Tue, 19 Jul 2016 13:31:00 BST

The School of Computer Science at the University has run the annual UK Schools Computer Competition since 2008. The competition was originally part of Digital60, an event that celebrated the 60th anniversary of ‘The Baby’, the world’s first stored-program computer, which was built at The University of Manchester.

The annual competition aims to get schoolchildren excited about computer science, and is open to UK pupils aged from 7 to 19. In order to enter the children have to create an original animated film made on their computer, no longer than one minute in duration, and can use packages including Blender, Flash and Scratch.

Children can enter individually or in small teams, and prizes are awarded in several age categories. The competition is now in its 9th year, and to date has received over 8,000 entries from 1,400 schools across the UK, with 300 winners.

Toby Howard, Director of Undergraduate Studies in the School of Computer Science and chair of the competition, explains what the children get out of animation: “We want to inspire school kids to use computers creatively, and at the same time understand some of the principles of Computer Science, and computer animation fits the bill! Many teachers are using the competition for classroom and extra-curricular activity, and the quality of the work we receive is exceptional, and frequently outstanding.”

The 38 winners of this year's competition received their prizes at a special awards ceremony at the National Media Museum in Bradford in July. You can see all their winning films on YouTube.

For more about the competition see the Animation16 website. And remember Animation17 launches in September!