July 13, 2012

Animation 2012: Computer Science for Schools

Animation 2012 at the University of Manchester

Computer Science as a subject in mainstream UK secondary education is in a pretty sorry state [1,2,3] but it’s not all doom and gloom. While many long suffering school children are being force-fed a nauseating diet of Excel, PowerPoint and Access others are enjoying a nutritious platter of Raspberry Pi, Hack to the Future and Animated fun.

Here’s a brief report on one of these tasty appetisers: Animation 2012, a UK schools animation competition now in its fifth year.

The day kicked off with prizes being awarded for the animation competition. To get a flavour of the creativity and skill involved, you can see winning examples online.

Following the prize giving there was a carousel of activities which included:

Animation 2012 was great fun for all involved, congratulations to all this years winners, hope to see you again next year. There were 526 Schools involved from across the UK, with 914 entries. 58 students were involved in the 35 winning entries from 31 different schools. Thanks to Toby Howard, all the organisers, supporters (Google, Electronic Arts and NESTA) and associates (Computing at School, CS4FN and BAFTA young game designers) for putting on an impressive show.


  1. Steve Furber et al (2012). Computing in Schools: Shut down or restart? Royal Society Report
  2. James Robinson (2011). Eric Schmidt, chairman of Google, condemns British education system: criticising division between science and arts, The Guardian
  3. Keith Stuart (2011). Michael Gove admits schools should teach computer science: education secretary recognises the failings of ICT courses, The Guardian


  1. Duncan.
    Thank you for mentioning Hack To The Future. There is something else that you should also be aware of; RaspberryJam. RaspberryJam is a network of events that is spreading across the UK, mainland Europe and beyond to Canada, USA and Australia. The events are designed to bring together children, families, teachers, developers, hobbyists all with one aim in mind; to encourage everyone to access computer science.
    I hope we can meet up at a RaspberryJam soon. In the UK, they are in Preston, Manchester, Brighton, Sheffield, Durham, Cambridge, Oxford, London, Cardiff, Machynlleth, Coventry, Bristol and many more.

    Comment by teknoteacher — July 13, 2012 @ 10:23 pm | Reply

    • Hi Alan, I’ve signed up to a Raspberry Jam in Manchester tomorrow, but probably won’t be able to make it this time. Investigating using a spare Raspberry Pi as a set top box.

      Will Hack to the Future be running again next year?

      Comment by Duncan — July 13, 2012 @ 10:34 pm | Reply

      • I would love to run Hack To The Future again in February 2013. I’m not so sure my wife is that keen 🙂 so I still have to work on that one. Having more people involved in the planning will make a big difference next time.
        In the meantime we are exploring all kinds of other events to allow children the opportunity to have the same kind of experiences, just more regularly. For instance, Raspberry Jams. I would encourage you to try and attend some different ones, since no two are the same. We are hosting a YoungRewiredCentre from August 6th-11th at our school. This is a very worhtwhile initiative to support – would you consider being one of our mentors? (Can you give up a day or more during these dates?)

        Also, we are setting up a Coder Dojo in Preston. You could set one of these up in Manchester. I have a lot of plans for the next 12 months, keep watching the feed on twitter @teknoteacher 🙂

        Comment by teknoteacher — July 13, 2012 @ 10:39 pm

      • Hi Alan, sounds interesting, I’d be happy to help. Just followed you on twitter, so keep us posted…

        Comment by Duncan — July 13, 2012 @ 10:52 pm

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