Out of the blocks Maths and Science Series 2012

Tue.17.Jul.2012 BST

The ‘A-team’ from the All Hallows Catholic High School, Lancashire, have lived up to their name to become winners of STEM Challenge 10, the last competition in a successful series ahead of London 2012.  They had the most innovative and exciting plan for a local sporting event, created using their maths and science skills.

Cisco (, STEMNET and the Pearson Foundation challenged students to consider the venue, location, sport, resources, facilities and equipment to plan a large scale, accessible and sustainable event in their home area.

The finalists presented a Dragons’ den Den style pitch to a panel of expert judges at Cisco House, London, overlooking the Olympic Park in Stratford. The judging was based on the core Values of the Olympic and Paralympic Movement: excellence, friendship, respect, courage, determination, inspiration and equality.

From blind football to an aquatics centre, all of the finalist schools embraced and excelled in the Challenge.  Despite extremely tough competition, the All Hallows Catholic High School stood out through their excellent data analysis surrounding their swimming venue.  It was inspired from a love of circles and presented with nails reflecting the Olympics colours!

STEM Challenges are a series of competitions designed to encourage young people aged 11‑16 to use the skills learnt in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics lessons to think and work creatively about the  London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.  STEMNET (The Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Network) works in partnership with major organisations to nationally manage each Challenge for UK Secondary Schools.

Nearly 200 UK state-maintained secondary school teams took part in this final Challenge and were put through a rigorous regional judging process, in which eight teams made it through to the final: 

  • All Hallows Catholic High School, Lancashire
  • Angley School, Kent and Medway
  • Kendrick School, Surrey and rest of Berkshire
  • Perins School, Hampshire and Isle of Wight
  • South Axholme School, Humberside
  • The Elton High School, Greater Manchester
  • The Gryphon School, Wiltshire, Swindon and Dorset
  • Woodham Community Technology College, County Durham and Tees Valley

The winning team won £2500 for their school’s STEM Club and eight tickets for Olympic Hockey. Second place was awarded to Woodham Technology Community College who received £1000 for their STEM Club and eight tickets for Olympic Canoeing whilst the third place team from South Axholme Academy were awarded £500 for their STEM Club and eight tickets for Olympic Rowing.  The Elton High School were also Highly Commended by the judges for an excellent use of research, sources and surveys.

STEM Challenge 10 forms part of Cisco’s ‘Out of the blocks’ project which gives schools the chance to explore the events and venues of London 2012 whilst practising maths and science skills. More information about the ‘Out of the blocks Maths and Science Series 2012’ project can be found at