- What makes this competition different to all of the others that are already out there?
The National Science + Engineering Competition is an over-arching and inclusive competition that covers all areas of science, technology, engineering and maths. There are many different science and engineering competitions already, but they tend to be specific to one scheme or subject area. The National Science + Engineering Competition welcomes almost all entries from other existing competitions - it is deliberately broad in the subjects it covers and in its entry criteria to ensure that as many young people as possible can be included.
- How does the National Science + Engineering Competition relate to the CREST Awards scheme and the Young Engineer for Britain Competition?
The Competition is coordinated by the British Science Association in partnership with The Big Bang Fair and Young Engineers. The British Science Association's CREST Awards, a series of project-based awards that enable 5-19 year olds to explore science and engineering topics and gain nationally recognised awards, and the Young Engineer for Britain Competition, which inspires young people to engage with engineering, are both feeder schemes for the National Science & Engineering Competition, and they also make their own awards at The Big Bang Fair.
- How are the categories split?
There are two streams: one for science and maths projects and another for engineering and technology projects. Within each of these streams, the projects are divided into three age categories: Junior (11-14), Intermediate (15-16) and Senior (17-18). For the 2013-2014 Competition, projects will be allocated to age categories based on the competitors' ages on 31 August 2013. Teams will be allocated according to the age of the eldest team member on this date.
- Do I have to go to a Regional Fair to gain a place in the Competition Finals?
There are two ways of gaining a place in the Competition Finals; you can enter either via a Near Me Big Bang Fair (which take place throughout the UK in June and July 2013) or via the entry form on this website (available from the end of July 2013). You do not have to attend a Regional Fair to gain a place in the finals. If you attended a Regional Fair and were not awarded a place in the finals, you can try again by completing the online entry form.
- How will you judge the best from all of the entries, at the Regional or National Fairs and via online entry?
The judging process is designed to be rigorous and transparent. The judges come from a range of scientific and engineering backgrounds and will be looking for evidence of an outstanding achievement, taking into account the age and abilities of the entrant. In the final stages of judging, the communication abilities of the entrants will be carefully assessed, as the winners may have opportunities to act as ambassadors for science and engineering. For more detail about the judging please read the Judging Criteria page.
- Who will win prizes?
There are a number of prizes in the National Science + Engineering Competition - core prizes (which are the main prizes), disciplinary prizes, lead sponsor prizes and special prizes. In the core prizes, there will be one winning project, one runner-up project and up to three highly commended projects in each stream and age category. The winners in the Senior category will win the titles "UK Young Scientist(s) of the Year" and "UK Young Engineer(s) of the Year". The disciplinary, lead sponsor and special prizes are all sponsored by external organisations who set their own criteria and tend to each offer a prize to one project. Please go to the Prizes page for more details.
- What are the prizes?
In the core prizes, each winner (individual or team) will win a cash prize, a trophy and certificate. The winners in the Senior age category will also gain the titles "UK Young Scientist(s) of the Year" and "UK Young Engineer(s) of the Year" as appropriate and an experience prize. Some winners also gain opportunities to represent the UK at other fairs and events. Runners-up and highly commended students will receive cheques, medals and certificates. In the disciplinary, lead sponsor and special prizes, the winners usually receive a cheque, a certificate and an experience prize. Please see the Prizes page for more details.
- When will the winners be announced?
The winners of the 2012-2013 Competition will be announced at the National Awards Ceremony at The Big Bang Fair on 15th March 2013.
- Are activities completed in science or technology clubs eligible?
Yes they are.
- Am I eligible to enter?
The 2013-2014 Competition is for UK residents in secondary education who are aged 11-18 years old on 31 August 2013. All team members must meet these eligibility criteria. Please read the Rules and Eligibility page to check if you are eligible. If you are still unclear, please contact email@example.com.
- Is my activity or project suitable for the competition?
The 2013-2014 Competition is for projects carried out between 1 July 2012 and 31 October 2013 in any area of science, technology, engineering or maths. Please read the Competition Guide to check if your project is suitable and the Project Tips page for details on how best to submit an online entry for judging. If you are still unclear, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- When is the deadline for online entries?
The deadline for online entries to the 2013-2014 Competition is 31st October 2013. Unfortunately, we cannot accept any entries submitted after this time. The deadline for online entries for the 2012-2013 Competition has now passed.
- How do I enter?
Please go to the Enter! page of our website. Here you will find the registration form for entries via Regional Heats. Online entry forms will become available from end July.
- My computer crashed before I finished my online entry. What do I do?
Make sure that you have all of your information ready before you start the online form. When you press "save" your information is safe, but if you lose connection before this point, we may not have received your information and you will have to complete the form again.
- I submitted an online entry but didn't receive a confirmation email from you
Please contact us on email@example.com as your entry form may not have been received.
- I was unable to upload my project summary/the application form timed out when I tried to upload my summary
Check that your summary is in the accepted format (a Word document no larger than 5MB). If you still have problems uploading it then please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
- I attended a Regional Fair and didn't gain a place in the Competition Finals. Can I enter via the online form too?
Yes. You can have a second try at gaining a place in the finals by entering online even if you attended a fair and did not gain a place.
- How will the entries be judged?
Projects at Regional Fairs in June/July 2013 will be judged in person and those deemed the best will gain places at in the Competition Finals at The Big Bang Fair in March 2014. Those who enter via the online entry form will need to provide a written project summary or short film that will be assessed by a panel of experts. The best of the online entries will also be offered a place in the Competition Finals at The Big Bang Fair.
Once at The Big Bang Fair, all of the entrants will be judged a number of times at their display stands and the winners will be announced at The Big Bang National Awards Ceremony on on the Friday of the Fair. For more details please read the Judging Criteria page.
- Who are the judges?
The judges are all experts from the world of science, technology, engineering and maths. In the Competition Finals, a shortlist of ten projects in the Senior category will be asked to take part in a further stage of judging involving a panel of celebrity judges. These judges will be announced on this website in due course.
- Why can't I get feedback from the judges about my project at the Finals?
There are a lot of judges involved in the National Science + Engineering Competition and they work to incredibly tight timetables in order to ensure everything is ready in time for the Award Ceremony. Unfortunately this means that they do not have time to offer verbal or written feedback to finalists.