This year's competition theme is Destination: Unknown, and each of our four questions will give you the opportunity to investigate and spread the search for science's next steps. This year has the broadest collection of questions yet, but all four will be joined by a common thread. Looking up or down; forward or back; or looking big and small could all hold the key to humanity's scientific progress, but we're excited to see where you think science is headed next.


Question 1: How do we clean the ocean?

It’s clear that our oceans are heavily polluted with rubbish, microplastics, and chemicals but what do you think would be the best way to fix this problem?

Judge: Dr Tom Crawford

Judge’s Top Tips:

  • Be as bold and creative as you can with your proposed solutions. They don’t need to be feasible right now but maybe one day in the future.
  • Have a look at my research in this 60 second Youtube video for some inspiration.

Accepted Formats:

  • Video (max. 3 minutes 30 seconds)



Question 2: Tell us a story about a major scientific discovery that has, or you think will happen through space exploration.

Think about who the characters are? Were there any conflicts? What were the circumstances? What was/will be the discovery? What were/will be the consequences? Is that story still ongoing?

Judge: Vanessa Madu

Judge’s Top Tip: Your entry is aimed at a general audience so remember to keep that in mind when you’re creating it! You’ve got lots of room for creative freedom with this question, make sure to use it!

Accepted formats:

  • Video (max. 3 minutes 30 seconds)
  • Essay (max. 1000 words)
  • News/magazine articles (1000 words)
  • Comic book
  • Artwork/graphics
  • Stories told through photographs.


Question 3: I’d like you to describe a new frontier or dimension in science you think we’re going to explore which will teach us more about ourselves, our world, or our Universe.

Judge: Professor Kathy Sykes

Judge’s Top Tips:

  • You can use props or an image or graph if you like – but no PowerPoint presentations. This is about how you communicate.
  • I want to see clarity, content, and charisma:
    • Clarity: I want to understand what you’re saying
    • Content: I want there to be some good science in there
    • Charisma: I want you to be you! Be authentic because that’s what works.

Accepted Formats:

  • Video (max. 3 minutes 30 seconds)




Question 4: You are a science journalist of a national newspaper – either The Telegraph or The Sun. The editors, Madeline Pontificate of The Telegraph and Roddy Simplidone of The Sun, have asked for a piece to be published over the Christmas period or Easter holidays. They want you to consider the three most important inventions produced since Homo sapiens stood on Earth. Justify your choice and rank them in order of significance, discussing their impact.  You may choose for which newspaper you decide to write and both editors have equal space for exactly 1500 words give or take 10 words more or less; there is a space to choose one picture if you wish.

Judge: Professor Lord Robert Winston

Accepted Formats:

  • Newspaper article (1500 ± 10 words) + an optional picture