Computing Beyond School

9 years ago

There are many competitions and clubs available to schools and young people. I thought I’d collate a list about the ones I know about so you can plan it into your school year this year (or prepare for next year!)




Gamemaker STEM Challenge
A games design competition for Scottish secondary schools that runs September to December.
School Registration Closes 31st August– Register your interest BEFORE this date!


Apps for Good
Apps for Good is an app design / enterprise course and competition for UK schools. Teaching resources are available to schools who get involved. Schools get support from other schools and a community of technology professionals and entrepreneurs.
School Registration Closes 31st August– Register your interest BEFORE this date!


First Lego League
First Lego League is an international Lego Mindstorms robotics competition for Primary and Secondary schools. It is being run in Scotland by LambdaJam, who are also lending schools all the kit they will need for the year. It can be run in class or as an after-school club.
Registration closes mid-October (or whenever they reach capacity so get your entries in quick!)


E-CLIC / James Hutton Institute Landscapes Competition
Participants are invited to submit an idea / project based on the use of ICT devices and tools to face a challenge for the landscape.  There are three categories (Secondary pupils, University students and the general public) and three challenges for the landscape in our country:  offshore renewables in coastal landscapes and seascapes; allotment gardens and change in urban landscapes; and the historic shaping of upland landscapes.  The competition will run until September 30th 2014 (so get your entries in quick!)


Kodu Kup
This is a European games design competition for pupils ages 6-16. Teams make a game in Kodu based on one of three themes. Games must be submitted by 15th September 2014 (so get your entries in quick!)


Beaver Computing Competition
The Beaver Competition is the UK name for the Bebras Computational Thinking Challenge. It is open to pupils and is staged so that all pupils from P2 to S6 can enter. There are sample questions and past contests on the website which might be of interest too. Your pupils can take the challenge in any 45 minute period during the week of 10th November 2014. Registration closes 31st October.


An annual computer key-frame animation competition for UK Primary and Secondary pupils. Eligible software includes Scratch, Alice, Blender and more (but not stop-motion animation). The 2015 competition will open in September 2014 and the deadline is usually the end of March each year.


BAFTA Young Game Designer
BAFTA run two annual game design and game making competitions for 11-16 year olds in the UK. Their site has some information about current game designers and careers in the industry. Deadline for entries is normally the end of May each year and winners are decided over the summer.


Young Rewired State
Young Rewired State run an annual week-long mentoring session for young people under the age of 18 to make a web app or mobile app that uses at least one piece of open data. There are prizes for a number of different categories. It is held in the first full week of August each year.


British Informatics Olympiad
The British Informatics Olympiad is an annual computer programming competition for secondary schools under the age of 19. The first stage of the BIO is a three-hour exam, taken at school, in which students solve problems with the aid of a computer. Registration should open at the start of November and the first round will be Nov-Dec 2015.


The Alan Turing Cryptography Competition
This is a cryptography competition for Secondary pupils up to S4. Registration of teams of up to four will start in December and the completion starts in January 2015.




Coderdojo provide free coding clubs for young people. There are a fair number across Scotland and they continue to expand. They are always held in venues other than schools.


Code Club
Volunteer-led after-school computing clubs for pupils aged 9-11. They have nice clear resources for pupils (available here: in English and many available in Polish too)


Computer Clubs for Girls (CC4G) is an out-of-the-box after-school club that has been specifically designed to encourage girls to stay engaged in IT. It costs £350 per year to run CC4G in your school but funding may be available to support this in Scotland.

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