idea – slice


Midlands Maker Challenge

Join our making challenge series that aims to empower young people to be the makers of the future.
The Climate (in)Action challenges will run for the 2021/22 academic year

The Midlands Maker Challenge is an exciting programme for young people (13 and upwards) and draws on the rich manufacturing heritage of the Midlands. The challenge series encourages young people to get involved in making and to create solutions to some of the key issues facing the world. The key aim is to empower the next generation of Makers.


  • A fantastic opportunity for pupil-led design, discovery and making at the Museum of Making
  • Win making-themed prizes for your school and participating teams
  • Challenges run for 8-12 weeks for teams of three young people (ages 13-16, 16-18 and 16-21)

We are looking for each team to imagine, design and create a solution to the challenge that puts people at its core – key to this is the development of ideas, the creation of a prototype and a presentation detailing the journey undertaken, the solution and who it was designed for.

We have designed the challenge to be relevant and meaningful to different age groups (13-16, 15-18 and 16-21 years), offering content and activity that reflects the age and experience of those taking part, and challenging them to be innovative and creative.

CLIMATE (IN)ACTION is our chosen theme because it is one of the key concerns for young people today and is driven by the idea that local action can have global impact.

The start date shown below is for the context day at the Museum of Making in Derby, the day will give teams and teachers the knowledge and confidence they need to get started on the challenge.


  • Our first challenge aimed at 13-16 year olds launched in November 2021 to 60 young people.


13-16 AGE GROUP.  11 January – 8 March. This has been postponed, a new date in January/February will be confirmed shortly. Please email [email protected] to register your interest.
15-18 AGE GROUP.  7 February – 4 April
16-21 AGE GROUP – 24 January – 4 April


13-16 AGE GROUP. 8 week challenge.  3 May – 28 June
15-18 AGE GROUP.  8 week challenge.   17 May – 12 July
16-21 AGE GROUP.  12 week challenge. 26 April – 19 July

Please note: These are the current dates and have been adjusted.

Climate (in)Action Challenge Download Header

Download the SCHOOL INFORMATION PACK – 2021-2022 for more details on the challenge theme and the activity as part of the challenge

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Find out more

If you would like to find out more about entering a team or teams onto the challenge please email [email protected]


Background to the Midlands Maker Challenge

The series kicked off with the Summer Challenge in July 2020 and was followed up by the first Climate (in)Action challenge, April to June 2021. Seven schools, 24 teams and over 80 young people took part in this challenge.  You can find out more about the winning entries by going to the Midlands Maker Challenge on Twitter.

The Midlands Maker Challenge supports young people in the development of skills that will make them adaptive and resilient, empowering them as they take ownership of their futures. Key to this approach will be a focus on creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, communication and practical skills; and the desire to have a positive impact on communities, from the local to the global.

The Midlands Maker Challenge is brought to you by Derby Museums and IMI plc. to celebrate the opening of the inspirational new Museum of Making at Derby Silk Mill, widely regarded as the site of the world’s first modern factory. When the Museum of Making opens in 2021 it will be celebrating 300 years of making to inspire and support the makers of tomorrow.


The engineering firm IMI plc have provided a donation to run this challenge to build on the Midlands’ position as a place for innovation.

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