An updated OpenUK Kids Competition for 2020

OpenUK Kids' Competition

OpenUK, the advocate organisation for Open Technology (open source software, open hardware and open data) in the UK, has revamped its Kids’ Competition due to the impact of school closures and the Coronavirus pandemic.

OpenUK Kids' Competition

A total of 400 MiniMU Glove kits each including a BBC micro:bit will be sent directly to participating kids in May, to help kids experiment and experience what can be achieved with the newly open sourced MiniMu gloves. Kits are being sent directly to kids to construct and they can then take part in fun activities designed to help them experiment and make music with the gloves.

A 10-episode animated series has also been designed by School Science Ambassador and 2020 EdTech Hall of Fame member David Whale, with curriculum related input from educationalist and Morrison’s Academy computer science teacher Pamela Boal. Each fun 10-minute episode has an activity for participating kids and will a friendly and fun introduction into open source, making music and developing other uses for the MiniMU glove. The aminated series has animation by Drawnalism and narration from voiceover artist Stephanie Bower.

David said, “It’s been a great opportunity to look at how we can encourage more children to make use of open technology based on the open source BBC micro:bit. The new video series we are developing will help children to experience how to build open devices and use them effectively. With open source, children can see how they can make more progress in less time, and they can collaborate to tell meaningful stories about the future world they want to create for themselves.”

100 teams can register for the competition

A collaborative competition for teams of 4 will take place in September 2020. Each team will submit three videos: a diary, a creative use of the glove and a video on the reason Open is important. Five Regional Winners and an overall Winner will be announced at the OpenUK Awards on 20 October. Winning teams will receive trophies and vouchers.

The competition will include each group asking an expert a question. The team of experts includes Double Grammy Award winning singer Imogen Heap, founder of the MiMu glove used by Arianna Grande on her 2015 tour which is the inspiration for the MiniMu Glove.  

“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 Imogen.

The competition will be open to up to 100 schools or community groups for teams of 4 kids (and a responsible adult to register and submit the competition entry). A total of 100 teams may register across the UK and over 40 teams are already registered.

COVID19 has pushed the competition online

To cope with the effects of COVID19, Open UK have made the following changes:

  • Teams are sought from across the UK.
  • Who can participate is extended across a wider age group so that more children can participate in the event.
  • Any child currently in Secondary School and who will return to Secondary School in the autumn may join.
  • Not only the originally planned 100 glove kits, but a total of 400 MiniMU Glove kits will be sent directly to participating kids in May.

OpenUK has designed the competition to highlight the value that open approaches to technology can provide, and the closures brought about by the coronavirus meant they had to rethink the approach. The move to online has meant that the competition can be made available to more children across the country.

The OpenUK Kids Competition is made possible by the support of Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, and GitHub, the world’s leading software development platform.

The competition will be managed in collaboration with The Learning Partnership, a Science, Design and Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics learning programmes company through its Dendrite learning platform.

Registration for the new competition is open until 5pm on 17th May at  For other questions, contact OpenUK on