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.

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

The Intellectual Property Office Award for Outstanding Innovator

What you'll win: £500, a framed certificate and the opportunity to contribute blog posts and social media content

This award aims to acknowledge students who are paving the way for a brighter future through their innovative efforts. Technology is advancing at a fast pace; can young innovators harness its benefits to develop an invention that will benefit the wider society? Key points to consider:
1. What intellectual property you have and how you could protect your invention
2. If you have invented something entirely new or if you have improved on an existing invention
3. How your invention is sustainable, think materials and process
4. How your invention is forming a better future and making life better for individuals or all

At the IPO, we believe it’s important support those who research, create, collaborate and invent. We want the UK to be the best place in the world for inventors, creators and innovators to build on their ideas and find success; the IP system and IP education is fundamental in achieving these ambitions.



  • Sustainability
  • Innovative technology
  • Smart materials

Age: All ages

Size: Individuals and teams

The Civil Aviation Authority Future in Aviation Award

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

This award recognises young people’s innovation, creativity and problem-solving skills in aircraft, drones, and space exploration.

This includes creating new designs, meeting the needs of crew members and passengers, and managing our increasingly busy airspace and beyond!

We are particularly interested in projects that develop a more safe, sustainable and inclusive aviation industry.

Some project ideas include:

  • Finding ways to make it easier for people with specific needs to fly or work in the aviation industry e.g., designing aircraft, building runways and launchpads and helping to manage air traffic.
  • Researching and developing greener practices in the aviation industry e.g., developing alternative fuels for planes, improving air traffic control systems and making airports more sustainable.
  • Designing and improving drones to help benefit the community.
  • Exploring how we use space and manage rocket launches and satellites.

The Civil Aviation Authority look after everything to do with things that fly, like aeroplanes, drones, helicopters, hot air balloons, gliding, space rockets and satellites! As more people take to the sky, it is our responsibility to ensure our aviation industry is as sustainable, safe and inclusive as possible.
This includes removing barriers to allow everyone to feel comfortable whilst using any aircraft, as well as creating an inclusive and dynamic industry.

We are also committed to making air travel more sustainable, as we work towards the UK mandate of 10% penetration of Sustainable Aviation Fuel by 2030. If these volumes are not achieved, decarbonisation of the aviation could be compromised.


Topic: accessibility and inclusivity,
digital technology, environment, future of cities, education, materials & textiles,
robotics, AI, space exploration, sustainability, transportation

Age: All ages

Size: Individual and teams

Discover opportunities in aviation and aerospace and teacher resources  

The 65th London International Youth Science Forum

What you'll win: A framed certificate, a fully funded place to LIYSF, including the full 15-day residential programme. All meals and accommodation provided. 

The winner chosen will represent the UK at the 65th London International Youth Science Forum (LIYSF), 24 July to 7 August 2024.

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 to 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. 



Topic: All topics 

Age: Senior (16 to 18)

Size: Individual


Find out more about LIYSF.

The Energy Institute Climate Change Special Award

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

This award will recognise projects designed to help bring about a lasting reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, as a contribution to the UK’s goal of reaching net zero by 2050. This may be either a novel technological idea or an innovative way of encouraging people to change their behaviour or lifestyle.

The Energy Institute (EI) is the chartered professional membership body for people who work across the world of energy. Our purpose is creating a better energy future for our members and society by accelerating a just global energy transition to net zero.

There is a global climate emergency, and the real-world impacts – melting ice sheets, rising sea levels and extreme weather patterns - are more evident by the day. The challenge facing us all is to develop new technologies and change behaviours, in our homes, buildings, transport and in industry, that will help us reach the UK’s target of net zero by 2050.

Responding to the climate emergency is at the heart of the Energy Institute’s purpose, as we transition towards a net zero future.

As part of this we are attracting, developing and equipping the diverse future energy workforce; informing energy decision-making through convening expertise and advice; and enabling industry and consumers to make energy lower carbon, safer and more efficient.

Meet the Energy Institute:


Topic: Climate change 

Age: All ages

Size: Individual and teams


Need inspiration? Discover the EI podcast and Generation 2050 initiative for project ideas.

The Network Rail Innovation in Transport Award


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

National Rail owns, operates and develops 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.

We want competitors to use their STEM skills to create transport for the future! As the global population grows, so too does the need to travel for education, work, or leisure. We want to ensure we can provide transport links to a growing number of commuters whilst also protecting our environment and supporting our communities. Some key areas you could consider are:

  • how can we power our transport and infrastructure (e.g. train stations) without creating any greenhouse gas emissions?
  • how can we make commuting more accessible so everyone can enjoy their journey?
  • how can we protect local wildlife when creating new transport links?
  • can you create a new method of transport, or improve what already exists?
  • how can we balance a growing number of commuters and the need to build sustainably?

Every day, most people will need to travel, whether it be for education, work, or leisure. You can consider ideas to help improve transport connections within your local community or across the world!


Topic: Transport

Age: All ages

Size: Individual and teams


Need inspiration? Find resources from Network Rail here.

The Special Award for Practical Science


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

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.


The Stantec Developing Future Communities Award


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

Communities are fundamental. Whether around the corner or across the globe, they provide a foundation, a sense of place and of belonging. That’s why at Stantec, we always design with community in mind. Although our work is essentially physical, what we achieve can have far reaching affects – communities that thrive.

Climate change and social value are critical to that and we particularly welcome ideas that have this as their heartbeat. Using the tools of science, technology and your imagination, think about how you could improve a specific neighbourhood or create positive change on a global level. Simple ideas and everyday materials can change the world (or one little corner of it as a start!).

Stand out by being creative, inspiring and innovative. Good luck!


Topic: Communities

Age: All ages

Size: Individual and teams