STEM Crew launches INEOS 1:59 Challenge resources

Free digital education resources launched taking young people into the science behind Eliud Kipchoge’s history-making INEOS 1:59 Challenge 

  • On 12th October 2019 Eliud Kipchoge became the first person in history to break the legendary sub-two-hour marathon barrier, recording a time of 1:59:40.2.
  • Kipchoge was supported by the INEOS 1:59 Performance team, led by Team INEOS’ Sir Dave Brailsford, who applied scientific knowledge and high performance principles to give Kipchoge the best possible chance of success.
  • INEOS and the 1851 Trust have launched three new free digital education resources aimed at young people aged 11-16 on STEM Crew inspired by the science behind Eliud Kipchoge’s history making moment.

INEOS and the 1851 Trust, a charity committed to taking science beyond the textbook by engaging young people in the cutting edge technology of high performance sport, have launched three new free digital learning resources inspired by Eliud Kipchoge’s historic sub-two-hour marathon.

Whilst the INEOS 1:59 Challenge was undoubtedly first and foremost a feat of incredible human achievement, to provide Kipchoge with the optimal conditions required to take the 26 seconds off his previous attempt at breaking the barrier required a significant amount of innovation and scientific expertise.

The work of the INEOS 1:59 Performance team, led by Team INEOS’ Sir Dave Brailsford, combined the brightest minds in high performance sport to ensure that from the course selection and optimisation, to the weather analysis, to the aerodynamics and more, no stone was left unturned.

The digital education resources, aimed at 11-16 year olds and available for free online today, take young people into the INEOS 1:59 performance team and explore the science and theory that went into giving Kipchoge the best possible conditions to make history in Vienna.

The three challenges focus on three key aspects of the huge task Kipchoge and the INEOS 1:59 Performance team faced; the pacemaker strategy, nutrition and course selection. Students can put themselves into the roles of the 1:59 Performance team and investigate what it takes to do something that has never been done before and run a sub-two-hour marathon by carrying out engaging hands-on practical work in physics, biology and maths.

The resources include class-facing presentations, activity and lab sheets as well as a project workbook to guide students through the challenges. All lessons are fully linked to the UK National Curriculum and are completely free.

Eliud Kipchoge said:

“The INEOS 1:59 Challenge combined science and sport to prove that no human is limited. Sport can inspire, bring positivity and unify people and I wanted to bring that message to the whole world.

“To help me make history I had a fantastic team behind me with a lot of expertise in science and high performance. It was important to me that Challenge left a legacy for the future generation and it is great that INEOS and the 1851 Trust are now using the science behind 1:59 to educate children across the world

“Without the scientific and technological knowledge of my team and the INEOS 1:59 team I would not have been able to make history in Vienna.”

INEOS 1:59 Challenge CEO and TEAM INEOS Team Principal Dave Brailsford said:

“Eliud is a once in a generation athlete and in the INEOS 1:59 Challenge it was our responsibility to use our knowledge to give him the best possible conditions which would enable him to make history and prove that no human is limited. That is why we had some of the brightest minds in high performance sport work closely together with Eliud’s brilliant team.

“A huge amount of science and high performance principles went into the project, covering everything from the pacemaker formation through to the decision to hold the event in Vienna. It was always Eliud’s dream to leave a legacy and it is brilliant to see INEOS and the 1851 Trust now take the learnings from the Challenge and turn them into educational resources to inspire young people across the world.”

Covid-19 Impact: Ben Cartledge, CEO

As for many charity and business leaders 2020 has not unfolded as expected for Ben Cartledge (CEO) and the young people the 1851 Trust supports. 

“In 2019 we reached 150,000 young people online and provided 7,500 sailing experiences to those from the most disadvantaged backgrounds. We were well positioned to support even more young people in 2020, with the 36th America’s Cup build up giving supporters and partner schools even more reasons to get involved.” explains Ben.

Then in a turn of fate that could not have been imagined at the beginning of 2020, Covid-19 forced the closure of schools nationwide. The implications on education, especially for the most vulnerable young people in society have been far-reaching. One fifth of pupils, which is the equivalent of two million young people in the UK, have done less than an hour’s schoolwork at home each day, and just 16% of pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds are taking part in daily lessons.

“The attainment gap is something we have always been acutely aware of through our sailing and roadshow programmes, with young people from disadvantaged backgrounds being up to 19 months behind by the age of 16. As soon as schools closed, we began to look at what we could do to support young people at this difficult time.”

The education team fast tracked STEM Crew projects including the new pupil portal and developing a range of new remote learning projects. “As home learning has become the new norm for many, we have seen a massive 150% increase in daily activity and 1,044 people accessing the pupil portal in the first two weeks” explains Ben.

However, the team at the 1851 Trust are aware that the return to school will bring a host of new challenges.

Many of the young people at our partner schools will have had no, or very limited contact with any education since March. Without additional support the UK’s young people are facing a shortfall, not just in learning, but also in the self-belief and skills needed to enter further education or employment and to thrive in today’s technology driven world.”

With the help of partners, the Trust plans to adapt its previously successful programmes to the new demands of schools, teachers, and students to ensure fewer young people are left behind.

Young people’s futures should not be defined by Covid-19. We must deliver programmes that re-engage young people, especially those from the most disadvantaged backgrounds, with school-based learning after months of limited engagement. In due course our outdoor and interactive experience will act as an antidote to the months spent inside, giving young people the opportunity to spend time with peers and get excited by learning again.”

Despite a challenging outlook, there is still opportunity. In May, British Science Association research highlighted a marked uplift in young people who would now consider working in a scientific field as a result of COVID-19 – with 37% of young people now more likely to consider a scientific career.

Ben Concludes:  “to prevent the long-term impact of Covid-19 on their futures it is vital that young people re-engage with all aspects learning, including communication and self-belief. Along with our partners, 1851 Trust has an important role to play in this. If we can get it right, there is an opportunity to inspire a much wider audience of young people about future opportunities science and technology can bring. That is still something to be excited about.’’

Read our full commitment to #closingthegap here.