Starting from Scratch: Limerick pupils crack code

Donal O'Regan

Reporter:

Donal O'Regan

Dr Norah Patten, Space/STEM Communicator (right), presents fourth year to sixth year award to Dewi Goldenberg from Scoil Pól, Kilfinane for her project Clean up our Streets

Dr Norah Patten, Space/STEM Communicator (right), presents fourth year to sixth year award to Dewi Goldenberg from Scoil Pól, Kilfinane for her project Clean up our Streets

RECRUITERS for Google, Facebook and Twitter will be heading to Scoil Pól in Kilfinane after their students’ success in the National Scratch Coding competition.

They took home not one, but two prizes at the event held in the Kemmy Business School, UL, last week as part of Tech Week 2018. The winners were selected from over 500 entries nationwide and judged to be the best in their respective categories.

Niamh Kennedy and Dani Sabadell Marib took home the top prize in the best animation category for their project Behind the Bully. While Dewi Goldenberg won in the fourth to sixth year category for her entry Clean up our Streets.

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. Scratch allows students to develop creative and critical thinking, problem-solving and communication skills as they work collaboratively or individually on Scratch projects.

In operation since 2010, the competition has established itself among both teachers and students as a leading platform and showcase for Ireland’s aspiring digital creators. It is run by the ICS Foundation, social enterprise arm of the Irish Computer Society and supported by Lero, the Irish Software Research Centre.

Tech Week provides hands-on opportunities to learn about how computing and related technology are shaping every area of life. The aim is to stimulate thinking around future opportunities for study and careers in technology, through learning in the wider areas of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects.

Jim Friars, CEO Irish Computer Society, and Clare McInerney, Lero, congratulated all the participants of the National Scratch Coding competition.

Mr Friars said: “All of the judges were impressed with the quality and effort that went into each entry. With the shortage of qualified IT professionals growing every day, we need to move decisively and quickly to inspire students to pursue education and career paths in technology that will help us meet the needs of our new digital economy.”

Ms McInerney said: “The standard each year just gets better and better. This event is unlike any in the country and exposes students of all ages and levels to coding. It provides young students with a hands-on, real experience of what technology is and how important it is in our everyday lives.”