Farnell element14 Launches Wearable Technology Schools Competition

Farnell element14 has today launched a competition in partnership with Leeds Beckett University to encourage school children in Yorkshire to design a piece of wearable technology using the CodeBug.

CodeBug is a £12.50 nano-board designed to teach beginners the fundamentals of programming and electronics in a friendly non-intimidating way.

Ten schools will take part in the competition which is being managed by Leeds Ahead Partnership to encourage school children to embrace technology and coding.  Leeds Beckett University students from the product design and electronic engineering courses will provide mentoring to the school pupils taking part.  This will include support with realising design and streamlining concepts.

Steven Webb, Company Secretary at Premier Farnell, said: “We ran this competition last year with five schools in Leeds and this year we have made it bigger and better with more schools involved.  Involving Leeds Beckett demonstrates the advantages of partnerships between businesses and Higher Education.  Coding in education is critical for us as a business as it is these young people who will become the engineers of the future.”
Steven Webb, Company Secretary
Nick Cope, Associate Dean for Enterprise and Employability, said: “Leeds Beckett University is extremely happy to be involved in this exciting project. It gives our students the opportunity to share their expertise and gain valuable experience of working with young people in our local region. Projects such as this open young people’s eyes to the opportunities available to them in the important areas of innovative design, technology and engineering for their future studies and careers”   
Nick Cope, Associate Dean for Enterprise and Employability

Speakers at the event included Amy Matter, Digital Girl of the Year 2013 and Andrew Robinson from Open LX who developed the CodeBug.

The winners of the competition will be announced during National Science Week at an event at Leeds Beckett University on 15th March 2016. Workshops will take place the following morning with university students talking about STEM in higher education as well as a teacher training session on coding.

It is expected that 170 million wearable devices will have been sold by 2016 in this significant industry. Prominent examples of wearable devices include fitness devices which track outputs such as heart rate and temperature, and smart watches which connect the individual to a smart phone or device.


Farnell Global is a fast and reliable distributor of products and technology for electronic and industrial system design, maintenance and repair.  From research and design through prototype to production, Farnell helps its customers access the products and services they need 24/7.  With more than 80 years of experience, 47 localised websites, and a dedicated team of over 3,500 employees, Farnell provides every component its customers need to build the technology of tomorrow.

Farnell Global trades as Farnell in Europe, Newark in North America, and element14 in Asia Pacific.  It also sells direct to consumers through its CPC business in the UK.

Farnell Global has been part of the established global technology distributor, Avnet (Nasdaq: AVT), since 2016. Today, this relationship allows the company to support its customers at every stage of the product life cycle, offering a truly unique distribution model, as well as expertise in end-to-end delivery and product design.

For more information, visit http://www.farnell.com/