Information for students

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Where to get your ideas?

Ideas come from all around us and often the best ones are the simplest. Is there something that really annoys you about everyday life? Perhaps you’ve read about or watched an issue that has touched you in some way. You don’t have to set out to change the world, but ideas that have wide reaching impact tend to do well in the competition.

Think about the following:

  • A hobby or a skill
  • Get ideas from your family
  • A newspaper or magazine article
  • A television programme
  • Ask your friends
  • Have you done a course recently?
  • Use family contacts – Doctor, Vet, Dentist, Engineer, Scientist etc.
  • Contact professional organisations
  • Discuss your idea with your teacher and parents.

Check out our inspiration page to help you get started.  Or watch our past winner video to get some tips and advice

Research your topic

Visit your local library or use the internet to learn everything you can on your topic. Observe related events. Gather existing information. Look for unexplained or unexpected results. Talk to professionals in the field. Write or email companies for specific information. Obtain or construct needed equipment.

  • Talk to professionals in the field
  • Visit a library
  • Use the Internet
  • Consult your teacher and parents
  • Visit a university or institute of technology
  • Research, research and research again, until you are an expert on the topic!


Organise everything you have learned about your topic. At this point you should narrow your hypothesis by focusing on a particular idea. Your library research should help you.

Make a timetable

Choose a topic that not only interests you, but also can be done in the amount of time you have. Leave time to fill out the forms etc. Certain projects require more time. Allow plenty of time to experiment and collect data. Simple experiments do not always go as you might expect the first time, or even the second time. Also leave time to write your report and put together an exhibit.