Big Bang Competition Mentoring Scheme

We are inviting schools to take part in The Big Bang Competition mentoring scheme. The scheme aims to connect schools with special award sponsors to help young people (aged 11 to 19) develop exciting new STEM project work to be entered into the Competition and engage with students who would not typically participate in engineering activities. Schools will also receive up to £500 funding towards the cost of their student’s project work. 

Special award sponsors are leaders in business and industry who create unique awards that celebrate particular aspects of young peoples’ work e.g. recognition of digital skills or achieving of sustainable goals.

This year, sponsors will provide mentors with STEM expertise and industry experience to collaborate with teachers and support students create projects that explore their special award theme, whilst also working towards the Competition judging criteria. Themes are currently being confirmed and we will aim to match schools to their preferred themes and links to their curriculum. 

Schools will also receive up to £500 in funding to go towards project work, including purchasing of project materials (consumables and equipment), access to digital technologies to support online entry into the Competition and teacher / technician salaries. Funding cannot be used towards external activity providers. 

Schools will receive funds and begin working with mentors in January and projects should be entered into the Competition by the submission deadline (late March, date TBC). Projects that enter the Competition will have the opportunity to showcase to and discuss work with special award judges and have a chance to win exciting prizes.

More information about the scheme, a detailed timeline and expectations of schools and mentors can be found here: The Big Bang Competition Mentoring Scheme 2020/2021.


Who can take part?

This opportunity is available to all UK secondary schools who would not be able to participate in the Big Bang Competition without extra financial and material support. EngineeringUK will use free school meal, ethnicity and SEND data as well as a school’s location to assess eligibility. Applications may only be submitted by teachers or technicians.

Our work focusses on bringing young people into engineering from a range of backgrounds (and particularly those who currently are less likely to pursue engineering careers). We therefore ask that this mentoring scheme engages with pupils who would not typically participate in engineering activities. This may include:

As part of the reporting process, schools will be asked to provide anonymous demographic information about the students that participate.

Spaces are limited. All schools will be contacted to let them know whether their application is successful.


Why take part?


What next?

Applications for the mentoring scheme have now closed. 


If you have any questions about the mentoring scheme, please contact the Competition team at