BETT 2008 will see the launch of the Animate IT competition, aiming to encourage children to design claymotion animations with a chance to win software for their trouble.

The competition is being curated by Bob The Builder designer, Curtis Jobling, Kudlian Soft and Film Street.

The competition is open to children aged 12 and under for both school and individual categories with two winners being chosen from each category. The two individual winners will receive an iMage webcam and a copy of either Kudlian Soft's I Can Animate or Stop Motion Pro. The two winners from the school category will win six iMage webcams and a school site licence for I Can Animate or Stop Motion Pro each.

Jobling said: "I'm really excited to see what sensational and imaginative characters the children come up with. The great thing about animation is that it gives children their first taste of movie-making. Most children in the UK have built models from plasticine at some point in their early years, and by using claymation as a starting point, the whole task of making a film is inspiring and fun. It's a given that not all children have the same level of skills with a pencil in their hand, but literally anybody can attempt animation with claymation.

Entrants can send a drawing or a photograph of their character design which should be totally original. The characters can be people, animals or even monsters anything which can be animated and the more creative the better.

Roger Young, managing director of Kudlian said: "Creativity is a vitally important part of primary education and with the help of film-making and animation; children can bring their imaginations to life."

Competition rules, full entry details and claymation and character hints and tips from Curtis can be found at FilmStreet. The closing date for competition entries is 4 April 2008 with the winning characters being chosen by First Light Movies, Kudlian Soft and Curtis Jobling.