Four teams of talented young coders from Galway took home top prizes from the National Scratch Coding Competition at the University of Limerick as part of Tech Week 2019.
The winners include Cian Mangan from Cloghan Hill National School in Tuam who won Best Technical Sophistication for his project ‘Beat Darth Vadar’ and Ewan Fitzgerald, also from Cloghans Hill National School, who won the Special Scratch Award for his project ‘Autism Facts’.
Coder Dojo Kinvara also took home two awards with Cathal Costello in the 2nd to 4th class afterschool category for his project ‘Colman’s Monastery’ and Klaudia Giersz in the 1st year to 3rd year afterschool category with her entry ‘Learn English for Kids’.
The winners were selected from over 500 entries nationwide and judged to be the best in their respective categories.
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.
Using Scratch allows students to develop creative and critical thinking, problem-solving and communication skills as they work together or individually on Scratch projects.
Now in its ninth year, the National Scratch Competition has established itself among both teachers and students as a leading platform and showcase for Ireland’s aspiring digital creators.
The competition is run by the ICS Foundation, the 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 said: “Events such as this help inspire Ireland’s next generation of digital creators.
“It’s becoming ever-more critical that we develop more interactive and engaging ways for the young students to learn about technology and how it interactives with every part of our lives.
“We need to open their minds to careers in technology and today’s finals show that we’re on the right path. I want to congratulate Abdul-Marteen and Confey College and all the other students who took part in the final.”
Clare McInerney, Education and Outreach Manager in Lero said: “The standard for this year’s competition has been fantastic and I want to say a huge congratulations to everyone involved.
“This unique and highly engaging event provides young students with real, hands-on coding experience and highlights how important it is our everyday lives.”
Mike Beary, AWS Ireland Country Manager said: “Competitions like Scratch foster curiosity, and provide students with hands-on opportunities to learn the digital skills they need to succeed in today’s technology-focused, innovation-driven economy.
“Connecting educational experiences to real-life opportunities is an effective way to get young students excited about what they’re learning. The projects this year were truly exceptional, congratulations to all involved.”