25 April 2018
By Mary Bermingham
A total of five teams of young coders from Cork will compete in the national finals of the prestigious Scratch Coding competition. The popular coding competition will take place in the University of Limerick today, Wednesday 25th April.
Cork will be represented in the national finals by 5 teams of talented young coders. They include Ardfield National School in Clonakilty with their entry ‘Star Wars Maze’; Coder Dojo Clonakilty with ‘Wanazoozoo’; Skibbereen Coder Dojo with ‘Bip and Pin’s Clean-Up Adventure’; Midleton CBS Primary with ‘Toylife’; and Gaelscoil An Ghoirt Álainn, Montenotte with their entry ‘Halloween Pacman’.
In operation since 2010, the National Scratch Competition has established itself among both teachers and students as a leading platform and showcase for Ireland’s aspiring digital creators. Scratch is a visual programming language that makes it easy for young people to create their own interactive stories, animations, games, music and art – and share their creations on the web.
This year the competition received over 502 entries from all age categories from junior infants up to 6th class from coderdojo groups and schools throughout the country. The 31 finalists were whittled down through 2 tough rounds of judging.
The competition is a Tech Week event, Ireland’s festival of technology aimed at students, parents, and the public. Tech Week, which is supported by the Science Foundation Ireland and Amazon Web Services (AWS), provides hands-on opportunities to learn about how computing and related technology are shaping every area of life.
Jim Friars, CEO of the Irish Computer Society said “The aim of Tech week is to stimulate thinking around future opportunities for study and careers in technology. We have to emphasise technology and coding is an attainable career path for all students and encourage diversity in these fields because these are future-proof fields that will continue to grow and offer a wide spectrum of exciting and fulfilling jobs.”
Clare McInerney, Education and Outreach Manager in Lero commented “We are seeing more and more that coding is now a basic literacy skill and it makes sense to teach it to children while they are still young and enthusiastic. Overall, the competition seeks to boost interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics through enjoyable projects, aiming to encourage critical thinking, creativity and innovation. It also gives students, who may never have thought about a career in STEM, an insight as to what it might look like.”
Mike Beary, Director of Human Resources of AWS Ireland said, “Tech Week provides a fantastic opportunity to shine a light on the growing demand for cloud skills by many of Ireland’s most innovative organizations, from startups to enterprises and government institutions. As a company we are dedicated to bringing more people of all ages and technical abilities into technology and are proud to be sponsoring Tech Week this year.”