- Almost half (42%) of UK children aged 7-14 years1 said they want to solve the global problem of plastic pollution when they grow up, more than a third (37%) of those surveyed said they wanted to fix global warming while a further third (35%) want to put an end to animal extinction.
- When asked who they believed could make the world a better place, those in STEM-led careers (science, technology, engineering and maths) were deemed to have the most power to do so: almost half (40%) of children said scientists, more than a third (34%) said inventors and over a quarter (27%), engineers. Encouragingly, over a quarter (26%) also believe ‘people my own age’ have the power to make a key impact on the future.
- Considering inventions for our future world, over half (52 per cent) of 7-14 year olds polled said they wanted to see a cure for cancer becoming reality, followed by almost a third (30%) hoping for the removal of all plastics, while over a quarter (29%) are wishing for time travel!
New research commissioned by broad energy company Equinor, as it opens its ‘Young Imagineers’ competition in partnership with the Science Museum, has revealed some remarkable insights into the minds of today’s ‘Generation Z’: with results demonstrating their conscientiousness towards the planet, as well as their attitudes towards science, technology, invention and the world around them.
Konnie Huq, TV/radio presenter and author, as well as self-confessed STEM-fanatic, who is on the panel of judges for the 2019 competition said: “Equinor Young Imagineers is designed to celebrate the UK’s most creative young minds in STEM by asking them what invention they would create, to make tomorrow’s world a better place. I’m delighted to be involved in this year’s competition, because inspiring the next generation of STEM-experts is vital for the future progression of our society.
“Looking at the results of this latest poll – in which almost half (40%) chose maths as their favourite subject and over a quarter (26%) chose sciences it's reassuring that the enthusiasm is there for STEM amongst our children. Competitions like Young Imagineers, combined with the great work done by teachers in the classroom, parents at home and other sources of inspiration like the Science Museum, will continue to fuel that enthusiasm in kids.”
Representing Equinor, Sophie Banham, Wind Farm Developer, said: “Equinor and the Science Museum have a long-standing partnership. As title sponsor of the Science Museum’s interactive gallery Wonderlab: The Equinor Gallery we want to ignite curiosity, fuel imagination and inspire children to see the world around them in new and exciting ways.
“Equinor Young Imagineers is a brilliant extension of our partnership with the Science Museum and our two previous winners – who have come up with such wonderful inventions as the ‘Hover Wheelchair’ and ‘Solar Powered Pollution Sucking Robot Pigeon’ – prove that the curious and creative minds of children have the power to create the truly remarkable.”
Lopa Patel, a returning panellist for Equinor Young Imagineers, who sits on the board of trustees for the Science Museum, commented: “It is so important for future generations to be excited by the possibilities that STEM has to offer, so when I see results like those in this new poll telling me that an encouraging third (33%) of children prefer STEM-subjects to non-STEM subjects and more than a quarter (29%) claim to like both equally, I’m encouraged that as a nation, we are really heading in the right direction.
“It’s a pleasure to see the inventions each year from those entering Equinor’s Young Imagineers competition and as they continue to push their imaginations to the limit, I’m sure 2019 will bring us some fresh and original new ideas”
Offering some advice to future ‘Imagineers’, another returning panellist, the superhero scientist and researcher Barry Fitzgerald, said: “I’ll offer a tip to anyone thinking of entering Equinor’s Young Imagineers competition: think about how through science and technology mixed with crazy-levels of creativity, your invention could bring super-outcomes to people and the planet!”
Further findings of the poll revealed that over a third (37%) of children aged 7-14 years said they would have liked to have invented the Internet; almost a third said computers (29%); over a quarter said YouTube (28%); and a further quarter (28%) said mobile phones. Considering who from the fields of science, technology, engineering and maths were deemed to be the most inspiring icons they most admired, it was found that for boys astronaut Neil Armstrong ranked highest, while for girls the Nobel Prize winning physicist/chemist Marie Curie endures.
The Equinor Young Imagineers competition, in partnership with the Science Museum, opens online on 3rd September and the deadline for entries is 27th October 2019.
1Research by OnePoll in August 2019 among 2000 UK children aged 7-14 years in school