Young innovators scope top honour at international STEM competition

Future engineers tackle global plastic pollution head


London, UK – The British International Education Association (BIEA) was proud to host its third STEM competition this week. The 2020 BIEA International STEM competition to ‘Save Our Shores from Plastic Pollution’ encourages young innovators from around the world to use technology to help counter the plastic waste epidemic and save threatened marine and land-based life through means of waste collection and recycling said waste.

36 finalist teams aged 9-17 from 14 countries and regions (US, UK, Bosnia, Indonesia, South Africa, Nigeria, Philippines, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, UAE, Malaysia, Thailand, India, and Hong Kong) showcased their designs and prototypes to an international judging panel.

At the online award ceremony, teams from all over the world shared their experience. Despite the disruption caused by COVID-19 to their education, these young people made the valiant effort to continue with their projects remotely. Winning designs included the application of enzymes dissolve plastic waste, redeployment of military tankers and automated robotic mechanisms in order to collect the plastics.

The judges thought several of the entries had real potential to be developed into working machines. Prof Rick Chandler, Chairman of the Communications Management Association was overwhelmed by the talents, ‘The teams found some brilliant STEM technology and most importantly learned team working and critical thinking skills. Some designs have been made into working models and could be deployed in the near future.”

The Grand Prize was won by Team Amet Activist (UK), other top honours went to Team Plastic Collector (USA) for Best Design (9-11), Team Big Brain Time (India) for Best Video (15-17). Full list of winners and their countries are on the website:

Evie Mackenzie, 17 from Team Amet Activists, said ‘The BIEA competition has expanded my learning, environmental awareness and my confidence and had encouraged me to pursue a STEM career with all the skills I have learnt. To be globally recognised is an honour and now more than ever I think competitions like this are so important to get younger people to apply their learning and expand their interest in STEM to make the differences to the world they want to see.’

“The team showed amazing resilience and strength of character in light of the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic brought about, completing the entirety of their project by collaborating online amidst the lockdown.” – Amelia Perry, Big Bang Competition Manager at EngineeringUK.

David Hanson, STEM competition chairman at BIEA hope the competition will engage everyone to tackle this global issue,  “We know that the world has a plastic problem as our oceans and lands have become polluted with our carelessly discarded plastic waste. This plastic will take thousands of years to decompose on land, whilst the plastic in the oceans break up into toxin-laden tiny particles, causing chemical pollution in the oceans. By bringing attention to this crisis and discussing how scientific technology can help clean up plastic waste before it becomes environmentally dangerous, we at the BIEA hope to engage today’s international youth to use education to become the ones who can help save the planet of plastic pollution,”  said David Hanson, STEM competition chairman at BIEA.

CGTN news coverage of the competition:

For more information about the STEM Youth Innovation Competition, visit or follow BIEA @BIEAeducation on social media.

Notes to editor:

  • Rights cleared video contents available 
  • Images available on request

About BIEA

The British International Education Association exists to promote and export the best British educational practices overseas. BIEA is a not for profit organisation which works to promote STEM and early-years educational practices to overseas teachers and institutions. BIEA provides quality assurance programmes and setting education standards. BIEA also runs an International STEM Youth Innovation Competition which aims to promote STEM education and careers for young people all over the world.

For more information, please visit

About the BIEA International STEM Competition

This is an annual STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) competition open to primary and secondary school students divided into three age groups. The competition has been designed to encourage students from around the world to be able to meet and exchange their passion for STEM; to pass on technological innovation and unique insight; and to work together to create a truly global STEM community for the twenty-first century.

The competition has received worldwide media coverage including BBC, CNBC, CGTN, China Daily, Xinhua News and others.

Media Contact
Company Name: British International Education Association
Contact Person: Helen Hu

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Country: United Kingdom