Connectivity to the universe: A poetry and coding competition

Written by: Pete Henshaw | Published:
Image: Adobe Stock

A poetry and coding competition themed on “connectivity to the universe” has been launched for pupils.

The About Us challenge is aimed at UK pupils aged four to 18 and is part of UNBOXED, a national celebration of creativity taking place across the UK throughout 2022.

The competition invites young people to enter a poem or animation Scratch project – or both – around the theme of “connectivity and the universe”, reflecting on the “many ways in which life across the universe is interwoven”.

The winning entries will be featured in bespoke multimedia installations that will accompany the wider About Us initiative, which involves a live projection mapping show that is to tour the UK from the spring 2022 beginning in Paisley in March.

These large-scale public events will take audiences on a journey through 13.8 billion years of our history from the Big Bang to the present day. The outdoor installations will incorporate submissions from the competition and will run for a week in each location – Paisley, Derry/Londonderry, Caernarfon, Luton and Hull from March to May 2022.

The poems will also be published in a dedicated digital anthology, with all the work created to form part of a lasting digital archive.

The competition is being organised by Stemettes, The Poetry Society and 59 Productions. Stemettes is a social enterprise working to bring young women and non-binary young people into STEM careers, 59 Productions is a design studio and production company, and The Poetry Society is a charity supporting young people’s poetry education.

Teachers are being offered free digital resource packs to help inspire their pupils, with suggested topics including space and cosmology, cellular life, ecosystems and the relationships between different organisms, networks within the human body, linguistic connectivity, technology, and the climate. New resources will be added regularly throughout the competition.

The poetry and animation Scratch competition is free to enter and the closing date is December 19. Teachers can enter a class set online using the class entry portal. Poetry entries can be submitted in English, Welsh, Braille or British Sign Language.

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