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News Game on! Students take on 24-hour hackathon

Students joined forces with Stoke-on-Trent City Council and VX Fiber for a fast and furious virtual hackathon

Staffordshire University already has an Esports Hub at its Stoke-on-Trent campus
Image: Staffordshire University already has an Esports Hub at its Stoke-on-Trent campus

This was the first challenge that I’ve taken part in and getting to know students from different disciplines and working together with them was a great experience.

Lucas Ulitschnik, BSc (Hons) Engineering Design

Students from Staffordshire University joined forces with Stoke-on-Trent City Council and VX Fiber for a fast and furious virtual hackathon to generate concepts for a state-of-the-art gaming hub for Stoke-on-Trent

Under the guidance of senior academic staff, undergraduates from Graphics, Product Design, Education, Engineering, Computing, Games and Visual Effects at Staffordshire University took part in the 24-hour challenge to develop their ideas and then pitch in Dragon’s Den style to a panel of judges.

The interdisciplinary teams created inspiring visions for the gaming hub, incorporating community, learning and gaming. This was no mean feat and students impressed the judges by providing creative, technical, and educational solutions .

Mikael Sandberg, Chairman at VX Fiber, said: “It was inspiring to see how the students came together from multi-disciplines over the short space of time they had, to produce such a diverse yet compelling set of ideas around what could be done to provide a creative, educational and engaging location to attract young people in Stoke-on-Trent interested in the Games industry to pursue and develop their interests. I am excited to see how we will be able to progress these ideas as part of this collaborative project to create this gaming hub in Stoke-on-Trent.”

The teams were mentored throughout the event by Staffordshire University’s Visiting Professor of Innovation Andrew Lawrence and VX Fiber’s Commercial Lead, Public Sector, Ian Taylor, along with academic and technical staff from across the University.

Andrew Lawrence (Visiting Professor) said: “It was an exciting brief from the start and it was great to see how the students tackled it. Ideas and narrative evolved over the two days with some great examples of team work, cumulating in excellent presentations and a couple of really solid ways forward. I will be interested to see how the next steps play out and how this exciting project comes to fruition.”

Eighteen students were awarded prizes with first place going to a team of three - Education Studies student Imi Gregory, Graphic Design student Lucas Ulitschnik and Engineering Design student Andreas Adamou.

Lucas, a first-year student, said: “This was the first challenge that I’ve taken part in and getting to know students from different disciplines and working together with them was a great experience.”

The winning trio were presented with a £300 prize by VX Fiber Chairman Mikael Sandberg who was on the judging panel.

The challenge was part of a three-year project “The Creative Connection” funded by the Royal Academy of Engineers, Visiting Professors Scheme.

Jess Power, Professor of Teaching and Learning, who organised the challenge and chaired the judging panel, added: “This was an amazing opportunity for students to work with technical and creative experts to really expand their networks.

“It was a really rewarding day for all and I’d like to say a huge thank you to VX Fiber and our Visiting Professor Andrew Lawrence for their contributions.” Other judges included Ian Taylor from VX Fiber, Steve Lovatt from Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Andrew Lawrence from Elmwood and Dr Bobbie Fletcher, Head of Games and Visual Effects from Staffordshire University."

Discover more about studying at Staffordshire University at our next virtual Open Day. Find more information and book your place here.

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