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Faraday Challenge Days

The IET Faraday Challenge Days are cross-curricular STEM activity days designed for Year 8 students in England and Wales, S1/S2 students in Scotland and Year 9 students in Northern Ireland.

Faraday Challenge Days are held at Schools, Organisations and Universities around the UK and give teams of students the opportunity to research, design and make prototype solutions to real-world engineering problems.

The IET Faraday Challenge is an annual competition that introduces students to engineering, inspiring them to consider engineering as a career and helps to develop their practical and employability skills, including team working, problem solving and creative thinking.

Through its charitable arm, as well as external supporters, the IET provide the Faraday Challenge Days at no charge to UK schools. Find out more about this season’s programme supporters.

Students win prizes for themselves and their school

The winners of each Faraday Challenge Day will win prizes for themselves and a trophy for their school and gain a place on the national league table. The top teams from across the UK will get to go through to the National Final at the end of the season to compete for a cash prize of up to £1,000 for their school to spend on STEM activities.

2021-22 season

The 2021-22 Faraday Challenge theme partner is The Institute of Healthcare Engineering and Estate Management (IHEEM). The season will start in September 2021 and run right through to July 2022.

Teams should be made up of six students aged 12-13 years old (England and Wales Year 8, Scotland S1/S2, Northern Ireland Year 9). Please note that each school can only take place once per season.

The 2021-22 season of Faraday Challenge Days will include the following options so you can apply to take part in one of four ways:

Option A: host one of our Challenge Leader-led Faraday Challenge Days at your school with the option to invite teams from up to five other local schools.

Option B: apply to be an invited school and take one team from your school along to another local event.

Option C: if circumstances mean it is not possible for one of our Challenge Leaders to come into school, you can apply to hold a Teacher-led Faraday Challenge Day at your school for your students only. We strongly advise that if you choose this option you have attended or hosted a Faraday Challenge Day previously.

Option D: host one of our Challenge Leader-led Faraday Challenge Days at your Organisation/University and invite teams from up to six local schools.

There will also be a Virtual Faraday Challenge which will be available via the website from September 2021 until July 2022. The Virtual Faraday Challenge is open for anyone between 7-15, young people can do this at home, in school, individually or as a group or family. It is not part of the National Faraday Challenge competition but there are prizes to be won. More information can be found here.

Please note that the Faraday Challenge Days can only take place in UK schools, but different countries around the world are able to take part in the Virtual Faraday Challenge or use our Faraday Challenge Day resources to run their own challenge days. Find out more here.

How to enter

Applications for the 2021-22 season are now closed.

Applications for the 2022-23 season will open in January 2022.

CREST Discovery Award

By taking part in a Faraday Challenge Day, your students will meet the criteria for achieving a CREST Discovery Award. Entering students is a brilliant way for them to get the most out of their project.

CREST Awards is the British Science Association’s flagship programme for young people. Around 40,000 students in the UK gain CREST Awards every year. It is the only nationally recognised accreditation scheme for project work in STEM subjects.

CREST is widely recognised as a mark of high quality in STEM project work, is non-competitive, and as long as the project meets all of the CREST criteria at the expected level, the students will achieve their award.

To get awards for your students, visit the CREST Award website.

Industrial Cadets Awards

All students who take part in a Faraday Challenge Day in 2021-22 will receive an Industrial Cadets Challenger Award.

The top five teams in the UK will receive a Bronze Level Industrial Cadets Award at our National Final. This recognises that they’ve completed a minimum of 20 hours carrying out hands-on problem solving and critical thinking activities.

Industrial Cadets is run by the EDT (Engineering Development Trust) and works with UK employers to create a talent pipeline and a future skilled workforce, whilst helping young people to develop the skills they need to enter industry with confidence.