News Release

Cisco's STEM Challenge to get students into gear for London 2012 Paralympian

Cisco teams up with STEMNET to challenge school children to design website for ParalympicsGB's Rachel Morris ahead of London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games
Mar 07, 2011

LONDON, 7th March 2011 - School children across the United Kingdom are being challenged to design an online presence for a member of ParalympicsGB as part of the latest STEM Challenge, run by STEMNET (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Network) in partnership with Cisco, the Official Network Infrastructure Provider of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Cisco is inviting 11-14 year old school children to design an official web presence that will help raise the profile of Rachel Morris, one of Britain's leading Paralympians, in the run up to and beyond next year's Games. Students must consider how their design will allow people to find out more about Rachel's sporting achievements and her disability.

Launching this week and running until 20th April, students will work in teams to complete tasks directly connected to the curriculum for their chance to win top prizes including a trip to the World Skills 2011 Conference courtesy of Cisco, and up to £1,000 of STEM equipment for their school.

Key highlights:

  • The Challenge has been put together with the aim of harnessing school children's excitement about the connectivity of the internet by building an interesting, informative and educational website that raises awareness of Rachel Morris, her sport and her disability
  • Students will be required to enter the competition in teams of four to six by 20th April 2011, and will be judged by STEM Ambassadors in local areas
  • The final eight teams will be selected for the Challenge Final on 13th June 2011, with the winning entry judged by Rachel Morris and Cisco representatives
  • Winners will receive:
  • Designs will be required to reflect the social networking capabilities of  Cisco Eos®, the software platform being deployed by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) to create multiple communities built around London 2012 related topics and programmes. The STEM Challenges are being managed by STEMNET in association with LOCOG focusing on a different aspect of preparations or the event itself
  • STEM Challenges provide a contextual and cross-curricular approach to studying the STEM subjects at aged 11-14 (KS3/S1-S3)
  • STEM Challenges are open to pupils aged 11-14 years from registered state schools in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland
  • For more information about entering the Cisco STEM Challenge, please visit

Supporting Quotes:

  • Rachel Morris, ParalympicsGB:
  • "Technology is a big part of my sport, with advancements over the last few decades opening up Paralympic cycling to a wider range of categories, events and competitors. As I prepare for the London 2012 Paralympic Games it will be great to get school students from across the country involved in my preparations, as well as educating them on disability and sport."

  • Neil Crocket, MD 2012, Cisco UK and Ireland:
  • "London 2012 is about creating a legacy for everyone involved in the Games. That includes athletes such as Rachel all the way through to the school children who will take part in this challenge and gain valuable life skills in the process. At Cisco we are passionate about supporting education in the UK to help to ensure that tomorrow's workforce has the capabilities and skills to flourish in the digital economy, and the STEM Challenge is a fantastic way to help build those skills."

  • Kirsten Bodley, Chief Executive, STEMNET:
  • "The STEM Challenges get students thinking about the real-life issues that STEM professionals behind the scenes of the 2012 Games face on a daily basis and also give young people across the country a chance to connect with the Olympic and Paralympic Games between now and 2012. The aim is for students to experience STEM skills in practice and understand that science and technology doesn't just happen in the classroom but is a hugely important and enthralling sector to be involved in. STEMNET hopes that initiatives like the STEM Challenges will help to inspire the next generation of great British STEM professionals."


STEMNET creates opportunities to inspire young people in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). STEMNET helps young people and their teachers access a range of free initiatives to enrich and enhance the STEM curriculum, including the STEM Ambassadors Programme and the STEM Clubs Network.