MEMBER NEWS: Global Underwater Hub Stem Challenge 2024

May 9, 2024
MEMBER NEWS: Global Underwater Hub Stem Challenge 2024



Organised and run by Global Underwater Hub, STEM Challenge is an established nationwide competition that aims to illustrate to school pupils how science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills can be applied to the workplace.

The annual initiative sees 13 and 14-year-old pupils test their STEM skills to design, build, programme and market a model ROV (remotely operated vehicle) using Lego SPIKE.

Supported by educational charity The Smallpeice Trust, STEM Challenge is run as a series of regional heats across the UK, with pupils competing against their peers from local schools. The winning team from each regional heat then competes in the national final in Aberdeen, with the cost of their travel and accommodation provided.



Inspiring young people about the breadth of job opportunities offered by industries and underlining how skills taught at school can be applied to the workplace is crucial.

Research by Engineering UK has shown that young people who met an engineer held more positive views of engineering – 81% compared to 64% who had not. Young people who spoke to someone about a career in STEM were more likely to see a career in engineering as desirable – 71% compared to 53% – and nearly 20% more likely to have good knowledge of the next steps to take – 73% compared to 54%. The support of companies in the underwater industry helps to deliver this exciting competition and inspire our future workforce.

Download STEM Challenge Sponsorship Pack


STEM Challenge features six regional heats taking place across the United Kingdom, engaging with nearly 300 pupils from around 50 schools.

The winning school from each heat will travel to Aberdeen to compete in the national final. As part of the two-day trip, pupils and teachers will visit the offices of geo-data specialist Fugro, gaining an insight into the firm’s underwater inspection technologies that are used to support the energy industry.

STEM Challenge allows pupils to harness and develop their STEM competence, learn new skills and develop existing skillsets, build teamworking, encourage public speaking, improve confidence and meet fellow pupils from different backgrounds.

Find out more about the GUH STEM Challenge


Since 2017, over 2,000 students across the UK have participated in the GUH STEM Challenge programme.

In 2023, 282 students participated, with over 93% reporting that they learned something new and 86% gaining new skills.

Nine out of 10 students said they gained a much greater understanding and appreciation of what engineers do.

All of the teachers surveyed from the 49 participating schools would take part in STEM Challenge again and recommend it another school.


STEM Challenge takes place across the UK in locations where the knowledge of the underwater industry may be more limited. It aims to educate teachers and pupils – and in turn their parents – about the vibrant underwater industry and the diverse career opportunities it presents.

Global Underwater Hub, its members and stakeholders are aware that new talent is continually required to sustain the future of the underwater industry. By educating and demonstrating to communities across the UK, often in areas with limited knowledge of the underwater sectors, STEM Challenge plays its part in helping to potentially broaden the talent pool.

To deliver this project, industry backing is key.


Global Underwater Hub’s annual STEM Challenge competition is inspiring for the pupils taking part, giving those with an interest in STEM subjects an opportunity to apply their skills and learn how these can be used in their careers.

Since it launched in 2017, over 2,000 school pupils across the UK have participated in the STEM Challenge. These pupils come from diverse backgrounds, underlining the inclusive nature of the initiative.

Supporting the STEM Challenge allows your brand to align with an exciting UK-wide educational initiative that aims to inspire the next generation of underwater and energy industry talent. Many of these youngsters have strong environmental and sustainability values that will help shape society as we move to net-zero.

Along with supporting diversity and inclusion, education and workforce sustainability, sponsoring the STEM Challenge provides a learning and development opportunity for your staff. There are options for them to act as judges at the region heats, whilst offering mentorship to the pupils and explaining about their own career paths.

STEM Challenge sponsorship opportunities start from £3,000.

Join fellow sponsors and support our workforce of the future.
Download STEM Challenge Sponsorship Pack

Get in touch

AREG is the original energy transition organisation, working on behalf of members to empower the energy supply chain and champion its expertise. Please get in touch if you have any questions or would like to find out more about membership.

AREG has played an important role in the growth of Scotland’s renewable energy sector, engaging the supply chain and developing the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre. However, we are only at the very beginning of the transition that AREG was established to both lead and support so there are still opportunities for companies to get into the constantly evolving renewables supply chain. We look forward to continuing our work together as renewables builds on its place as Scotland’s main source of power, and as we seek to deliver real change in the crucial areas of heat and transport.

Scottish Renewables

Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce has worked closely with AREG since its formation. The recent progress in the developments of offshore wind projects by Equinor and Vattenfall are as a result of the work of the group over many years. The north-east is known as the oil and gas capital of Europe. At the Chamber, we believe the region must evolve its position to being recognised as the energy capital. Whilst hydrocarbons will continue to be essential in driving our economy for years to come, the generation of renewable resources will play an increasingly important role in providing cost-effective power, innovative development and economic growth.

Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce

The enthusiasm and dedication of the early group that would become AREG was fundamental in us choosing to launch All-Energy in Aberdeen. The first tiny show was held in 2001, and AREG’s Chairman at the time, Jeremy Cresswell, played such an active role that I often describe him in terms such as All-Energy’s ‘midwife’. All-Energy is now the UK’s largest renewable and low carbon energy exhibition and conference in terms of number of attendees, space booked, and number of exhibiting companies. As AREG became firmly established, their presence and support for the event grew spectacularly over the years. We thank them most sincerely for their invaluable input.


Vattenfall has forged a strong working relationship with AREG through the development of the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre. AREG has worked tirelessly on behalf of the North East and it can take enormous credit for the growth of sustainable energy in the region and the path it has cleared for the region to capture further investment.


Aberdeen City and Shire is emerging as a key location for renewables by successfully transferring its world-class oil and gas expertise into the sector and AREG has done much to advance this through a broad range of initiatives. It has acted as a catalyst in driving further investment in the local economy by engaging with companies, Government, public bodies and existing projects and we have been pleased to support their efforts. Scottish Enterprise will continue to engage with AREG as we increase Scotland’s use of renewable energy.

Scottish Enterprise