Coding champions are crowned in Milton Keynes

Winning pupils
Winning pupils
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The national final of the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) engineering challenge for young people was held on Friday at The National Museum of Computing on Bletchley Park, where five school teams from across the UK battled it out to be coding champions.

After winning regional heats previously in the year, school teams from North Yorkshire, Hampshire, Norfolk, Nottinghamshire and Cumbria attended the IET Faraday Challenge Days National Final at the Milton Keynes venue with Kings’ School, from Winchester, announced as the winners. They secured £1,000 for their school.

Based on the BBC micro:bit – the small, programmable tool designed to introduce those in year seven or the equivalent, to the world of coding and can be used to create anything from games and animations to apps and scrolling stories – the final five teams of 11-12 year olds had to develop a product for their BBC micro:bit in one of the four themes used on the Faraday Challenge Day (health, sport, travel or home and leisure). This product could build on their best ideas from the challenge day or could be a newly developed product. The aim of this challenge was to introduce students to coding and programming which engineers are and will be using in the future.

Gareth James, Head of Education 5-19 at the Institution of Engineering and Technology, said: “This year’s IET Faraday season has been the largest ever with over 4,500 students taking part across the UK. The quality of the students’ work throughout has been fantastic and it was an extremely close final – I’d like to congratulate Kings’ School on their win and I’d like to thank The National Museum of Computing for hosting!”

“The digital world is evolving all the time – and with it, the demand for more young people with coding and digital skills. It’s therefore been great to see students learn about coding with the use of the BBC micro:bit in a very hands-on and practical environment, giving them an insight into the life of a real engineer, the variety a career in engineering can offer and the central role it plays in our everyday lives.”