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ICE CityZen wins big at the Bett Awards 2024

29 January 2024

CityZen took home the Secondary Free Digital Content App or Open Educational Resource Award for its strong user-centric design.

ICE CityZen wins big at the Bett Awards 2024
The ICE CityZen team and Make Real team were presented with the award by comedian Lucy Porter. Image credit: Antonio Salgado of Capturise

ICE CityZen, a team-based civil engineering game, has received more recognition for its significant impact in igniting passion for the profession.

ICE CityZen helps students aged 16-18 to understand the career and opportunities available to them.

In collaboration with Make Real Ltd, ICE CityZen secured its second accolade by winning the Bett Award in the category of Best Secondary Free Digital Content App or Open Educational Resource.

The Bett Awards are the Oscars of the education world, recognised globally as a benchmark of excellence.

It’s a celebration of the inspiring creativity and innovation that can be found throughout technology for education.

Strong user-centric design

The judges applauded the very strong user-centric design which underpinned the impact, as well as the inclusion of teamwork and presentation skills.

This makes for a tool that ignites passion for civil engineering, which was reflected in the student voices supporting the submission.

The shortlist was made up of five nominees, including CityZen, and was up against BBC Education – BBC Bitesize GCSE Revision podcasts.

Last November, ICE CityZen won Best Learning Game at the Learning Technologies Awards. The the game was praised for inspiring its young target audience to become interested in civil engineering.

Moreover, the game encourages critical thinking, communication, teamwork, negotiation and problem-solving.

It’s part of the national competition the ICE CityZen Award, which is played in schools throughout the UK.

So far, the CityZen game has been run in 279 schools and 1,718 students have participated.

Supporting and supported by students

The award winners were announced by writer, presenter and comedian Lucy Porter at The Brewery in Central London.

Students who won silver in 2022’s ICE CityZen Award from Mayfield school contributed to the submission and helped the judges to recognise the impact it had on understanding what a career in civil engineering entails.

Megan Bilton and Elizabeth Halasz from Mayfield school said: "It brought engineering to life and encouraged us to think differently about the problems which engineers have to solve."

The digital game also had submission support from Jack Ross, a civil engineering student at University of Exeter who won the Gold Award in 2021, which was the very first ICE CityZen Award.

Jack said: "[ICE CityZen] gave me my first insight into civil engineering [and] I found collaborating with friends on the game really fun."

Tim Powell-Jones, principal immersive learning designer at Make Real Ltd said: "I’m so proud of this project and to have been involved with it.

"A crucial element was the commitment from the ICE to tracking student progress and assessing the genuine impact that the game has had.

"It’s a delight to hear from students who have engaged with the game and gone on to study civil engineering."

Innovative and impactful educational resources

Séan Harris, ICE deputy director general and director of membership, said he was "proud" and "thrilled" that the ICE’s CityZen game has won a second national award.

Harris said: "The Bett Award reflects the dedication of staff, members and students alike, often working behind the scenes to deliver an engaging programme, aimed at fostering curiosity and enthusiasm in equal measure.

"I am further delighted to read the judges’ comments which clearly mark the institution as providing innovative and impactful educational resources, accessible to all young people.

"CityZen is more than just a tool or game; instead, it is a catalyst which sparks an interest in civil engineering, as echoed by those students, who supported ICE’s submission.

"Appreciating the impact that CityZen has on young people will reinforce the work that the Institution undertakes in empowering the next generation of civil engineers.

"The institution remains committed to pushing the boundaries of innovation in educational technology and this award reinforces this approach."

The ICE expresses gratitude to the family of ICE member David Butler for the generous bequest, making the creation of the ICE CityZen game possible.

The ICE acknowledges and appreciates the support from competition partners JBA Trust and Loud Speaker.

The triumph of the ICE CityZen game has inspired the creation of a standalone mini-CityZen challenge for audiences of all ages.

Discover the ICE CityZen: Pollution Control game in the ICE Inspire virtual careers centre.

Get involved

Schools and ICE STEM Ambassadors can register their interest in taking part in the 2024 ICE CityZen Award.

Become or renew your STEM ambassador registration to take part in CityZen and other ICE education and inspiration activities.

Find out more about ICE’s education and inspiration resources.

  • Fatima Uddin, membership marketing executive at Institution of Civil Engineers