Thurles students on route to national computer coding competition





Thurles students from Colaiste Mhuire Co-Ed Thurles are on route to national computer coding  competition

Thurles students from Colaiste Mhuire Co-Ed Thurles are on route to national computer coding competition

Talented students from Tipperary will next week take part in the national finals of the prestigious Scratch Coding competition.

The Premier County will be represented by a team of young coders from Colaiste Mhuire Co-Ed, Thurles with their project Maze Runner.

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 500 entries from all age categories from junior infants up to sixth class from coderdojo groups and schools throughout the country. The 32 finalists were whittled down through two tough rounds of judging.

The competition is open to students in primary and second level schools in Ireland, and to students attending after-school coding clubs such as Coderdojo. 

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 Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Science Foundation Ireland, 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 Scratch competition seeks to boost an interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics through enjoyable projects, aimed at encouraging critical thinking, creativity and innovation. It equips young students with the necessary tools to help them build their very own games, apps and interactive stories. The ability to code computer programs is an important part of literacy in today’s society."

"We are helping children understand how the world around them works. Coding is part of that; it prepares them for when they leave school. There are going to be numerous jobs in the future where they are going to need to have coding skills or design skills, or other creative skills," he said.

Clare McInerney, Education and Outreach Manager in Lero commented: “Coding is a challenging yet rewarding experience. As the digital landscape continues to change so will the way in which we communicate within it. Scratch allows students to express their creativity and teach them there is no such thing as impossible. Programming teaches young students not only how to solve problems, but also how to express themselves. It is a life skill that will allow our students to become the architects of the future.”

Mike Beary, AWS Ireland Country Manager said: “At AWS we are focused on innovating and building on behalf of customers, and we excited to support Tech Week Ireland, again this year. Tech Week is a wonderful initiative that aims to spark young imaginations and inspire students to use technology in creative ways."

"The array of activities, workshops and seminars students will have access to throughout the week will expose them to everything from cloud computing to machine learning and Internet of Things (IoT), and highlight the exciting job opportunities that exist within the IT industry. Encouraging more people to consider a career in technology will be fundamental to powering Ireland’s digital economy," he concluded. 

The popular coding competition will take place in the University of Limerick on Wednesday, May 15.