at the Scottish Enterprise Awards!


Since 2020, Twig has established a number of partnerships across the world. In Guatemala, we collaborated with the Ministry of Education to provide free access to teachers and students on Aprendo en casa, while in Uruguay we joined the Ministry of Education and Culture to allow for the integration of Twig’s content in the virtual learning environment of Plan Ceibal, also known as “CREA”, with similar efforts taking place in Columbia, Chile and Spain during our first year of distance learning. In Peru, we delivered a national pilot for more than 20,000 participating students, across all 26 Peruvian regions. This included online training sessions for participating teachers in 2021, with more than 1,100 attendees.

Slightly further afield, we expanded our resources into a new language for the United Arab Emirates, offering short films for the national learning framework. This new edition, in both English and Arabic, was for the Ministry of Education’s learning management system and science lesson framework. 

We also hit a new milestone in the USA, where we now provide more than 25% of California schools with Twig Science – a product we developed into a distance learning solution, with video lessons, virtual hands-on labs, and filmed teacher videos to provide further support during school closures. 

Our free weekly news resource, Twig Science Reporter, has also continued to be a huge success, and now prepares to enter its seventh season. Including more than 400 stories and counting, the episodes keep us up-to-date with all the latest pressing problems and their scientific solutions across the globe. Available in both English and Spanish, our full episodes are just one example of our countless supplemental offerings – and our presenters Chris and Arantza never fail to get students excited about science and technology, either! What’s more, we were honoured to receive a Teacher Choice Award last year, which recognised all the hard work and dedication that goes into our materials.

Amazon announce new virtual class tour dates after reaching over 20,000 students in their first year

Following last year’s hugely successful series of free Virtual Fulfilment Centre tours, Amazon has announced new tour dates aimed to educate students on the opportunities available to them in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) careers. The tours are part of Amazon Future Engineer, a purpose-led childhood-to-career programme built to inspire, educate and enable children and young adults from lower-income backgrounds to try computer science.


The Virtual Fulfilment Centre Tours, attended by over 20,000 students in 2021, are available to all primary and secondary schools across the UK, and are an engaging way to demonstrate the future world of work. Additionally, the free tours enable teachers to immerse their class in real-world learning without having to leave the classroom with the school trip style Virtual Fulfilment Centre tours from Amazon. 


On the tours, students will discover how computer science, state-of-the-art engineering and Amazon’s incredible employees all play a critical part in delivering customer orders every day. The tours provide a snapshot into the inner workings of Amazon Fulfilment Centres and cover key engineering concepts that demonstrate what a career in STEM could look like for them. Students are also exposed to fun facts about how packages get from the delivery room to their doorstep. Each tour lasts 45 minutes and is followed by a live 15-minute Q&A session with an Amazon employee. 


So that teachers can continue to embed this learning, they can also download a free resource-based toolkit which can be incorporated into any classroom activity before or after the virtual tour. It enables teachers to engage their students using interactive curriculum-linked slides, worksheets and videos, covering all the key concepts for your class, from learning outcomes to core computer science vocabulary.


Schools can book a Virtual Fulfilment Centre tour for free by visiting:


Amazon Future Engineer and the Virtual Fulfilment Centre school tours were established in response to research commissioned by Amazon in 2019 on the growing importance of STEM. The report found that the UK risks losing out on an estimated £33 billion a year due to a potential skill shortage. To meet annual labour demands, the country needs an additional 38,000 workers with computer science-related skills, including 21,000 computer science graduates. 


Teacher advocacy


Dennis Stansbury Alexa UK Country Manager, said: “Our Amazon Future Engineer programme has been specially designed to inspire future generations – especially those from all backgrounds – about a truly fulfilling career in STEM. We launched our Virtual Fulfilment Centre tours just 12 months ago to great success. We have now launched a new programme for 2022. New dates are announced mid-month, every month. Schools, please do consider signing up for one of our free tours. Together, we can make a difference.” 


The Virtual Fulfilment Centre tours are a great pre-summer break activity that allows teachers to provide students with a real world fun, engaging and relevant learning experience. Sign up today and book a tour for you and your class to get them excited about what a career in STEM looks like. Visit


WHAT: The Big Bang Fair – the UK’s biggest celebration of STEM for young people – returns for its first in-person event after a 2-year hiatus.


WHEN: Wednesday 22 June to Friday 24 June


WHERE: NEC in Birmingham


The largest celebration of STEM in the UK is free to attend and will feature scores of quality hands-on activities to inspire young people to discover and explore what a career in STEM can offer. Over the 3 days, young people will have the opportunity to hear first-hand from exciting scientists and engineers and connect with inspiring career role models, including The Engineering Baker and Bake-Off finalist, Andrew Smyth, Mission 44’s Stephanie Travers and Climate Scientist Sammie Buzzard.


The Big Bang Fair has signed some of the biggest names in STEM to exhibit at this year’s event, including the NHS, Rolls Royce, Unboxed, Network Rail & HS2 and the Environment Agency.


Dr Hilary Leevers, Chief Executive of Engineering UK, said: “We are so excited for young people and their families to experience this year’s event. With some of the biggest names in STEM, visitors will be able to hear about the brightest ideas from those working at the cutting edge. We are sure that everyone will be inspired, and we hope that young people will feel welcomed and attracted to explore STEM further.”


The Big Bang Competition:

An award ceremony on Wednesday will crown overall winners of UK Young Scientist of the Year and UK Young Engineer of the Year, who will receive a £2,000 prize.


A snapshot of this year’s incredible finalists, who have produced the following projects will be on the show floor:

  • ElectroPi – a robot designed to plant and water seeds, based on soil moisture levels, to speed up planting time and improve the quality of planting conditions
  • Air Quality Pavilion – an invention designed to explore how indoor spaces react to the air quality inside and how to improve the overall experience for the user
  • Working Healthy – a weather-proof open-air office that allows for a healthier work environment when working from home
  • AgriPod – an invention designed to tackle fertiliser misapplication by farmers
  • Smoothie Crusher – a bike powered smoothie maker
  • ISOPOD – a waterproof cardboard tent with a concertina design, created with the aim of tackling the number of non-recyclable tents left at festivals each year
  • Girls into school – a new design to provide a durable and affordable period product for the young women and girls living in Kibera in Kenya

Families, home educators and school groups have the chance to visit at The Big Bang Fair Unlocked, taking place on Thursday 23 June from 4pm to 8pm.


Book free tickets to The Big Bang Fair Unlocked at

F1® Manager 2022 partners with F1® in Schools to support future STEM talent


Frontier Developments joins the Aramco F1® in Schools World Finals as a judging partner, with F1® in Schools appearing in F1® Manager 2022.


Cambridge, UK – June 15, 2022  Frontier Developments plc (AIM: FDEV, ‘Frontier’) announced today a partnership with F1® in Schools, which will see the F1® Manager developer join the judging panel at the 2022 Aramco F1® in Schools World Finals, held at Silverstone, UK from  9th  – 15th July 2022 . The  Aramco F1® in Schools World Finals will also appear in the upcoming F1® Manager 2022 via the game’s in-game email system, as an annual marketing opportunity for budding Team Principals to support Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) talent.


As well as presence on the judging panel, Frontier will also attend the World Finals with their careers team, to talk about graduate and entry level opportunities at their studio in Cambridge.


In the officially licensed F1® Manager 2022, fans will write their own chapter in a bold new era for Formula 1®, stepping into the role of Team Principal at one of 10 2022 F1® teams to put their name in the sport’s illustrious history books. From designing components and recruiting talented drivers and key staff, to making reactive, data-led decisions on track, experienced through broadcast quality visuals and audio. Players can learn more about F1® Manager 2022 in the latest gameplay trailer and step onto the pit-wall themselves from August 25 across PC, PlayStation® 5, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation® 4 and Xbox One.


F1® in Schools, now in its 22nd year, is the world’s biggest, most exciting student STEM initiative. Researching, designing, making, and racing an F1® car of the future is at the core of F1® in Schools. Teams then race each other head-to-head on the F1® in Schools 20 metre racetrack. The challenge can be used as an education tool or hook to engage students in STEM subjects. This gives students the opportunity to develop key skills such as communication, presenting and teamwork, while forming the foundation for any career path they choose to follow.


Chad Young, Director of Publishing at Frontier Developments said: “We are delighted to partner with F1 in Schools to support the excellent work they do in promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) related subjects. At Frontier, we are regularly recruiting promising talent across our development and publishing teams, and we are very lucky to have a wealth of technical and creative expertise within the entire organisation, so ensuring that the next-generation have access to opportunities like the F1 in Schools competition is very important to us. We’re very excited to join the Aramco F1 in Schools World Finals 2022 as judges and to witness schools from around the world showcasing their skills.


Andrew Denford, Founder and Chairman, F1 in Schools added: “We’re very excited to be linking with Frontier Developments and F1 Manager 2022 at this year’s Aramco F1 in Schools World Finals. I know that their judges will be blown away by the outstanding talent of the teams competing at Silverstone. Our competition has so much synergy with the game too, with our teams taking on roles and racing their own design of cars, developing strategies and making many decisions along the way, so I’m sure all the students will be keen to put their talents to the test as a Team Principal in F1 Manager 2022. 

F1® Manager 2022 launches on August 30 on PC, PlayStation® 5, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation® 4 and Xbox One for a suggested retail price of £44.99/$54.99/€54.99. However, players looking to get ahead of the grid will be able to pre-order the game digitally and experience F1® Manager 2022 five days early from August 25. The game will also be available in physical format for PlayStation® 5, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation® 4 and Xbox One for a suggested retail price of £44.99/$54.99/€54.99.


*Early access and discount is exclusively available to those pre-ordering digitally. On PlayStation platforms, players must be a PlayStation Plus subscriber to receive the 10% pre-order discount.


For more news and information about F1® Manager 2022:







For more news and information about F1® in Schools.






Launched today: Schools STEM challenge to build accessible flight simulator


The Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) has today launched a new competition, Falcon2, aimed at young people aged 6-19 to design and build an accessible mobile flight simulator.


The Falcon2 challenge builds on the success of the previous RAeS build-a-plane challenge which was designed to enable young people to develop and demonstrate key skills which future employers and training providers look for and to learn more about opportunities in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and aviation.


Alongside the Royal Aeronautical Society the partners in Falcon2 are Boeing, the disabled flying charity, Aerobility, and Middlesex University.


We are today inviting young people aged 6-19 to use their science and engineering skills to design, develop and build a real-life mobile flight simulator which will travel to Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) schools and public events around the UK to introduce people from all backgrounds to the wonder of flight.


For many people, the opportunity to fly a plane may seem impossible, particularly to those with disabilities. However, Aerobility has developed a range of programmes and aircraft adaptations that allow many disabled people to do just that – learning to fly an aircraft and gain their pilot’s licence, providing the ultimate feeling of freedom, pride and independence.


The challenge is split into two phases:


PHASE 1 – The Design Brainstorm Challenge

A poster competition to present design and technology ideas for an accessible flight simulator, with the chance to win prizes for school or youth groups. Prizes include fully funded educational visits and vouchers for schools and groups.


There are two age categories for Phase 1 – one for primary ages 6-11 and one for secondary ages 11-19.


PHASE 2 – The Big Build

The winning build teams will take on one or more fully funded work packages for the flight simulator, culminating in the final assembly FlightSimCamp at Blackbushe Airport in Hampshire in summer 2023 where teams will integrate the different components which they have worked on into the flight simulator.


This phase is open to secondary ages only, and we particularly welcome entries where mainstream schools, colleges or youth groups along with industry representatives team up with SEND schools whether virtually or face-to-face.


There are ten work package which break down the flight simulator build into key engineering and technology projects which schools or youth groups can bid for, for example creating accessible seating for the motion platform, visual displays, flight controls or leading the build of a roadworthy trailer to safely transport the simulator around the UK once it is complete.


David Edwards FRAeS, Chief Executive of the Royal Aeronautical Society, said,

“Falcon2 is a great opportunity for schools and industry to get involved in a really unusual, but incredibly interesting project. Not only will young people be able to work on and possibly even build a mobile flight simulator, but they will be helping to encourage disabled people to get involved in aviation and change lives.”


Prof Mehmet Karamanoglu Head Design, Engineering and Mathematics at Middlesex University, said:

“We are very proud and privileged to be part of the Falcon2 programme. This is such a great project, providing inspiration and opportunity for all to get involved and help those who would not otherwise have the chance to experience the joy of flying. Our team of experts can’t wait to see the new entries and get stuck in to advise and assist the budding engineers, scientists and innovators of tomorrow.”


Mike Miller-Smith MBE FRAeS, Chief Executive of Aerobility, said:

“Disabled people don’t always get the chance to access fun and educational activities such as flying a flight simulator. This competition will not only deliver a first-class simulator which will be accessible to all, but all the competition entrants will be considering and learning about inclusive design – a key part of STEM. The Big Build also promises to be great fun!” 

OKdo partners with LEGO® Education to retail enhanced STEAM education products

OKdo, trading brand of Electrocomponents plc (LSE: ECM), a global omni-channel provider of product and service solutions, has announced partnered with LEGO® Education as an authorised reseller of LEGO® Education products in the UK.

The partnership will see OKdo offer six LEGO® Education sets initially, all of which promote STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics) learning through play to students of all ages. Some of the initial products in the range include:

  • The LEGO® Education SPIKE™ Prime Set, an easy-to-use STEAM learning tool to help introduce creative robotics to Year 7 to Year 9 students.
  • The LEGO® Education SPIKE™ Prime Expansion Set, which makes it easy to bring students’ creative robotics ideas to life using intelligent hardware. This set combines with the SPIKE™ Prime Set and free SPIKE App to give over 10 hours of targeted STEAM learning.
  • The LEGO® Education BricQ Motion Essential Set, which introduces children aged 6+ to STEAM learning, with students able to build a robot using over 500 LEGO easy-build elements, mini-figures, gears and more.

The partnership further enhances OKdo’s STEAM education offering, following their recent research into all the benefits of bringing coding and computer science into the classroom. Their Broader Benefits of Learning to Code report found that nearly all (96%) UK primary and secondary school teachers surveyed reported seeing first-hand evidence that computer science lessons help children to develop other hard and soft skills in addition to IT abilities.

Demand for computer science talent is also skyrocketing in the UK’s booming tech sector, and OKdo’s ‘Computer Science in the Classroom’ report highlighted the importance of engaging more children in computer science while at school.

They analysed the numbers of students sitting computer science and computing courses at GCSE and undergraduate levels, and found that, while progress is being made – 79,964 students sat the GCSE Computing in 2021 compared to just 16,773 in 2014 – more work still needs to be done to engage more students in these areas at any early age, to ensure the industry can continue to grow.

Richard Curtin, SVP of Technology at OKdo, said: “Educating the next generation is at the heart of the OKdo mission. Our research has shown the importance of STEAM skills in the classroom, and we are excited and proud to have partnered with LEGO® Education as their sets will encourage more children to discover coding and help them develop confidence in STEAM learning, while also building valuable creative and critical thinking, and problem solving skills.”

For further information about the LEGO® Education products and resources available from OKdo, please visit:

Information about the complete STEM offering from OKdo is available at:

Sea-cleaning robot sphere, a hand sanitiser-dispensing phone and an app to tackle period poverty, all in running to win £20,000 prize for young inventors


  • The Amazon Longitude Explorer Prize, delivered by Nesta Challenges, calls on young people to develop tech-for-good solutions to help solve society’s biggest issues and turn great ideas into reality.
  • The 40 shortlisted teams of 11-16 year-olds will receive expert mentoring from Amazon and other industry experts to create prototypes of their concepts this school term.
  • The winning team will win £20,000 for its school or youth group, with three runner-up teams to be awarded £5,000 each for their school or youth groups.


The Amazon Longitude Explorer Prize, delivered by Nesta Challenges, has today unveiled a finalist shortlist of 40 inspirational projects from teams of 11-16 year olds in the running to win the £20,000 first prize. The Amazon Longitude Explorer Prize pairs STEM knowledge with new entrepreneurial skills and calls on young people to develop innovative ‘tech for good’ solutions to help solve society’s biggest issues. 

Finalists include a sea-cleaning robot sphere that detects and removes microplastics with infrared sensors; a hand sanitiser-dispensing and infrared thermometer phone case that reminds the user to wash their hands and take their temperature regularly, and; an app that tackles period poverty and its link with female participation in sport and exercise by offering free monthly hygiene packs alongside motivation and fitness goals, and mental health tips.

Other game-changing ideas include a device that harvests kinetic energy every time a door is opened and closed to feed into the electricity grid; a carbon footprint-measuring app to help people make sustainable shopping decisions easily, and; a platform that uses AI to teach people sign language.

The Amazon Longitude Explorer Prize received more than 150 entries this year from over 500 young people across the UK. 40 finalists projects, submitted by teams of 11-16 year-old students, have been selected by a panel of expert judges including Jacqueline de Rojas CBE, President of techUK, Lauren Kisser, Director at Amazon’s Development Centre in Cambridge and DeepMind’s Obum Ekeke, Global Lead for University Relations & Education Partnerships. 

The finalist teams will each be connected to an expert mentor from Amazon and other industry-leading organisations. They will mentor teams on topics such as data analytics, software engineering, robotics, and app development, to create prototypes of their concepts to help determine the winner this July. They will all be invited to participate in the Amazon Longitude Explorer Prizes’ Enterprise Academy business day workshops and will also receive one-to-one technology support from FireTech UK – the UK’s leading technology course provider for children aged 8-17.

In July, the winning team will be awarded £20,000 for its school or youth group, with three teams of runners-up to be awarded £5,000 each for their school or youth group. The public will also be given the chance to choose their favourite design in the People’s Choice Award in June, the winner of which will receive £5,000 prize money for its school or youth group.

Maddy Kavanagh, Education and Skills Programme Manager, Nesta Challenges, said:
“It is a privilege to unveil the 40 inspirational teams that have been shortlisted for this year’s Amazon Longitude Explorer Prize. It has been amazing to be inundated with so many innovative entries despite the immense pressures faced by young people, teachers and youth workers alike. Schools are working extraordinarily hard to ensure students excel after lockdown, and youth groups continue to provide vital extra-curricular services and support. We are so pleased that the prize is introducing more young people to the exciting opportunities in science, technology, engineering and maths, supporting the growth of entrepreneurial life-skills, and developing their confidence at such a pivotal time. We can’t wait to see our teams develop their ideas into real-world prototypes in the next three months.”

Lauren Kisser, Director at Amazon’s Development Centre in Cambridge, and Judge for the Amazon Longitude Explorer Prize, said:

“Supporting young people to discover a passion for – and ultimately consider future careers in – STEM is more vital than ever, and it’s fantastic to see such great engagement in the prize across the country. It’s been a joy to see what the nation’s next generation of inventors and innovators have come up with, especially under such unusual and challenging circumstances this year. 

“The Amazon Longitude Explorer prize is part of Amazon Future Engineer, our comprehensive childhood-to-career programme to inspire, educate and enable children and young adults from lower-income backgrounds to discover computer science and engineering. We’re looking forward to getting started with the mentorship programme and seeing the finalists’ ideas come to life.” 

Jacqueline de Rojas, CBE, President at techUK, and judge for the Amazon Longitude Explorer Prize, said:

“Whittling down all of the amazing entries was incredibly difficult but we are delighted to be able to share 40 deserving finalists. The submissions have been really innovative in the way they have applied technology and real-world promise and bringing with them potential for huge impact. It will be a privilege to watch these innovative ideas blossom with support from industry experts, alongside the passion, skills and confidence of the talented young people taking part.”

Other shortlisted ideas include an eco-friendly water bottle that encourages the user to drink water more often; a wearable device for PTSD sufferers that uses sensors and GPS tracking to monitor behaviour and notify friends and family of episodes; a LGBTQ+ Youth app and website to connect and support those with similar experiences, through chat rooms, bots, fun enrichment activities and resources, and; a mealworm larvae filled box that breaks down non-recyclable plastic waste, using sensors to monitor for optimal decomposition conditions.

The Amazon Longitude Explorer Prize aims to address the lack of diversity in STEM industries by providing young people from all backgrounds with an introduction to the possibilities of entrepreneurship in STEM and becoming the disruptors of the future.

This year, more than half (58%) of all entrants to the 2021 Longitude Explorer Prize are young women. Following the 2020 prize, 93% of the finalists said they would now like to pursue a career in STEM. 98% of 2020 finalists said they were inspired to pursue entrepreneurialism. 91% of young people taking part in the 2020 prize said they learned new remote working skills as a result. 100% of teachers and youth leaders who entered a team in 2020 said they would enter a team in the future.

To find out more about the Amazon Longitude Explorer Prize and all 40 of the finalist teams visit