Press Releases

RS Components delivers STEM learning to the home through the new Extraordinary Engineering Challenge and more free lesson plans for teaching smart conservation

Social and environmental awareness are the underlying educational messages in RS’ latest design competition and online teaching for young engineers

London, UK, 15 May 2020:

RS Components (RS), the trading brand of Electrocomponents plc (LSE: ECM), a global multi-channel provider of industrial and electronic products and solutions, has expanded its series of STEM-related activities to help primary and secondary schoolchildren across the UK meet the challenge of studying from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The STEM Extraordinary Engineering Challenge tasks youngsters with designing an engineering solution to address a current global challenge, such as poverty and hunger, pollution or climate change. They could also look at how engineering can promote good health and well-being, or even focus on creating sustainable cities and communities for future generations.

There are two categories for ages 7-11 and 12-16, and students are invited to submit their solutions as either hand-drawn or computer-generated drawings or, where possible, go even further by creating 3D models or videos of their designs. Submissions should be uploaded to the DesignSpark website at no later than Tuesday 30 June, when the competition closes. The winning designs will be selected by a panel of expert engineers and announced on Friday 10 July.

The winners of each category will receive a cool tech bundle worth over £700, which includes a Piper STEM Computer Kit for the 7-11 category or a pi-top computer kit for the 12-16 category, a Sphero Bolt Robot, a MekaMon Berserker robot, and a Raspberry Pi starter kit.

New free lesson plans for STEM subjects
RS has also released the latest in its Imagine-X series of free curriculum-aligned lesson plans for 7-14-year olds, which links STEM skills to real people who have used those skills to make the world a better place. Taking inspiration from examples such as Drusillas Park Zoo and their maintenance engineer, and the zookeepers at West Midlands Safari Park, these lessons combine animal care together with design and engineering, to give pupils an insight into the world of smart conservation. They have been created to help children understand developments in design and technology, its impact on individuals, society and the environment, and the responsibilities of designers, engineers and technologists.

Each STEM plan, one for primary and one for secondary children, contains a set of structured activities and teaching instructions, along with a resource pack. These lessons are primarily aimed at assisting teachers in the classroom but are equally valuable to parents with some level of technical skills who are home-educating their children while schools remain closed during the COVID-19 lockdown. The smart conservation STEM plans are now available to download from

James Howarth, Head of Education at RS, said: “STEM skills are at the heart of enabling a healthier and socially responsible world. Today, more than ever, it is so important that children have the opportunity to learn and interact with technology in a way that will inspire them to become our future engineers and scientists, and take us forward into a cleaner, more sustainable future.”


About RS Components

RS Components is a trading brand of Electrocomponents plc, a global omni-channel solutions partner for industrial customers and suppliers who are involved in designing, building or maintaining industrial equipment and facilities. We aim to offer our customers unrivalled choice of product technologies, solve problems with innovative solutions and deliver a world-class customer experience, making it easy to do business with us.

We stock more than 500,000 industrial and electronic products, sourced from over 2,500 leading suppliers. We solve problems and provide a wide range of value-added solutions to over one million customers. With operations in 32 countries, we trade through multiple channels and ship over 50,000 parcels a day.
Electrocomponents plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange and in the last financial year ended 31 March 2020 reported revenue of £1.95 billion. Electrocomponents plc has six operating brands; RS Components, Allied Electronics & Automation, RS PRO, OKdo, DesignSpark and IESA.

For more information, please visit the website at

Editorial Contact:
Aakriti Kaushik
PR Manager – Northern Europe
RS Components

PR Agency Contact:
Janice Fenton
Account Director
+44 (0) 7774 725483


Further information is available via these links:

Twitter: @RSComponents; @designsparkRS


RS Components


Electrocomponents plc