IT challenge sees computer whizz kids compete at Coventry University

School pupils, college students and youngsters within Coventry and the surrounding areas will be putting their computing skills to the test at Coventry University next week.

The Coventry branch of BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT is holding the final of its Challenge IT competition at the University’s Engineering and Computing Building on Thursday 20 March 2014.  Invited guests include the Lord Mayor of Coventry, Free Radio presenter John Dalziel and Jos Creese, Deputy President of BCS.

The contest, which has been running since 2005 and which has the support of professional bodies and industry sponsors, aims to encourage interest amongst youngsters in computing and information technology careers.

This year’s competition takes on even greater significance as schools prepare for changes to the curriculum in September 2014. The  new curriculum, which affects all schools from primary upwards, will see a switch from just teaching ICT, which focuses on being able to use a word-processor, spreadsheets and so on, to teaching a much broader range of computing subjects, including the design and development of computer programmes.

To reach the final of this year’s event, which was launched in September 2013, entrants have produced apps for mobile phones and the web, created innovative digital animations or written computer programmes to control devices or robots.

In total, 62 students aged between 11 and 19 years in 19 teams, including ten schools will present and demonstrate their entries to the judging panel of academic and industry computer specialists. Prizes, including cash and equipment for school activities, will be awarded to the most innovative and technically accomplished projects.

Competition organiser Irene Glendinning from Coventry University is Chair of the BCS Coventry Branch. She said:

“The Challenge IT competition encourages young people to take an active interest in computing and provides them with an idea of the kind of careers that that could become available to them.

“It also inspires them to be creative and to work as part of a team but while we hope they’ve had a lot of fun along the way the final will be a demanding experience for them.  In addition to the technical skills this task required, the teams will need to explain what they have created, how it works and how they achieved it to our panel of expert judges.”

The final of the Challenge IT competition takes place from 1.30pm on Thursday 20 March 2014 at the Engineering and Computing Building, Coventry University, Gulson Road, Coventry CV1 2JH.

Further details are available here



Coventry University