The Solar Challenge & Off-Grid Design competition (UK only)

If you are looking for a STEM challenge that gets pupils thinking about electricity in a real-world context then we think you will love our new Solar Challenge.

Set in rural southern Zimbabwe where few villages have access to mains electricity, pupils investigate how to make different circuits which include solar cells. They then look at the requirements for electricity by different people in a community and make decisions on how a fixed amount of solar cells should be allocated based on needs.

The Solar Challenge:
- Fits the science curriculum and really puts the ‘M’ into STEM
- Is perfect for STEM clubs, transition from primary to secondary and enrichment days
- Can be used to gain a CREST award and enter the Big Bang competition
- Supports pupils learning about the Global Goals (or SDGS)

All the teaching materials you need to run the Solar Challenge are free to download below. If you need any STEM equipment including solar cells, TTS have a bespoke Solar Challenge kit. Details under further information below.

If you are working in a school on the Isle of Man - please go to this webpage for the Isle of Man version of the Solar Challenge and Off-Grid! Design competition.

To order a free A2 copy of the poster that accompanies the challenge email us.

Teacher's Guide

A guide to help teachers run the Solar Challenge and Off-Grid! Design competition.

Pupil activity sheets - Primary

All the activity sheets needed for primary pupils aged 8-11 to enjoy the Solar Challenge

Certificates - Well Done

Certificates to award your pupils for taking part in the Solar Challenge.


An engaging downloadable version of the Solar Challenge poster.


A presentation to support teachers run the Solar Challenge and Off-Grid! Design Competition.

Pupil activity sheets - secondary

All the activity sheets for pupils aged 11-14 years to enjoy the Solar Challenge.

Certificates - Congratulations

Certificates to award the team who best met the challenge criteria.

A primary and secondary version of a spreadsheet to help pupils calculate their recommended energy use for the community in Gwanda is available to download here. Primary and Secondary.

Making the most of the Solar Challenge

Off-Grid! Design competition details - more information can be found here at Off-Grid!

Solar Challenge Kit - A bespoke Solar Challenge equipment kit and/or solar cells are available from TTS.

CREST Awards - To find out more about how The Solar Challenge can be used by your pupils to gain a CREST Award.

Big Bang Fair - Pupils who have taken part in The Solar Challenge are able to enter their work into the Big Bang Competition.

Isle of Man schools - The Solar Challenge and Off-Grid! competition has been developed to support schools on the Island. IOM Solar Challenge. 

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