Computer whizkids prove they are a micro:bit special

Fulwood Academy's winning team
Fulwood Academy's winning team
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Computer crazy kids from Preston have proved their school is a bit special by winning a national award for IT wizardry.

Fulwood Academy entered a team in the CISCO Little BIG Awards and walked away with the prize for the “best use of the BBC micro:bit” at the grand finals in London.

The BBC is giving away a million of the hand-held fully-programmable devices to all 11 and 12-year-old pupils in Britain during 2016.

And the team of Year 8 students at Fulwood showed they have already mastered the exciting new gadget by using it to develop a prototype BMI sensor and step-counter to track fitness and combat childhood obesity.

The judges said Fulwood Academy had demonstrated “excellent use of technology, business acumen and project planning skills.”

“They presented their idea to over 100 people including their peers and a panel of four judges,” said Adam Rigby from CISCO.

“The judging team where particularly impressed with how the team of six pupils had each assigned themselves varying specialist roles in areas such as product development, software engineering, marketing, and finance.

“When presenting their idea, each team member spoke confidently about the details of their solution according to their given speciality.”

Therese Scott, STEMNET co-ordinator at Fulwood Academy, said: “ I am really proud of the how the students all worked together as a team.

“They spent many hours over the last three months learning a wide variety of new skills and I am delighted that their hard work paid off with a national award.”

Pupil Jack Singleton, who acted as managing director of the team, said: “We all really enjoyed the experience and had a lot of fun learning new skills.

“Our STEMNET ambassador Peter Melling was a big help and helped us to pitch our idea in a professional way and how to code the BBC micro:bit.”

The victorious team which lifted the prize for Fulwood was: Jack Singleton, Tyler Harwood, Cat Pallant, Sean Bailey, Cameron Carter, Victoria Ainsworth, Chris Maher and Oliver Davies.