UK pupils create their own STEM successes


The British Academy of Film and Television Arts is an independent charity that supports, develops and promotes art forms by identifying and rewarding excellence, inspiring practitioners and benefiting the public. In addition to its Awards ceremonies, BAFTA has a year-round, international programme of learning events and initiatives that offers unique access to some of the world’s most inspiring talent through workshops, masterclasses, scholarships, lectures and mentoring schemes, connecting with audiences of all ages and backgrounds across the UK, Los Angeles and New York. BAFTA relies on income from membership subscriptions, individual donations, trusts, foundations and corporate partnerships to support its ongoing outreach work.

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Two UK pupils have gained major recognition in STEM education. Tom Sussex of Winterbourne International Academy and Jack Mills of The Studio School in Liverpool have respectively won a nationwide 3D Design Competition and been selected as a finalist for this year’s BAFTA Young Game Developer (YGD).

The 3D Design Competition saw over 20 schools and academies from across the country compete for their chance to win a state-of-the-art 3D printing lab, putting their computer graphic skills to the test to submit almost 200 entries between them. Tom came in first place with his rendered chair.

“We were astonished by the calibre of submissions,” said XYZprinting CEO Simon Shen, who chaired the judging panel. “Several students demonstrated an already polished mastery of 3D design, and the enthusiasm was palpable, so coming up with a top ten was a real challenge. However, Tom in particular not only created a fantastic design for a chair, he also included an accompanying 3D rendering to show how it could be applied to a real-life situation, which we knew from the beginning would make it a strong contender.”

Sam Hucker, deputy head of the academy’s Technology Learning Area said: “Tom has achieved something incredible and is a credit to the Academy, along with all the other students who took the time to participate in the competition. Together, they have sown the seeds for a true legacy at our school. We’re looking forward to getting the lab set up and helping students for years to come realise their creative potential by making use of this revolutionary technology.”

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Tom Sussex and teacher Sam Hucker.

Meanwhile, Jack Mills of Wavertree, Liverpool has been recognised for his creation of Utopia of Rhythm, an original platform game that incorporates pitfalls and obstacles with music and tempo, with a prestigious BAFTA nomination. The 17-year-old developed the game during Creative Media lessons at the school, a state-of-the-art environment specialising in gaming, digital technology and coding.

Jack said: “The idea for Utopia of Rhythm came to me months ago and gradually grew into a fully-playable game thanks to support from my teacher, Alex Brewster, and my mentor, Ivan from Catalyst Outsourcing in Elevator Studios.

“For our latest project, we received the guidelines for this BAFTA competition and were encouraged to design something totally unique, creative and interesting. I received a distinction for this game in school, but being shortlisted for the award was pretty unexpected – I’m over the moon!

Jack Mills and Alex Brewster, curriculum leader for creativity.

“I’ll definitely be adding this project to my portfolio when I apply to universities. After I graduate from The Studio I’d like to study Computer Games Development at Liverpool John Moores University, and hopefully I’ll be working for a big gaming company in the future!”

The BAFTA YGD ceremony will be held in London on Saturday 25th July.

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