King's Pupils scoop digital innovation prize

Computer Winners 24 2

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The curtain could be lifted on the rebirth of British cinema, if the movie moguls listen to four young people from Cheshire.

The King's School's Year 10 computing team came third from over 600 teams nationwide in a prestigious competition. Organised by BIMA, a non-profit organisation that drives innovation across the digital sector, the nationwide challenge is now seen as a blue ribbon event for young digital design.

King's won the whole event three years ago, but as their Head of Computing Mr Phil McKenzie said: "The BIMA Digital Challenge has become ever more popular so to come third out of 600 teams is a stunning achievement and shows innovation, excellence and originality from this top quality quartet. They were supported by our friends and sponsors from The HUT Group, a global e-commerce specialist based at Manchester Airport, who spent a day helping them refine their ideas to boost cinema footfall."  

Pupil Matthew Gass, 14, explained their thinking: "The brief was to widen appeal of cinema to the younger generation and our concept was to show films alongside football matches and make it more of a day out for the cinema goer."  Team leader Reuben Blackhurst, 15, added: "At first we brainstormed a lot of different ideas, even being allowed to throw popcorn, but then we had a day off timetable to work with experts from The HUT group and we decided to concentrate on the football idea."

Will Murtagh, 14, added: "Tickets could be £50 or more at Manchester United or Manchester City; they're hard to come by and you can't go with your friends, so our idea is built around how you could pay say £7 or £8 extra alongside your cinema ticket to see a top game and sit with your friends." Alfie Usher, 14, added: "We all used to go the cinema before Covid, but rarely go now and we think this idea really works."

Alfie added: "That's exactly what our sponsors from The HUT group thought. They said it was unique, realistic and innovative so that's what we focused all out efforts upon." "However," Matthew added, "you could widen it out to international fixtures, rugby games or even the Superbowl. There are a whole range of different sports, but obviously the Premier League is the most popular."  

Phil McKenzie concluded: "This competition isn't just about digital innovation, but about its application in the outside world and requires genuine originality, intelligent commercial acumen and persuasive marketing." 

Pictured from left to right are Matthew Gass, Reuben Blackhurst, Head of Computing Phil McKenzie, Will Murtagh and Alfie Usher.  

Kings School