About the Competition


The International STEM Youth Innovation Competition is an event for students under the age of 18, organised by the British International Education Association (BIEA). It aims to raise the level of technological enthusiasm among students from all over the world as well as to stimulate students' passion for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The competition builds bridges between science, technological innovation, education, and young people across a variety of industries. The competition is held every summer with a new science and innovation theme picked every year. The first event took place in 2018 and was only open to British students with the theme of creating a drone for a rescue situation. From across the UK, more than 2,000 schools participated, comprising of almost every type of school imaginable. The finals were held on 28th June 2018, at the Big Bang Fair South East.

2019 will be the first international competition, with student teams from around the world taking part to design and develop drones in the battle of protecting wild and endangered animals. We welcome entries from all over the world and it is free to enter. The final of this year’s competition will be held in the UK in July 2019.

The Born Free Foundation is an official partner of BIEA. With special thanks to The Independent Association of Prep Schools (IAPS).


Theme of 2019

Over the last hundred years we know of at least 96 species of animals that have gone extinct, that is, lost to this world forever. Humanity has proven itself unable to stem the tide of destruction that it has caused through its actions. Our abuse of the environment has come at a high price as more and more species are added to the critically endangered lists, but there is a weapon in our arsenal that we can use to try to change the future: Technology.

The competition theme in 2019 reflects two major concepts: Technological innovation and conservation of endangered animal species: “Fighting extinction”.

Competition Overview

Regional Heats:

Report writing: Competitors will use the Internet to research, design and write a report about a drone that can help conserve an endangered animal species. Teams must submit their reports via email by 31st March 2019.

International Competition - The finalist teams will be announced on 23th April 2019, marking the start of the international competition:

Innovation and design: Using a budget from BIEA, competitors will buy, modify and fly small drones as proof of concept for their design. Teams are required to video flying according to requirements provided by BIEA.
Oral presentation: Competitors will video a presentation about their drone design.

The finalist teams must submit the two videos according to the instructions provided by BIEA by 4th June 2019.

Live International finals:

Mission execution: Flying new drones, competitors will tackle an obstacle course.
Evaluation: Competitors will deliver an evaluation about their project successes and challenges. They will also need to answer the questions raised by the judges.
Work display: Competitors will display their drone project to judges and peers.

Important Dates

31st March 2019 - Report submission deadline (Finalist teams will be announced on 23rd April 2019)

4th June 2019 - Innovation and design and oral presentation videos submission deadline (For finalist teams only)

4th July 2019 - Live international finals


Regional Heats and International Competition:

In the participating teams' own schools

Live international finals:

2nd July 2019 Technology Achievement Showcase - London Westminster Kingsway College, UK

4th July 2019 International Finals - The Royal Air Force Museum, London, UK

4th July 2019 Awards Ceremony & Celebration Party - The Royal Air Force Museum, London, UK

5th July 2019 Competition STEM Summer Camp - A venue in London, UK (To be confirmed)

Awards & Honours

The team with the highest overall score will receive the £5,000 grand-prize. Each age category winner will receive a drone, a medal, certificate and trophy. Runners up will also receive a drone, a medal and a certificate. See below for details of all the categories:

  • BIEA Grand prize (£5,000 and competition drone for the winning team)

For each age group:

  • Champion
  • First Runner-up
  • Second Runner-up
  • Best Report Award
  • Best Oral Presentation Award
  • Best Flying Award
  • Best Creativity Award
  • Best Instructor Award
  • Best Display (Peers) Award
  • Best Display Award
  • Best Effort Award

Special awards:

  • UK CREST Silver award

The CREST Awards is accredited by the British Science Association, which aims to help students to undertake projects in STEM related areas. Students' achievements in the BIEA International STEM Youth Innovation Competition can be recognised with awards at silver level.

Competition Requirements

BIEA requires that all students must be in teams of between 3 and 5 individuals. Each school must be registered by a responsible adult (e.g. teacher). Schools may enter more than one team per age category: Junior 9-11 years old, junior-high 12-14 years old and high school 15-17 years old.

Competition STEM Summer Camp

BIEA welcomes all the finalists as well as non-finalists to join the STEM Summer Camp, which lasts from 1st - 11th July 2019 (11 days, 10 nights). The camp will involve a variety of classroom-based STEM sessions taught by top UK STEM experts as well as field trips to locations related to STEM disciplines. The camp is designed to inspire students and broaden their horizons to what STEM has to offer.