BIMA Digital Day 2021: Inspiring a new generation of designers

November 17, 2021

Here at Furthermore we are always on the lookout for opportunities to share our experience and knowledge, whether that is with a client, a collaborator, or someone at the very beginning of their design journey. That is why we jumped at the chance to participate in this year’s BIMA Digital Day.

BIMA (British Interactive Media Association) Digital Day is a fantastic initiative where schools and businesses are paired up for a day of exploring all things digital. It provides students aged 11-16 with an introduction to digital careers, a deep dive into some specific areas of focus, and a chance to work collaboratively to apply their new knowledge and solve a real world challenge.

Furthermore & Eltham Hill School

We were very lucky to be paired up with an incredibly talented group of year 8 students at Eltham Hill School. Working with two enthusiastic teachers and a few additional staff members, we facilitated a full day of learning and workshops with the students. BIMA kindly provided us with all of the resources we needed to run the session. We began with an introduction to Furthermore and user experience design before assigning the students a challenge set by this year’s challenge sponsors: WWF and EPAM.

We worked together with the teachers to break the students up into working groups and then work through the different stages of discovery and design. At the end of the day they presented their proposed solutions and we picked a winner to be entered into the nationwide competition (with a chance of winning money for the school!).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       A student hard at work on their challenge worksheet                                
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Another student sketching out solution ideas                                

The challenge

This year’s challenge given to the students was: 

How can we use technology and digital solutions to make it easier for people to understand the true environmental footprint of products and services, allowing households, schools, universities and businesses to make choices that are good for the planet?

The students came up with an incredible variety of different solution ideas and we were very impressed with the creativity, especially given that they only had a few hours to develop an idea from concept through to design and presentation. The solutions ranged from websites to apps to video games and everything in between.

It was difficult to choose a competition winner, but in the end we went with ‘Sandy’s Seaside Adventure’ or #0wastesandy, a video game concept that shows the user different ways to lower their carbon footprint. The main character, Sandy, explores her seaside town cleaning up plastic pollution and encouraging other eco-friendly changes in the community. Over the course of multiple levels, the user learns how to lower their own carbon footprint, reduce plastic waste and encourage the preservation of marine life. The children drew the characters of Sandy and her fisherman friend and quickly mocked up a mobile view of the game. During their presentation they explained the process from research through to the finished outcome perfectly and we found the idea to be unique and interesting, a worthy winner for the day!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       The worksheet of our winner of Digital Day ‘Sandy’s Seaside Adventure’.                                
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Another worksheet for another game based solution, this time the levels are based off the different climates.                                

Other solution idea highlights included: 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Worksheets, print outs, and drawing used in a presentation                                
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Sticky notes were used to capture ideas in the discovery phase of the day                                

Reflecting on the day

We loved helping the students better understand the design process throughout the day and it was a joy to see them using collaborative discussions to flesh out their initial ideas. One of the interesting challenges for us was having to discuss elements of digital and design in terms that the children would understand. We typically run similar workshops with university students or other organisations, so ensuring that the concepts we covered were relatable to an 11 year old was a fun, new experience. Maybe we just got lucky with our group of students, but they were all enthusiastic to learn, asked smart questions and had fantastic ideas

Overall the day was a smashing success and we are already discussing future school events to get involved in. Two things we would try to improve upon for next time are:

For any agencies or school’s considering signing up for Digital Day, you can already register now for 2022 here.

Interested in having Furthermore lead a workshop at your school or workplace? We would love to chat.

Thumbnail image used with permission, courtesy of BIMA.

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