Year 11 students working at their laptops.

This programme gives you the opportunity to work in small teams to develop creative solutions to current world problems.

At a glance

  • 5-7 July 2021
  • Residential
  • For year 11 students
  • Applications are now closed - we will let you know if your application was successful through our application portal by 23.59 on 28 April 2021

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Please be aware that due to COVID-19, all our programmes and summer schools 2021 are currently running through our dedicated online platforms. Our first priority remains the safety and well-being of our staff, students and programme participants.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and will continue to do the best we can to safely support all of our programme participants.

Please join our mailing list or check back here for updates.


About STEM Challenge

The STEM Challenge aims to provide participants with the opportunity to work in small teams to solve current world problems. Focused on how different STEM subjects interlink, participants will use their knowledge of different subjects to creatively develop solutions to the problem posed by Imperial College London academics.

Participants will be supported by undergraduate students from a range of disciplines to come up with novel and inspiring answers. We are looking for participants who are enthusiastic about STEM, who are willing to work in a small team and develop a broader understanding of how STEM subjects effectively work together.

What to expect

This programme is residential and students will experience broader university life through a series of social activities as well as time to relax and share experiences with other participants and undergraduate mentors.

At the end of the week each group will present their solution to the set challenge to a panel of judges and the team with the best proposed solution will be awarded a prize.

Please note, the details of the problem will be provided at the time of applying and there will be some pre-reading required two weeks ahead of the summer school.

This summer school is fully funded (free to successful applicants), which includes all course fees, materials, accommodation, three meals a day as well as any trips that are part of the summer school. Travel is not included however we may be able to offer successful applicants travelling from outside of London financial assistance for their travel.

Y11 STEM Challenge promo

Students in Year 11 STEM summer school

"I would urge all students who are considering applying to do so. I found the application process itself to be very helpful, as it made me reflect on myself and helped me realise what I wanted in life. The summer school was amazing and I know that it has helped shape my future choices. I also didn't feel like I missed out on anything by doing the programme online."

— Oyinkan, year 11 student, STEM Challenge 2020

Applicant information

Academic requirements

For this programme, you should:

  • Expect to study science and maths in your post-16 studies
  • Be studying at least eight GCSEs (or equivalent)
  • Be on track to achieve a minimum of five GCSEs at grades 7-9, including maths and sciences
  • Be on track to achieve a minimum of a grade 5 in GCSE English Language 

Eligibility criteria

This programme is funded by Imperial College London. It aims to support students from backgrounds under-represented in higher education. We are looking for applicants who meet the following criteria. The more of these criteria that you meet, the more likely you are to secure a place.

  • You are entitled to receive free school meals or pupil premium
  • Your family income is below £50,000/year
  • Your parents/ guardians do not have a university degree•
  • You have been in care or are a young carer*
  • You are studying in a school in the UK that has below average attainment or with a high percentage of students receiving free school meals
  • You live in a neighbourhood with low overall progression rates to higher education (we use ACORN and POLAR3 data to assess this)

* A young carer is someone under 18 years of age who helps look after a relative who has a condition such as a disability, long term illness, mental health condition, or a drug or alcohol dependency. They do extra jobs in and around the home, such as cooking, cleaning, or helping someone to get dressed and move around.

Good luck with your application!

How to apply

Applications are now closed.

All applicants will be informed of the outcome of their application by 23.59 on 28 April 2021.

For information about the application process, please see our application FAQs.

Contact us

For more information, please see our Outreach Programme FAQs.

If your query is not answered in the FAQs, please email us via outreach.scienceactivities@imperial.ac.uk or phone +44 (0) 20 7594 7328.

Want to stay up to date with Imperial outreach events? Click on the links below to follow us on our social media sites and follow the hashtag, #icoutreach