The Big Bang Competition Special Awards

From climate change to improving transport and quality of life, The Big Bang Competition is all about thinking big and celebrating young people’s innovations and visions.

We’re incredibly excited to be working with companies and organisations from across industry to offer some brilliant new awards on a variety of issues.

More information will be coming soon on our special awards for the 2021/22 competition.

Please contact [email protected] if you're interested in sponsoring an award.

London International Youth Science Forum (LIYSF)

What you'll win: a place at 63rd London International Youth Science Forum 2022 (27th July – 10th August 2022)

Founded in 1959, LIYSF aims to give a deeper insight into science and its applications for the benefit of all mankind and to develop a greater understanding between young people of all nations.

The winner chosen will represent the UK at the 63rd London International Youth Science Forum. LIYSF is a two-week residential event held at Imperial College London, with lectures and demonstrations from leading scientists, visits to industrial sites, research centres, scientific institutions and organisations, including world class laboratories and universities.
LIYSF attracts 500 of the world's leading young scientists aged 16-21 years old from more than 70 participating countries. There is an active social calendar with events designed to enable those from around the world to learn about different cultures. The scope of LIYSF extends further than broadening scientific understanding to engage students in education on other cultures and develop lasting, international friendships.


Topic: All topics are welcome across science and engineering. During LIYSF students can tailor their programme from a wide range of STEM topics and visits on offer.
Age: 16-18yrs
Size: Individual projects

What you’ll win

The winning student will receive a framed certificate and fully funded place to LIYSF, which includes the full 15-day residential programme at Imperial College London, with main lectures from top scientists, specialist lectures across a raft of STEM fields and visits out across the UK to University Departments and Science Institutions. All meals and accommodation provided.

Find out more about LIYSF here.

The Network Rail Innovation in Transport Award

What you'll win: A framed certificate, £500 

National Rail own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of Britain's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.

This award will be awarded to a project where a collaborative approach has been taken using innovative thinking, within the fields of transportation. The theme of these projects will be ‘Putting Passengers First’, focusing on creating and developing ideas to improve passengers’ experiences during any part of their rail travel.



  • Construction/building
  • Digital technology
  • Environment
  • Sustainability
  • Transportation

Age: Open to all ages
Size: Individual and team projects

Find out more about Network Rail here.

The Energy Institute Climate Change Special Award

What you’ll win: A framed certificate, £500 and the opportunity to undertake one of the EI’s training courses for energy professionals, and to contribute blog posts and social media content.

The Energy Institute (EI) is the chartered professional membership body bringing global energy expertise together. We’re a unique network spanning the world of energy, from conventional fuels to innovative renewable and energy efficient technologies. We’re here for anyone who wants to better understand the extraordinary energy system on which we all depend.


Topic: Climate Change

Age: Open to all ages

Size: Individual and team projects

The Climate Change Award is aimed at projects which focus on creating a lasting reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, as a contribution to the UK’s goal of reaching net zero by 2050. Previous winners of the Award showcased ingenuity and motivation, with the evidence base to back it up.

The Energy Institute would like to see a thorough understanding of climate change and a passion to contribute to the future energy system.

Find out more about the Energy Institute here.



The Intellectual Property Office Award for Outstanding Innovator

What you’ll win: £500, a framed certificate and a day at the IPO to meet examiners and learn more about IP.

The Intellectual Property Office is the official government body responsible for Intellectual Property (IP) rights in the UK including patents, trade marks, designs and copyright. They promote innovation to help the economy and society to benefit from knowledge and ideas.

Everyday people look to solve problems and unleash the next technological advancement through invention.

Because these creations have value - commercially and culturally, the UK Intellectual Property Office offers protection for intellectual property. That protection includes patents, registered designs, trademarks and copyright.


Age: All ages

Size: Individual and team projects

This award will recognise a project that addresses and solves a problem and demonstrates a significant technological, design or cost improvement. The winning project will demonstrate a new way of doing something, or offer a technical solution to a problem and consider the intellectual property rights that could protect their invention, brand or how it looks.

Need some inspiration? Check out the Cracking Ideas site.

Find out more about the IPO. 

Find out more about protecting your project.

The Siemens Digital Decarbonisation Award

What you’ll win: A framed certificate

Siemens’ vision for this year and beyond is to transform the everyday and inspire the next generation. 

This award is for projects specifically with a focus on decarbonisation. Projects should aim to transform the everyday using digital innovation and skills as a catalyst. 

Taking an everyday product and redesigning it to use lower carbon resources but still deliver the same function. It could be focussed on communication, branding, sustainable development goals or product changes. Siemens are looking for digital use in the project: developing the skills you need to live, learn, and work in a society where communication and access to information is increasingly through digital technologies like internet platforms, social media, and mobile devices.





Classroom/ home schooling

Future of cities






Digital technology

Construction/ building


Age: All ages


Size: Individual and team



The Royal Air Force Teamwork Award

What you'll win: a trophy 

The Royal Air Force has a distinctive character and spirit that relies on an essential combination of team work and leadership to deliver air power worldwide regardless of the challenges or the environment.  This prize will be awarded to a project that has demonstrated excellent team working skills throughout the project.



  • Humanitarianism
  • Transportation
  • Sustainability
  • Digital technology
  • Robotics
  • Space
  • Cyber

Age: 11 to 14

Size: Teams of 3 or more

The RAF has a wide range of STEM resources that are freely available to download here.

The Stantec Developing Future Communities Award

What you'll win: £500, plus a site visit (Covid restrictions may apply)

This award will be awarded to a project that has demonstrated how science and engineering can advance the quality of life in communities, whether around the corner or across the globe.

Communities are fundamental, they provide a foundation, a sense of place and of belonging. That’s why at Stantec, we always design with community in mind.


Topic:  Communities

Age:  All ages

Size: Individuals and teams

The Special Award for Practical Science

What you'll win: £500 of vouchers for your school/STEM club, a framed certificate

This award will reward technicians or teachers who have supported an individual or team in their practical investigative project for the Big Bang competition. Their support will have allowed the students to include sound practical elements in their experimentations. 

Without the support offered by technicians and teachers, many of the projects in the Big Bang could not have happened. Gatsby supports practical science in schools and this award is part of our work recognising technicians.  


Topic: Practical investigate projects (both science and engineering) that have taken place, at least in part, in schools/STEM clubs

Age:  All ages

Size: Individuals and teams

Nominate your teacher

The Army Humanitarian Aid Award

What you'll win: A framed certificate, £500 

With over 76 entry level specialisms, the range of careers in the British Army might surprise you.

STEM is at the heart of each one of these roles, with opportunities to gain STEM qualifications, from a network engineer apprenticeship, to becoming a chartered accountant or a qualified nurse.

This award is designed to celebrate a project that aims to improve the lives of others by tackling humanitarian issues. The project must demonstrate an understanding of the issues involved and a produce a practical solution to the challenges faced.


Topic: Humanitarian

Age:  Intermediate (14 to 16), Senior (16 to 18)

Size: Individuals and teams