Competition launched for children to reveal their use of social media

A competition designed to help adults understand how children and young people use social media and online games is being launched by University of Sussex researchers on 01 February 2013.

The competition, #iMedia, is part of the ‘Space Invaders’ project run by the University’s Centre for Research and Innovation in Childhood and Youth, which is based in the School of Education and Social Work.

Children aged between six and 18 who live in Brighton and Hove, and East Sussex, are being encouraged to make a three-minute video to describe how they use sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, as well as phone apps and online games. 

The videos will be judged by a panel comprising of children, educators and those working in the creative industries. The winners in each age category (6-11 years and 12-18 years) will  receive an  iPod touch and two runners-up in each category will be given £50 gift vouchers.

Space Invaders project director Dr Sevasti-Melissa Nolas said: “Many adults and parents are anxious about the amount of time children spend using social media. This competition will demonstrate the creative and innovative ways that children are using these media.”

The winning videos and a selection of the shortlisted will be screened at a special Space Invaders debate as part of the Brighton Fringe Festival on May 20. The aim of the activities is to build a network of academics, practitioners, children, young people and their families.

Professor Rachel Thomson, project co-director, said:  “We hope the network will give us a picture of the kinds of new issues now emerging in the lives of children and young people in relation to social media and other areas of their lives, and help us build ideas about how we can respond to such issues in ways that are child-centred, creative and supportive.”

The project is being run in collaboration with the University of Brighton and is funded by the University of Sussex through the Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF).

Notes for editors

Further information on the Space Invaders project can be found on the Centre for Innovation and Research in Childhood and Youth (CIRCY)

Information on the Space Invaders debate to be posted on the website and on Brighton Fringe Festival, and University of Brighton Fringe Festival programmes in due course.

For any other information about the project please contact Dr Sevasti-Melissa Nolas / 07989 330704.

 University of Sussex Press Office: Jacqui Bealing and Maggie Clune, Tel: 01273 678888, Email:




By: Jacqui Bealing
Last updated: Thursday, 31 January 2013