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Net Zero Superheroes

Net Zero Superheroes is a competition aimed at primary school children aged 9-10 years old (Year 5 in England / Wales or Primary 6 in Scotland / Northern Ireland).

Watch this video to find out more!

Each team or individual are tasked to design a creative invention to help their school or local community achieve Net Zero. This could relate to energy, transportation or infrastructure.

AtkinsRéalis has developed a variety of teaching resources on topics such as Climate Change, Carbon Footprint, Net Zero, Energy Demand and Supply.

These can be provided to schools or delivered by an AtkinsRéalis mentor to enhance learning, the sessions are made interactive involving both hands-on activities and individual worksheets.

If you would like to take part in next year’s competition, please sign up using our registration form or scan this QR code.

If you would like more information about the competition, please read our Information Pack.

Net Zero STEM Activities

If you’ve been unable to take part in this year’s competition but would like to learn more about the other Engineering Net Zero STEM activities AtkinsRéalis has to offer or would like to be contacted about future competitions, please also get in touch with us at: ENZSchools@atkinsrealis.com.


Read about our 2022/23 Net Zero Superheroes Competition

During our 2023/23 competition, AtkinsRéalis successfully worked with 62 different schools across the UK, received over 375 submissions, and reached nearly 3,000 pupils in total!

2022/23 Judging Panel

15 shortlisted teams presented their ‘Net Zero’ ideas to our judging panel of industry leaders Sallyanne Barson (Stakeholder Engagement & Communications Manager, National Grid Ventures), Cara-Marie O’Keeffe (Climate Change Consultant, AtkinsRéalis), Shak Choudhury (Project and Programme Lead, The Department of Energy Security and Net Zero, UK Government), and Pamela Paul (Head of Social Value, AtkinsRéalis). The calibre of entries was incredibly high, and the judges were blown away by the creativity and presentation. Out of the shortlisted schools, the judges selected the following winners:

Winner: “Green Building”

Anna, Bella and Chloe, Great Alne Primary School, Warwickshire, Southwest England

2022/23 Winning Idea – Green Building

Idea: The winning team came up with the idea of growing plants on the roof and creating a green wall to offset the amount of carbon emissions produced by the school. They also created a sustainable system to maintain the plants by storing rainwater and creating compost from lunch food waste.

Prize: The members of the winning team won a ‘Hyrbrid Crabot’ solar powered robotic crab, they also won a class trip to the ThinkTank Science Museum in Birmingham.

Anna, Bella and Chloe with their ‘Hybrid Crabot’ prize

Second Place: “Bio Energy”

Abhinav and Lakshya, Lorne Street Primary, Glasgow, Scotland.

2022/23 Second Place Idea – Bio Energy

Idea: Abhinav and Lakshya designed a machine that collected food waste from the canteen which produces methane gas as it decomposes. The methane was then converted into heat and electricity to heat and power the school with renewable energy.

Prize: Class trip to the National Museum of Rural Life and Whitelee Wind Farm.

Lorne Street P6 Class at Whitelee Wind Farm

Third Place: “The Eco Ball”

Holy Trinity Primary School, Bristol, England.

2022/23 Third Place Idea – The Eco Ball

Idea: The Eco Ball uses revolutionary technology to generate power using a dynamo which uses a magnet to create electricity. When the ball is kicked in the playground, it will charge a battery that can be used for lots of school devices such as walkie talkies.

Prize: Class trip to Techniquest Science Discovery Centre in Cardiff.

Holy Trinity Primary School Y5 Class Trip to Techniquest Science Discovery Centre

A school from each region was also randomly selected to receive a cash prize to put towards Net Zero teaching resources.

Read about our 2021/22 Net Zero Superheroes Competition

During our 2021/22 competition, Atkins successfully worked with 43 different schools (over 2000 school pupils in total). Over 200 entries were received from teams of up to 5 and finalists got the chance to present their ideas to the panels of judges.

Scotland/Northern Ireland Competition

The judging panel for our Scotland/Northern Ireland competition consisted of Ross Glendenning (Director, Atkins Transportation), Laura Paterson (People & Organisational Development Director, Net Zero Technology Centre), Steven Fraser (Practice Director, Atkins Transportation) and Vitor Magueijo (Teaching Fellow, Department of Chemical and Process Engineering, University of Strathclyde), and we were also joined by our client Alan Marshall (Transport Scotland).

Individual Winner

Individual Winner: Zach, St John’s RC Primary School, Scotland

Idea: Zach designed 7 marker characters who all have different roles to all work together to meet Net Zero (Water, Wind, Engineer, Electric, Brainy, Heat and Nature) – came up with 3 ideas presented in poster format:

  1. Using wasted heat from radiators to create electricity
  2. Creating energy from the tarmac in the playground when it heats up in the sun
  3. Use flushing toilets to spin a water turbine to create electricity

Prize: School trip to local Whitelee Wind Farm, where Zach’s full class got a tour around the UK’s largest onshore wind farm (540MW capacity), as well as a workshop on the topic of wind power and Net Zero.

Group Winner

School Trip to Whitelee Wind Farm

Group Winner: Thea-Ellis, Isabella, Lola, Emily and Fraya, St Anne’s Primary School, Northern Ireland.

Idea: The team presented a PowerPoint titled “How we can reduce carbon” which was full of different ideas including growing their own food, turning off their lights, looking after the trees in their school, and taking greener modes of transport to school. The judges were particularly impressed by the pupils’ preparation for the judging panel and answers they gave to the judges’ questions.

Prize: School trip to local W5 Science Museum for the whole class

Spot Prize

Spot Prize Winner: Morrison’s Academy, Scotland

Prize: £200 Cash prize

England/Wales Competition

The judging panel consisted of James Holbrook (Environmental Compliance Manager, Hinkley Point C), Laura Finney (Innovation Lead, Innovate UK), Sarah Long (Strategy and Business Development Lead, Atkins Net Zero Energy Business) and Solmaz Parsa (Energy and CCUS Programme Manager, The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (UK Government)).

Individual Winner

Individual Winner: Jacob, High Down Junior School, England

Idea: “The Super Roundabout” – converting kinetic energy from the roundabout into electricity

Prize: Jacob received a solar construction kit and a STEM related book of his choice. The school received a £350 Gift Voucher for local book shop ‘Books on the Hill’. The school has used this gift voucher to purchase new STEM/Net Zero/sustainability related books for their school library.

Jacob, Louis and William with School Library Books (left), Jacob with Individual Prizes (right)

Group Winner

Group Winner: Poppy, Faith, Lilly & Isabella, High Littleton Primary School, England

Idea: “The Funnel” – a CCUS invention

Prize: The winning team members each received a £25 gift voucher for Rapanui Clothing which is a sustainable clothing brand based on the Isle of Wight powered by renewable energy. School received a £350 cash prize which will be used for improvements of the school’s pond.

Poppy, Faith, Lilly & Isabella (left), School Pond (right)

Second Place

Second Place: Victoria, Sean, Maiya & Lois, Upton Junior School, England

Idea: “Natural Multitasker” – a GPS robot which can plant and grow trees and make paper with fallen leaves

Prize: £300 Cash prize for sustainable school resources

Victoria, Sean, Maiya & Lois with certificates

Spot Prize Winner

Spot Prize Winner: Elmlea Junior School, England

Prize: £200 Cash prize for sustainable school resources

End of article

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