3M Young Innovators Challenge – coming soon for 2022!

We are planning to hold the 3M Young Innovators Challenge in 2022 for primary schools with a welcome return to face-to-face judging and presentation events, subject to government Covid-19 guidelines in force at the time.

Watch this space for further information. If you are a Year 3-6 primary school teacher or Science Coordinator in Leicestershire, South Nottinghamshire, Bracknell Forest or Wokingham and would like to be added to our mailing list for further information, please send your details to younginnovators@mmm.com


3M Young Innovators Challenge

3M Young Innovators Challenge 2021 Leics/S Notts

3M Young Innovators Challenge - Leicestershire / South Nottinghamshire

The 2021 3M Young Innovators Challenge, sponsored by science-based technology company 3M and supported by the newspaper, the Loughborough Learning Alliance, Practical Action and the Sense College Loughborough, aims to inspire the next generation of original thinkers.

  • Our exciting primary Challenge will really get your pupils into blue sky thinking! Students should design an aircraft within a maximum weight limit and develop a launching device to propel it forward over the greatest distance. The Challenge supports learning into push and pull forces, gravity, air resistance, aerodynamics and material properties.

  • A secondary Challenge, developed in conjunction with Practical Action, tasks students to devise a system for transporting fragile freight across a specified height and distance as quickly as possible, in a controlled manner. This depicts a problem faced by communities in Nepal who need to efficiently transport delicate produce, grown on steep mountain terrain, to market. The Challenge supports STEM learning into forces, gravity, material properties and structures, while demonstrating how engineering can improve the lives of people in the developing world.

  • An exciting primary school Challenge to design a lightweight free-standing structure, supporting as much load as possible up to a maximum of 10kg. The structure may be themed on an existing world monument or pupils may construct a monument to honour a person or event relevant to their school's locality. The Challenge supports STEM learning into structures and forces, together with place knowledge aspects of the primary geography curriculum.

  • A primary school Challenge to support STEM learning about gravity, energy, friction and material properties. How slow can you make a marble descend a marble run? The run must incorporate a minimum of three different methods of slowing the marble's descent.

  • Aligned with the DT curriculum, our DizTech Challenge is to design and construct either a sensory toy; a product to make a sports activity or hobby more accessible; or a device to make performing an everyday task easier for a young person aged under 18 years who has a single or multiple physical disability. Research, innovation in material use and prototyping will all score highly with the judges.


  • What's it about?
    What's it about?

    Five Challenges linked to the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) curriculum to inspire primary and secondary school children to study STEM subjects, leading to rewarding and fulfilling future careers.

  • Who's it for?
    Who can enter?

    Open to primary and secondary Leicestershire and South Nottinghamshire Schools, Academies and Private Schools. Home-educated children may also participate.

    See our Terms and Conditions

  • Young Innovators Challenge group photo
    Awards ceremony

    Watch the 2018 presentation evening showcasing the outstanding STEM talent of young innovators from Leicestershire and South Nottinghamshire schools.

  • Why study STEM?

    Hear 3M employees talking about how STEM subjects are a passport to an exciting career.