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Morrison's Academy Pupils are Champion Coders

Tuesday, 27 Oct 2020

A team of four pupils at Morrison’s Academy have won the National OpenUK Kids’ Competition. This competition and ten week coding project saw pupils create wearable technology and learn new software and development skills using MiMU gloves. Nine judges chose four regional winners.  Morrison’s Academy was chosen as the overall national winners by a VIP Panel including Imogen Heap and the glove creator, Helen Leigh. Alice, Ben, Guy, and Megan, all S2 at Morrison’s Academy, formed the winning team.

OpenUK, the advocacy and industry organisation for Open Technology in the UK, distributed 3,000 MiniMU free musical glove kits to children across the UK. These glove kits can be coded to create wearable technology. 

OpenUK says, “The competition and supporting course are designed to help equip students with the skills, knowledge and experience in Open Technology to begin their learning path around the meaning of “Open”, using the UK designed MiniMU glove kit, inspired by Imogen Heap’s MiMU glove and BBC micro:bit, to kick off a skills learning process that will help the UK meet the challenges of tomorrow’s technology and build future leadership in Open Source Software, Open Source Hardware and Open Data.”

Through this project Morrison’s Academy pupils have developed skills and processes that will help them succeed in future careers. The team programmed a glove with the aim to help people with memory issues such as dementia or organisational issues such as ADHD and Autism. The user wears the glove which has the micro:bit attached. They can then press a button for the glove to tell them what they should be doing at a certain time. For example, medication time or time for breakfast etc. 

Pamela Boal, Computing Science Teacher and Digital Strategy Coordinator at Morrison’s Academy, said, “The challenge of integrating code with the glove has been one which the pupils have really enjoyed. The course brought the curriculum content in coding and open source to life in a way that has both inspired the pupils and furthered their learning outside the boundaries of the classroom.  This is something that I am particularly passionate about.  I want my pupils to develop practical skill sets and gain experience that improves their future employability.  If along the way I can inspire any of them to consider careers in STEM or Computer Science then that would be an even greater success.” 

Alice, S2 a member of the winning team at Morrison’s Academy, said, “The Mini.MU project has been really fun and interesting. I have learnt a lot; I learnt what flashing was and how to do it, and I learnt all about boolean variables.”