PR: Shaun the Sheep Inspires Kids to Become Digital Makers
Shaun the Sheep inspires kids to become digital makers
National competition launched by Aardman Animations and Nominet Trust will teach digital skills to a new generation of budding game designers
15 May 2014, UK: Aardman Animations, the creator of Shaun the Sheep, has teamed up with Nominet Trust to launch Shaun’s Game Academy, a national competition for young people to build online games based on the adventures of the popular TV character.
The winning ‘kiddy-coder‘ will be invited to spend the day at Aardman Animations, also famous for family favourites, Wallace & Gromit, to have their creation developed further by the studio’s award winning games team.
Shaun’s Game Academy is aiming to encourage and capture the creativity and skills of young people – reaching computer games lovers as well as those who may not have had any experience of coding before.
Nominet Trust, the UK’s only dedicated tech for good funder, has collaborated with Aardman to give children the opportunity to develop critical skills by appealing to their interests in gaming, animation and popular culture. The competition will give young users a suite of characters, backgrounds and effects from the stop-motion animation series to create simple, fun and exciting games using the Scratch coding platform.
The competition, which runs until September 2014, will allow kids, school teachers and families to get involved. Teachers will have access to resources they can use in class to engage young people ahead of September’s ICT curriculum change, which will require them to teach basic coding.
Annika Small, CEO of Nominet Trust, said: “Children are eager to make their own projects online, but many don’t have the opportunity to do so. Combining digital making with young people’s everyday interests is a great way to create digital activities that are relevant and fun. This is why we are really excited by this partnership with Aardman Animations and the launch of Shaun’s Games Academy.”
The project’s Creative Director Ricky Martin said: “Here at Aardman we all have a huge passion for games and spend the majority of our time producing them for children. Watching children play our games and hearing their ideas to improve our projects with amazing and often completely crazy suggestions is always enlightening. The idea of empowering children with the inspiration, tools and resources to make their own games and allowing them to bring these ideas to life is really exciting for us.
“Working with Nominet Trust has given us the means to impart some of our game building know-how and passion on to a fresh new generation. Shaun the Sheep has a huge fan base and we hope that making Shaun assets available on Scratch will attract children who had never even thought they could make their own games. We can’t wait to see what amazing ideas the children come up with!”
Nominet Trust has been actively supporting young people of all ages to become digital makers for the past two years. Shaun’s Games Academy is the latest national initiative the not-for-profit organisation has devised and invested in, with other programmes including Make Things Do Stuff in partnership with Mozilla and Nesta; and the recently-launched iDEA programme with HRH The Duke of York.
Nominet Trust has also invested in the early-stage development and growth of Apps for Good, Code Club, Young Rewired State, Coderdojo, Digital Me, and Tech will Save Us, amongst others.
For more information on Shaun’s Game Academy, please visit the website – http://shaunsgameacademy.co.uk
- The competition opens 15 May 2014 and closes at 11:59pm on 1 September 2014.
- Young people can take part in the competition via a unique website: http://shaunsgameacademy.co.uk/
- To enter, entrants must submit the URL of their finished Scratch game at http://shaunsgameacademy.co.uk/win.php along with their name, age, Scratch username and any supporting documentation they wish to send.
- A promotional video to support the launch can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=BUxK_fma5Gw
- The competition is open to the following categories:
- Individuals: 12 and under
- Individuals: 13 and over.
- Winners will be chosen by the 15 September 2014.
- 12 and under category
There will be one overall winner plus, two runners up.
- 13 and over category
There will be one overall winner.
- The Prizes
A visit to the Aardman studios, which will entail:
- Tour of the Aardman studios including its world famous model making department
- Model Making workshop with the workshop team
- Getting to play their game in Aardman’s private cinema on the big screen
- Getting to watch the groups choice of their favourite Aardman movie in the cinema
- Lunch and travel costs for the day.
- Main winner (12 and under)
Will spend an afternoon working on their game idea with Aardman Animation’s BAFTA award winning games team
- Runners Up (12 and under)
An Aardman goody bag with toys, DVDs and games.
- Main winner (13 and over)
Original one of a kind Shaun the Sheep artwork by Andy Janes (Shaun the Sheep storyboard artist).
- The Judging Panel
- Dan Sutch, Head of Development Research, Nominet Trust
- Dan Efergan, Digital Group Creative Director at Aardman Animations
- Jack Spence, Make Things Do Stuff.
About Nominet Trust
Nominet Trust is UK’s leading social tech funder. The Trust believes in harnessing the power of digital technology to improve lives and communities.
A UK registered charity, Nominet Trust brings together, invests in and supports people committed to using digital technology to create social and economic value.
Nominet Trust has invested in hundreds of projects since its inception, providing business support as well as financial investment, seeking to connect projects to prospective partners who can help increase their reach and impact.
Nominet Trust was founded in 2008 by Nominet, the organisation responsible for the smooth and secure running of the .uk internet infrastructure. Nominet has a strong public purpose and the Trust is one example of its commitment to creating a safer, accessible and diverse internet.
Aardman, based in Bristol (UK) co-founded and run by Peter Lord and David Sproxton, is a world leader in animation. It produces feature films, television series, advertising and digital entertainment for both the domestic and international market. Their multi-award winning productions are novel, entertaining, brilliantly characterised and full of charm that reflects the unique talent, energy and personal commitment of the very special people who make up the Aardman team. The studio’s work is often imitated and yet the company continues to lead the field producing a rare brand of visually stunning and amusing independent and commercials productions. www.aardman.com