OpenUK schools competition uses MiniMU Glove, Red Hat also lends a hand

OpenUK, the open technology advocate organisation for open data, open source hardware and open source software in Britain, today announced a new competition for children at what is known as age group Key Stage 3 (11-14 years old) focused on expanding awareness open technology for society.

The competition will be based on assembling and using MiniMU gloves, which come in a child friendly kit and are powered by BBC micro:bit devices.

The MiniMU kit is a make-it-yourself musical glove for children aged 8 and above.

It is based on the MiMU Gloves designed by musician Imogen Heap.

“We are very grateful to the open source community whose passions and work have helped us to develop the MiniMU gloves.  I’m looking forward to being inspired by the projects brought to the OpenUK Kids’ Competition,” said Heap.

Adam Stark, is managing director of MiMU Gloves.

“We created the MiniMU to encourage young people to discover that technology is both creative and powerful — and that their ideas can change the world. We’re very excited to be a part of the competition and we can’t wait to see what the kids will create,” said Stark.

The competition is open to up to 100 schools across the UK.

It is also being supported by Red Hat and GitHub.

The competition will be managed in collaboration with The Learning Partnership, a science, design and technology, engineering, arts and mathematics learning programmes company.

There will be five regional finalist teams of four pupils each invited to a two-day London finals, which will include a code camp and hackathon in Red Hat’s Open Innovation Lab. Imogen Heap will attend as a judge.

Going large, like Ariana Grande

The MiMU gloves have been used by a range of artists to create music including Kris Halpin, Ralf Schmid, Lula, Chagall and Ariana Grande on her world tour in 2015.

As part of the competition, the children’s MiniMU glove design will be open sourced, allowing more people to make use of them for their own creative endeavours.

“It’s great to announce the first annual competition for school age children which will encourage more young people to take part in projects around technology and creativity. This competition should inspire more school children to see their futures in the technology sector and will be a stepping stone into the world of open technology in education for OpenUK. This is part of a wider approach to developing the UK’s future leadership in this area,” said Amanda Brock, CEO at OpenUK.

Name that (open) tune

James Lovegrove, EMEA director for public policy at Red Hat made appropriately positive comments about open source, obviously. Additionally, MD of the Learning Partnership Aulden Dunipace noted his enthusiasm for the competition.

“We are pleased to be supporting this innovative competition with schools learning directly about open source through music,” said Dunipace.

To take part in the competition, school teams will have to make up the glove kit, create a video on their experiences and demonstrate how they will use the gloves. As part of the awards submissions, pupils will learn more about open technologies and provide their responses on the value that open source offers to them.

Schools can enter the competition and get the kits for entry from 5pm on 2nd March 2020 through to midnight on 29th March 2020. The website for more details on the competition and potential entries is open.

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