Ultimate STEM Challenge

Brought to you by BP, the Science Museum and STEM Learning

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My Sustainable Future: Parched Plants

These challenges were developed as part of the Ultimate STEM Challenge 2017/2018.

The competition is now closed but why not complete one of the challenges as part of your school's STEM club, in class, or even to run your own school competition?

Water is essential for human life. As almost 97% of the Earth’s water is salt water in the oceans and seas, and the majority of our fresh water is tied up in glaciers, ice caps and groundwater, it is important that it is not wasted.

Everyone has a responsibility for not wasting water, which is why BP investigates ways to manage water use and reduce the amount of water used in its operations. 

The agricultural sector uses about 70% of the planet’s accessible fresh water. Could there be ways to use less, while ensuring that we can feed everyone?

Challenge 2:

Grow indoor plants using a sustainable method that conserves water.


Plan and carry out an investigation to:

  • measure how crop production varies with water use
  • find the best design that uses the least water to produce a healthy crop.

Getting started

How you tackle this challenge is completely up to you and your students.  

Use the PowerPoint and/or lesson plan to get them started, or simply hand out the student guide so they can work independently.