Ultimate STEM Challenge

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

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My Sustainable Future: Brilliant Biogas

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?

Global warming is one of today’s biggest environmental threats, resulting in rising sea levels, melting polar ice caps and the extinction of many species.

Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane contribute to global warming. Methane can come from many sources, both natural and manmade, including agriculture and food waste. For example, a cow produces 70–120kg of methane each year – and there are over a billion cows in the world!

Biomethane (methane produced by animals or from biomass) can be a useful source of energy. Capturing and using biomethane keeps it out of our atmosphere and can provide a sustainable way for the world to meet some of its energy needs.

Challenge 3:

Build a system that generates and captures biomethane from food waste.


Conduct an investigation to:

  • measure how to produce the most biomethane 
  • find the best design for extracting biomethane from food waste.

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.