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This half term we’re celebrating the CBBC show The Dengineers—and in particular one den that was built here in Bradford over the summer.

Yusuf Karim in his den built by The Dengineers

Schoolboy Yusuf, 11, from Great Horton contacted the programme last year with his idea for a military coding den to be built in his back garden. Inside the den he can programme robots while checking out for enemies from a secret trap door.

But in addition to getting his amazing idea constructed, Yusuf also got to experience first-hand how a TV show is made.

Yusuf Karim outside his den built by The Dengineers

His mum, Rifat, told us he was first surprised at his primary school in May last year. The Dengineers crew secretly arranged an assembly on computing that wasn’t quite what it first seemed…

“Yusuf was called up to the front to help with a computer game and then the crew jumped out to surprise him in front of everybody, and told him his den had been chosen.”

Yusuf’s design was selected for the new series from around 6,000 entries.

Yusuf Karim with his mum Rifat

Over the summer, filming for The Dengineers took place for several days at Yusuf’s home. He was able to help out with the planning and preparation for the first half of the filming. Then the screens went up as the den was built—so his genuine reaction at seeing it for the first time would be caught on camera for the ‘big reveal’.

In addition to a pretty amazing chair and a desk for his coding equipment, the den has camouflage, a hidden spy hole and a light outside so he can flash Morse code messages.

Detail of Yusuf's Dengineers den with 'Yusuf Code Club' stickers on the wall

Yusuf said: “Having The Dengineers here was amazing. I think my den is fantastic and I’ve been inviting all my friends over. They love it too.”

Yusuf Karim inside his den built by The Dengineers

Some of our Dengineers half term activities have been inspired by Yusuf’s design. As well as screening exclusive clips from his episode around the museum, we’ve used his military coding theme as the basis for some of the fantastic dens we’ve put up inside.

One of the dens you can explore as part of The Dengineers Half Term

Over half term (20 October – 4 November 2018) you can come along to learn more about how to plan, design and build your own dens, and get creative with different themes. We’re looking forward to seeing you here!

The Dengineers Half Term at the National Science and Media Museum

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