MONDAY 9 MAR 2020 3:08 PM


The British Interactive Media Association (BIMA), which represents the UK’s digital and tech sector, has announced the winners of its 2019 Digital Day challenge.

More than 7,000 schoolchildren took part in Digital Day in November 2019, an annual event designed to raise awareness of careers in digital and tech. Digital Day sees industry experts visit schools across the UK to get 13 to 18 year-olds involved in a series of digital challenges set by sponsors EPAM, Micro:bit Educational Foundation and Wimbledon.

EPAM, the global product development, digital platform engineering and product design agency challenged students to create a campaign that inspires others to explore a digital career. Its selected winners were Alex, Oliver, Mackenzie, Tariq from the Kings School in Macclesfield, supported by the school’s head of computer science and creative iMedia, Phill McKenzie, and Joelle Dunne of Kin + Carta Connect. Mackenzie says, “Having been involved in the BIMA Digital Day for the past five years, I can honestly say the students gain so much from participating.”

The Micro:bit Educational Foundation set students the challenge of creating a piece of technology that will help save the oceans. It selected Annalise, Ellie, Charlotte, Amelia and Emily from Bournemouth School for Girls as the standout winner, supported by teacher James Winrow and Sam Mullins and Matt Northam of Redweb. Mullins says, “For the last four years, we’ve always looked forward to working with Bournemouth School for Girls for Digital Day. Their engagement, creativity and problem-solving skills are always fantastic and for the winning team to get recognised for their effort is terrific.”

Wimbledon posed the question, ‘How can the world’s greatest tennis tournament encourage more young people to get active?’ Eva, Tara, Lauren, India and Emily from Nottingham Girls' High School took the prize with support from the head of computer science, Frances Sparrow, and Georgie Kemp and Milly Morris of Impression. Kemp and Morris say, “We feel particularly privileged to have been able to work alongside young women aspiring to lead the digital industry and look forward to seeing how their creativity and enthusiasm may shape the future of the sector.”

Each winning team receives a workshop with the respective challenge sponsor, and each winning school receives a £500 cash prize.

BIMA co-president Natalie Gross says, “We know the shortage of tech and digital talent is costing the UK billions of pounds every year. That’s why Digital Day matters so much, because the more young people we can inspire now, the more their talent will benefit us in the future.”

Meanwhile, BIMA has announced Nancy Rowe, head of inclusion & diversity at Publicis Sapient, as the new chair of its Inclusion & Diversity Council as it launches an inclusion and diversity programme for 2020.

The council has set three goals for 2020: To address under-representation or lack of representation based on gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity or mental health by creating toolkits and practice guides. To use BIMA events to increase understanding of mental health and wellbeing in the digital workplace. To use a series of roundtable events to educate digital business leaders on the business imperative that underpins I&D.

Rowe replaces outgoing chair Nadya Powell, founder of culture change consultancy Utopia, who has led the council since its launch.