PICTFOR Celebrates Winners of Make IT Happy Competition

Baroness D’Souza (center) joined by (left to right) PICTFOR Vice-chair Andrew Miller MP, PICTFOR Treasurer Lord Toby Harris, and PICTFOR Chair Rt Hon Alun Michael MP.

Schools from Preston, Southport, and London have been announced as winners of the sixth Make IT Happy competition, run by the Parliamentary Internet, Technology and Communications Forum (PICTFOR), and e-skills UK, at an awards ceremony held at the Houses of Parliament.

Make IT Happy challenges 9-11 year olds to demonstrate how technology can be used creatively to make people happy. The theme of this year’s competition was ‘Make IT Healthy’. It called for school children to investigate potential uses of technology to support a healthy and active lifestyle, building on the enthusiasm surrounding the London 2012 Olympics.

Twelve schools travelled to London to visit the Houses of Parliament and receive their prizes. The Lord Speaker, Lady d’Souza, presented cheques for £1200 to the regional winners, and Paralympic athlete Lady (Tanni) Grey-Thompson presented additional prizes to the overall winners.

First prize, a cheque for £4000, was awarded to pupils at Longton Primary School, Preston, who learnt to use Scratch to programme short animations on the theme of healthy living. The animations used characters designed to have wide appeal, and were shown in school assembly before being loaded onto the school’s website so that parents and others could benefit from them.

Linaker Primary School, Southport, came second for their specially created healthy living website, winning £2,500, while Wilbury Primary School from London won third prize and £1500 for their Technofit project, looking at the effectiveness of dance mats, games consoles and health apps.

Lord Harris of Haringey, Chair of the Make IT Happy judging panel, said;

“We’re delighted to see how Make IT Happy has captured the imagination of everyone who entered. The children’s entries were imaginative and creative, and their technical skills are remarkable.”

PICTFOR Officers joined by Baroness Grey-Thompson

Karen Price, Chief Executive of e-skills UK, said;

“Make IT Happy celebrates the imaginative ways in which schools can use IT to make a positive impact on the lives of their pupils and wider communities.

“The quality of entries this year has been fantastic and all the participants should be justly proud. We’re delighted to have received so many entries from all across the UK demonstrating the many ways schools have taken on the challenge to ‘Make IT Healthy’.”

The annual competition is supported by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and the Nominet Trust

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