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Our Computer Scientists ‘Make it Digital’ with the BBC

Story supplied by LU Press Office

School of Computing and Communications computer scientists are at the forefront of a UK-wide BBC initiative launched on March 12th to inspire a new generation to get creative with coding, programming and digital technology.

The BBC today (March 12th) launched BBC Make it Digital in the face of a significant skills shortage with 1.4 million digital professionals needed over the next five years.

BBC Make it Digital will capture the spirit of the BBC Micro, which helped Britain get to grips with the first wave of personal computers in the 1980s, for the digital age.

It will put digital creativity in the spotlight like never before, and help build the nation’s digital skills, through an ambitious range of new programmes, partnerships and projects.

These include:

  • A major partnership to develop and give 1 million ‘Micro Bit’ coding devices to all year 7 children across the UK for free to inspire a future generation.
  • A season of programmes and online activity involving the BBC’s biggest and best-loved brands, including Doctor Who, EastEnders, Radio 1, The One Show, Children in Need, BBC Weather and many more, including a new drama based on Grand Theft Auto and a documentary on Bletchley Park.
  • The Make it Digital Traineeship to create life-changing opportunities for up to 5,000 young unemployed people, the largest traineeship of its kind.
  • Partnerships with around 50 major organisations across the UK, including Apps for Good, ARM, Barclays, British Computing Society, BT, Code Club, DWP, Google, iDEA, Microsoft, Nesta, Samsung, Skills Funding Agency, Tech City UK, Tech Partnership, TeenTech, Young Rewired State.
  • A range of formal education activities and events, including Bitesize, Live Lessons and School Report.

Lancaster University is one of 50 organisations working with the BBC on the initiative. Other organisations include major corporations such as ARM, Barclays, BT, Google, Microsoft and Samsung.

Lancaster University’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education) Professor Sharon Huttly said: “Lancaster University has an excellent track record in Computer Science research, teaching and public engagement. BBC Make it Digital and Micro Bit provide us with the opportunity to combine these strengths and reach out to every Year 7 child across the country to inspire and motivate the next generation of scientists.

“We are delighted to be part of the team involved in such a dynamic and far-reaching project alongside our industry partners at a time when the school curriculum from primary to A-level is developing to recognise Computing as the new fourth science for Schools.”

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Tue 31 March 2015