Digifest Celebrates Sheffield’s Young Digital Talent

Posted: July 20, 2017 at 3:33 pm

Sheffield’s first Digifest took place on Tuesday 4th July at the new Hertha Ayrton STEM Centre at Sheffield Hallam University.

Sheffield City Council and Sero Consulting coordinated the festival supported by Sheffield Hallam University, the University of Sheffield, The Sheffield College, UTC Sheffield, The Erasmus+ Programme and Sheffield Digital.

Activities took place tailored to both primary and secondary schoolchildren alongside a world of work fair, an exhibition which gave insight to the digital sector and offered information to young people on the types of careers available.

Pupils took part in interactive activities, demonstrations and taster sessions tailored to both primary and secondary schoolchildren. Workshops for primary included Hopscotch, Lego Robots, Micro:bit, Code Bug, Sonic Pi, Pimoroni Flotilla, coding with Apple Swift Playground. Secondary workshops included Mobile App Development, an interactive Games Showcase, VEX Robotics, Minecraft, Raspberry Pi, and a more complex coding class using Apple Swift Playground.

Local employers Benchmark Recruit, Can Studios, Lightworks Design, Sumo Digital, Selfix Technology, WANdisco, Yoko:10, Pimoroni and Plusnet backed the event. Google Digital Garage, Apple education provider MCC, Vodafone and Discovery STEM Education were also involved.

Employers offered interactive activities which gave an insight into their work so that young people could learn through hands on experience about the different aspects of the digital and tech industry. These included interactive VR experiences, and using cloud technology to try out real life scenarios and running a Skype for Business video conference. Exhibitors also offered exciting demonstrations, including a demo of Sumo Digital’s latest game title Snake Pass.

Digifest also hosted the annual Code>Make>Win Awards and CAFÉ (Computing as a Family Experience) Celebration, where young people were praised for their digital projects created either during school or at home.

Code>Make>Win is a Sheffield competition sponsored by Benchmark Recruit open to 9-19 year olds which showcases local young tech talent. The 2017 run saw over 100 entries throughout and revealed a vast interest in coding and games design.

Jack Underwood, 13, of Westfield School took the top prize for his entry, World of Creatures, a 2D RPG. Jack took away £400 in vouchers for winning the overall prize, overall games category and the 12-16 age category. A full list of winners from this year can be found at the bottom of this article.

The CAFÉ project is a programme taking place in primary and secondary schools across the city. Older pupils are taught digital skills such as app development and robotics through expert led sessions, and then take on an Ambassador role to pass on their skills to primary schoolchildren through peer-to-peer mentoring.

Pupils and teachers from Handsworth Grange Community Sports College, Stocksbridge High School, Silverdale School, Malin Bridge Primary School, King Edwards VII, All Saints Catholic High School and Westfield School received £250 to spend on tech equipment in school in recognition of their participation in the scheme.



Animation Category

Animation Runner Up

Matthew Shaw

Coconut Man

Animation Winner

Oliver Sibbald

Pegasus Bridge. 1 mission. 1 bridge


Games category

9-11 Runner Up

Lucas Dymond

Down in the Basement

9-11 Runner Up

Maddie Harding

The Last Battle: Scratch Cat Boss

9-11 Winner

Edward Waller

Pudding Panic

12-16 Runner Up

Ben Smith


12 – 16 Runner Up

Luca Di Bona

L0b$t@p0ts (Lobster pots)


12-16 Winner

Jack Underwood (£50)

World of Creatures

17-19 Runners Up

Joe Jackson, Luke Wilde and Corben Timms

Galactic Maths

17-19 Winners

Zane Burgess, Rob Bladen and Patryk Berus

Building Math

Games Overall Winner

Jack Underwood

World of Creatures

Overall Competition Winner, sponsored by Benchmark Recruit

Jack Underwood

World of Creatures

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