Student creating the practical design solutions.

Key information

Residential programme

We have taken the decision to exclusively run an online programme in 2021.
The residential programme will be running in 2022.

What is the STEM challenge?

The second week of the academic programme is dedicated to testing your creativity. So we are working with the Imperial College Advanced Hackspace (ICAH), a community of entrepreneurs and inventors, to design the real-world challenges for you to solve during the week.

You will join a group with students from all three streams to work on a specific project theme. During the week you will ideate, plan and prototype a solution to a real-world challenge under the guidance of the Advanced Hackspace team.

At the end of the week, you will present and exhibit your project to the rest of the groups. Your project will be judged by the Advanced Hackspace team.

What is Advanced Hackspace?

Established in 2014, the Imperial College Advanced Hackspace (ICAH) has helped transform the ideation and prototyping landscape for students and staff at the College.

Everyone has an opportunity to participate in the Hackspace project during their time studying at Imperial College. As part of the Global Summer School, you will have the chance to take advantage of this incredible programme, exclusively available at Imperial.  

STEM challenge daily breakdown


Project briefing and ideation

You will be briefed by your project leaders, experts in their field with real industry experience, and start to brainstorm a range of ideas with your group.


Idea development

You will work with the project leaders, your mentor and your group to evolve one idea further, consider how it can be developed as a business, product, initiative or concept.  


Prototype development

Using your ideas, and a range of materials, techniques and technology, you will build a prototype and see your idea become a reality.


Poster design and presentation preparation

After putting the final touches to your prototypes, you will prepare a poster and practice your group presentation in advance of Friday’s exhibition.


Project presentations and exhibition

You will present your project to your group leaders, and winning teams will present again in front of friends and family for the best overall project. All groups will display their projects in an exhibition area.


Hackspace group project planning


Hackspace practical design building


Hackspace practical design building


Hackspace product calibrations