Germ Control Challenge 2015

A single sneeze can send 100,000 germs into the air

This year we set students across the UK an important challenge: could they have the next big scientific breakthrough to help stop the spread of germs?

Over 150 teams from across the UK entered

Between February and April this year, we were inundated with amazing ideas to help stop the spread of germs. Teams of 11-14 year-old students across the UK gave us their proposals for investigating how they could stop the spread of germs in their schools, explaining how the findings from their experiments could have a real-world application. 

Twenty shortlisted teams 

After thorough consideration, we selected 20 shortlisted teams with the very best ideas from across the UK. Working alongside a Germ Squad mentor, they carried out their chosen investigation and wrote up their findings in a full scientific report.

Six amazing finalists

Our six finalists were chosen in recognition of the high quality of their reports. These teams really impressed our expert judges with their creativity, scientific rigour and all-round outstanding effort. We invited them to the Science Museum, London for the prestigious Final Day in June.

  • Anna, Anna, Minna and Ellie, Ryedale School, North Yorkshire
  • Bioducks, Gillingham School, Dorset
  • Desks United, Richard Hale School, Hertfordshire
  • GermBusters, Sydenham High School, London
  • Team 2, Scarisbrick Hall School, Lancashire
  • Team Nucleus, Millburn Academy, Inverness

One winning team

Working with our GSK Communications mentors, the finalists turned their investigation into an inspiring and engaging presentation. On 17 June our six finalist teams visited the Science Museum, London for a truly unforgettable Final Day. They presented their work to a panel of judges from GSK, the Science Museum, the McLaren Technology Group and Save the Children.

The judges were truly inspired by the enthusiasm, dedication and scientific calibre of all the finalist teams, who showed themselves to be extremely talented and engaging young scientists. But only one team could be crowned the winner of the GSK Germ Control Challenge 2015. Congratulations to Desks United from Richard Hale School, Hertfordshire, who were awarded the grand prize! Desks United walk away with:

  • £50 in Science Museum vouchers for each team member
  • £1,500 to spend on science equipment for their school
  • a trip to one of our leading GSK research labs to see cutting-edge science in action. 

All finalists had an amazing day presenting their investigations and had the chance to look around the Science Museum during a VIP tour. Everyone got to take home a certificate and goodie bag as a memento of such a fantastic day – even the teachers!

See how the event unfolded on Twitter, check out some images of the day on our Facebook page, and register now to be the first to hear about our 2016 Challenge.