Below you can find a collection of the answers to the most common questions about the Longitude Explorer Prize. For further details please refer to the Terms & Conditions and judging criteria.

If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at explorer@nesta.org.uk


What makes this competition different to all of the others that are already out there?

The Explorer Prize is a unique opportunity for young people to learn about Internet of Things and IBM technology. It presents a new way for young people to engage with internet connected devices as developers and inventors and not just as consumers of technology. The Longitude Explorer Prize supports young people in developing not only technical/STEM skills but also soft abilities such as problem-solving, presentation, communication, teamwork as well as entrepreneurship skills.


What ideas are you looking for?

We’re open to any innovative and practical solutions that use the Internet of Things concept and help to improve health and wellbeing of people in the UK. For inspiration see our theme briefs.


What is the Internet of Things?

The Internet of Things is a concept where internet-connected devices generate data with limited human input, using sensors and other electronics. For instance, pills dispensers with sensors can monitor how often a patient takes their medication and feed directly to a GP.
For more details about the IoT concept see our IoT brief.


What are the key dates of the Prize?

The key dates for your diary include:

9 January 2017 – Prize opens
3 March 2017 – Deadline for entries
20 March 2017 – Announcement of finalists
28 April – Induction Event
28 June 2017 – deadline for Workbook submission
13 July 2017 – Award Event


How will you judge the best from all of the entries?

A knowledgeable group of assessors and a judging panel from the partners involved in the Longitude Explorer Prize will assess each entry fairly using the set criteria and select around 10 finalists in March 2017. The finalists will be given an opportunity to present their idea to the judging panel at the Award Event on 13th July 2017 and the winner will be selected and announced on the day. 


What are the team requirements?

Up to 5 young people should be involved in the development of the idea at all times throughout the challenge prize. We recommend mixed gender teams where possible. An adult must be responsible for the team at all times. This adult will submit the entry form on behalf of the group.


Is the competition divided into age categories?

No, as long as the team is aged 11-16 years old at point of entry (9 January 2017), there won’t be any division of ages.


Is there a registration fee?

No. The prize is free to enter.


What are the prizes and who will win them?

£10,000 will be awarded to the winning school which the judges deem to have the best solution. There will be two runner up prizes of £1,000 per school and individual prizes for participants.


What can the Prize be used for?

The Prize must be used on STEM activities or initiatives in your school.


When will the winner be announced?

The winner will be announced at the Award Event on 13 July 2017.


Am I eligible to enter?

You are eligible to enter if you are aged 11-16 years old. Up to 5 young people can enter as a team. An adult needs to represent as a guardian throughout the challenge prize. See more about eligibility by reading our terms and conditions.


Who can we contact if we have questions about our entry or prize process?

You can send an email to Explorer@nesta.org.uk



What age range of children can take part?

11-16 years old at the point of entry on 9 January 2017.


When is the deadline for online entries?

The deadline for entries is at 3 pm (15:00) on 3 March 2017.


How do I enter?

You can enter your idea via the main challenge web page. Please make sure you have read the eligibility criteria on the main challenge page, judging criteria and T&Cs. You may want to plan your answers by downloading the mock entry form from our resources page. Only entries submitted electronically will be accepted.


Does my idea need to relate to a theme?

There are four themes we’re particularly interested in (childhood obesity, physical activity, mental health and pollution), but ideas can relate to any other health issues. See the theme briefs for more details about the issues and how the Internet of Things can tackle them. We will consider an entry even if it doesn’t relate to the themes as long as it tackles a health issue using the IoT concept.


Can teachers submit their ideas?

No, the Prize is specifically looking for ideas from young people. Entries written by teachers or other adults will not be accepted, however, an adult should supervise students’ submissions.  


Can a group enter more than one idea?

Yes. There is no limit to your creativity! However, we strongly recommend focusing on quality rather than quantity.


My computer crashed or the form timed out before I finished my online entry. What do I do?

Plan your answers using the Word document on our resources page. Once you are happy with your answers, copy and paste the text into the entry form fields and submit.



What will the judges be looking for in my project?

The judges will be review the entries against the judging criteria. In the early stages, judges will be more interested in the concept of the idea. Later, the challenge judges will be looking at how well the team can demonstrate their understanding of the criteria by developing their idea.


Who are the judges?

The panel will be made up of our partners including individual from IBM and Nesta with technical, health and/or business backgrounds. Full list of the judges will be announced in 2017.


Teacher specific

How will this competition fit into my curriculum?

It can relate to any subject matter if you think about it creatively, and is therefore relevant to all curriculum topics, from PE (Theme 2: Physical Activity) to geography (Theme 4: Pollution), to name but a few.  This is obviously a great opportunity for STEM subjects, but the prize is not only relevant to science, technology, engineering and maths. See teacher’s notes for more details.

As my students create their projects, what can I do to ensure that they only include media they have permission to use?

We advise students to state if the media they are using is royalty free or check the source to make sure that they can use it in a public manner.


My students have submitted their project for judging. What happens now?

An assessment takes place after each stage of submission. All participating teams will be informed of the outcome at each stage and next steps will be clearly outlined. The shortlisted entries will be announced on 20 March 2017.


Once the prize has ended, then what?

Hopefully, this will just be the start! Participants should be in a position to continue to develop their solutions and potentially even get them to market.


Am I responsible for organising travel and accommodation for my team if they make it to finalist Induction Event and Award Ceremony?

Yes, although this will be subsidised by the challenge. More details will be made available later on.