Education Competitions

Copper Development Association organises annual competitions for UK school children, encouraging them to explore the properties of copper that make it central to daily life, and a key component of the innovations that will shape our future.

The copper competitions are a great opportunity for all students to explore the impact of science on everyday life. Over the four years I have been involved, both the quality and quantity of entries have improved significantly.

‘The best entries show a good scientific understanding of this important material and combine this with strong creative skills to put across their message.’

– Richard Needham, Association for Science Education

2017 Uncover Copper Competition

Copper surrounds us. It’s in our phones and tablets, the walls of our houses, our hospitals and even inside our bodies, but we rarely notice it. This competition calls on students to uncover copper, seeking it out in buildings, health and medicine, and new applications in renewable energy and sustainable transport systems.

Click here to view the winners.

2016 Copper Education Competition

Click here to view the winners and runners-up of the 2016 competition!

2015 Competition – Curious About Copper

Click here to view the winners and runners-up of the 2015 competition!

2014 Competition – Copper: The Essential Metal

Students were asked to design a poster that would appeal to a target audience of 11-16 year olds, highlighting the essential role copper plays in our daily lives, the properties that make it vital and the benefits it offers society. 

Click here to view the winners and runners-up.

2013 Competition - How and Why is Copper Used in Our Daily Lives?

Students were required to choose from one of three categories: renewable energy, information and communications technology, architecture and design. They then designed an A3 poster, appealing to school children, including:

  • A summary of copper’s role in the chosen category.
  • Examples of where and how it is used in the category.
  • The properties of copper on which these examples rely.

Judges were looking for factual accuracy and a clear demonstration that the student understands the fundamental properties of copper that make it essential to modern living. Creativity, attractiveness and clarity of layout were also considered.

There were over 500 entries from 47 schools and the shortlisted entries were judged by a panel including representatives from the Association for Science Education, European Copper Institute and Copper Development Association. The judges were impressed by the broad content and originality of the entries.

2012 Competition - I Work With Copper

This competition invited children to review the I Work With Copper publication and choose a career with copper. They then created a poster exploring how and why copper is used in the job, and the properties that make it essential to the final products or outcomes.

2011 Competition - Copper Is... On Film!

For this competition, children read the Copper Is... publication and selected a particular property of the red metal to investigate. They then filmed examples of copper being used for their chosen property.

Judges were looking for an imaginative and insightful portrayal of copper applications, showing the student had considered a multitude of ways in which copper supports and enriches our daily lives.

The winner was James Redlaff of St. Mary's Catholic Comprehensive School, whose animated video showed how germs die on copper, making it a new weapon in the war on superbugs.

2010 Competition - Curious About Copper

This competition called students to design an original poster that would appeal to a target audience of 11–16 year olds, highlighting the vital role copper plays in our daily lives.

Copper and copper alloys meet the challenges of modern life in many ways. Often seen in coinage, plumbing systems and roofing and cladding on buildings, they are also frequently unseen, providing essential services inside houses, offices, commercial and industrial buildings. They are amongst the most necessary materials needed to provide the means to keep home, commerce and industry running.

Judges were looking for creativity, strong content (that covered the major applications of copper) and appeal for the target audience.

2018 Competition

The 2018 Uncover Copper Competition is now open for entries. Click 'more' to visit the competition page for full details.
Sacha Marlow, The Commonweal School
Aston Merry, Age 9
Harriet Lingard, The Lady Eleanor Holles School
Mollie Tettenborn, Exeter School
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