STEM poster competition

As part of our Sustainable Composites STEM activities, we’re running an exciting poster competition open to all primary and secondary students from Years 5 to 11 across the UK to inspire the next generation of budding engineers, scientists, environmentalists and sustainability policy experts.

Posters can either be designed as part of a school or science club group project or set as homework. We have resources available for teachers and students to use and a digital template is available so all work can be completed virtually. 

Competition categories

There are three competition categories: 

1. Upper primary school (Years 5 & 6)

2. Lower secondary school (Years 7 & 8)

3. Upper secondary school (Years 9-11)

The winning individual or team will be announced at virtual national final in the summer, and once COVID restrictions allow, they’ll be invited to a Science Experience Day at either the National Composites Centre in Bristol or CPI in the North East. They will also receive a remote lesson delivered by an NCC or CPI engineer. 


The year is 2121 and Earth is close to becoming uninhabitable due to the effects of climate change. A group of scientists have identified a new planet which has ideal conditions to support life which they’ve named ‘SusCom’.

Your task is to design a city for the first humans to inhabit. For secondary school students, your design will need to take into consideration the following areas:

  • Where will you locate your city and why?
  • How will you source food and water?
  • How will you supply energy to the city?
  • What will you need to make your city & what will you make it from?
  • What will you do with the waste that is produced?

What will you do differently to current city designs now that we know about climate change and living sustainably?

The brief for primary school students is slightly different. They will need to consider: 

  • Where will you locate your city and why?
  • How will you supply energy to the city?
  • What will you do with the waste that is produced?

About Planet SusCom 

  • Temperature – the same as Earth
  • Sea – covers 70% of the planet’s surface
  • Mountain ranges, desert areas, lakes, jungles and forests similar to Earth
  • The planet also has ice caps similar to Earth
  • It is not currently inhabited by any animals, birds, insects or marine life but has all the same vegetation as Earth
  • It is possible to take wildlife from Earth with you
  • 1 million people will inhabit the city initially


To help students, we’re developed a pack of resources to help them in making their decisions about their posters, including a digital template should they need it. They’ll also be able to access a 30-minute virtual talk with an expert from the NCC to help them with their poster design.

Full competition brief for secondary students (PPT)

Full competition brief for primary students (PPT)


  • Competition launch - 16 March 
  • Submission – 7 May
  • Schools will hear back by  – 14 May
  • Final (held online) – 2 June

How will the poster be marked?

The posters will be assessed by a judging panel consisting of engineers from the NCC and CPI. The judges will be looking for clear, informative posters which detail how the students made their decisions. Students should consider how composites can help their new city.

Posters should include pictures and text.

If you have any questions, please contact [email protected]

Video submission

All finalists will be asked to submit a video explaining their poster in more detail. This is your chance to demonstrate why your idea is the best and how you made your decisions.

The video should be no more than 5 minutes long and be filmed in landscape. Videos can be submitted by by sending a link to YouTube or Dropbox by email to [email protected]. Please contact us if you need any help with this. 

The judges will review all the submitted videos and announce the winners at the virtual final.

We’d love to share some of the fantastic posters and videos that we are sent on our social media accounts and on our website. If you’d like to opt out of your content being shared, please let us know when you submit your entry.

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