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Faraday Challenge Days

Faraday Challenge Days are one-day STEM activities designed for Year 8 students in England and Wales, S1/S2 students in Scotland and Year 9 students in Northern Ireland.

Faraday Challenge Days give teams of students the opportunity to research, design and make prototype solutions to genuinely tough engineering problems. The Faraday Challenge Days are provided free of charge as part of the National Faraday Challenge competition.

This year we have adapted the format of the Faraday Challenge Days to offer you more ways to get involved.

During the 2020-21 season, we will be running 80 IET Faraday Challenge Days in schools around the UK and further events as funded by our supporters. Find out more about this season’s programme of 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.

2020-21 season

The 2020-21 Faraday Challenge theme partner is Network Rail. The season will start in October 2020 and run right through to July 2021.

The 2020-21 season of Faraday Challenge Days has been adapted to the following formats so that given the circumstances, we can offer you more ways to get involved this year:

  • Teacher-led Faraday Challenge Days
  • Virtual Faraday Challenge

The Teacher-led Faraday Challenge Days allows you to run a Faraday Challenge Day in school and forms part of the National Faraday Challenge competition.

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. This is available via the website until July 2021. It is not part of the National Faraday Challenge competition but there are prizes to be won. 

Teacher-led Faraday Challenge Days

This option allows you to run a Faraday Challenge Day in school yourself with the support of a Faraday Challenge Leader.

You can run the challenge for up to 36 students aged 12-13-years-old (England and Wales Year 8, Scotland S1/S2, Northern Ireland Year 9), and up to 8 teams (groups of 4-6).

We will provide you with all the paperwork, prizes, trophy and the shop resources to run the Faraday Challenge Day and you will be able to keep the shop resources after the challenge so you can use them in your school or to run more DIY Faraday Challenge Days

You will have two weeks to finish the challenge so you can run it in whichever way suits you best, you can do it as a single day or you can fit it around specific lesson times.

Prior to the start of the challenge, you will be able to have an introduction meeting with your Challenge Leader. During the challenge you will have the option of scheduling a video introduction and consults between your students and your Challenge Leader. And at the end of the challenge you can either video the team presentations or arrange for these to be judged live virtually by your Challenge Leader.

Please note that the Faraday Challenge Days can only take place in UK schools, but different countries around the world are able to use our Faraday Challenge Day resources to run their own challenge days via our Faraday Overseas programme.

How to enter

If you would like to take part or have any enquires please email faraday@theiet.org to discuss how you can get involved.

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 2020-21 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.