Entry guidance

The Competition is free and open to all students aged 11 to 18 studying in the UK, as well as those aged 19 in secondary education or training. Competitors can only enter one project into the Competition, either as an individual or as part of a team. Have a look at our rules and eligibility for more details.

The information below is a guide for participants in the 2021/22 Competition. 

Skip to: enter the competition, assessment criteria, project guidance documents, advice on entry formats, top tips from competitors and judges

Key dates:

  • Online entry opens: Monday 6 December 2021
  • Online entry closes: Monday 4 April 5pm 2022
  • Finalists announced: Monday 25 April 2022
  • Finalist judging (virtual): Monday 9 May – Friday 20 May 2022
  • Award Ceremony: Wednesday 22 June 2022

Assessment criteria 2020-2021

One of the first things to consider when you start your project is our assessment criteria – the different elements that our judges will use to decide whether your project is shortlisted for the Finals.

Familiarise yourself with the full criteria below:

1. Project overview

A brief summary of your project, with a clear outline of your aims, how you planned to achieve your aims, key findings and conclusions, and how your work may impact the wider community or world. 

2. Project concept

What is the aim of your project? Why did you choose this project? Who might benefit from your work? 

3. Project process

How did you set out to achieve your project aims? Did you complete any research? What approaches did you consider, and what did you choose? How well did you plan and organise your work? 

4. Project outcome

What were your project outcomes? What were your results and findings? What conclusions can you make?

5. Reflections and next steps

What did you learn whilst working on your project? What did new skills did you learn? What advice would you give someone who wanted to do a STEM project in the same field?

6. Personal skills

Throughout your entry, judges will be considering: understanding and application of scientific/engineering method, how you communicate your project, evidence of innovation and creativity, problem solving, teamwork and leadership or independence and self-motivation.

Read these guides

The head judges for the 2021-2022 Competition put together these handy documents to help participants approach the assessment criteria based on their chosen stream:

Download our science project guidance

Download our engineering project guidance

Need some help? Sign up to receive extra top tips, tricks and ideas to get you started with your project.

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Remember, the judges are interested in learning about your work and want to celebrate your achievements! Our main advice for competitors is to do their best and provide as much relevant information as possible. Good luck!

— Helena Dodd and Andy Cowan, The Big Bang Competition Head Judges 2020-2021

Advice on entry formats

This year competitors are asked to submit a written project entry and short video about their project.

When completing your written entry, keep these word counts in mind:

  • Project overview: 150 words max
  • Project concept: 300 words max
  • Project process: 400 words max
  • Project outcomes: 400 words max
  • Next steps and reflections: 350 words max

Videos should be no longer than 3 minutes. Download our guide on how to film a video entry