15,000 people expected to descend on CoderDojo’s Coolest Projects 2017
Katie Reilly from Kimmage, Dublin, pictured with her award-winning Rubik’s Mania website and Lego Mindstorms cube-solving robot at the CoderDojo Coolest Projects awards last year. Image: Conor McCabe

15,000 people expected to descend on CoderDojo’s Coolest Projects 2017

10 May 2017

More than 1,000 CoderDojo ninjas from all over the world will demo their breakthrough innovations at Coolest Projects in June.

CoderDojo’s sixth annual showcase, Coolest Projects, returns to the RDS this summer, with 15,000 people expected to attend.

Taking place on Saturday 17 June, Coolest Projects is both a competition and an exhibition to showcase, inspire and enable creativity and innovation, as well as entrepreneurship and technology skills among young people aged between six and 17.

‘Coding is crucial to many aspects of the economy, including the gaming sector, but it is also a skill in short supply’

Coolest Projects evolved out of the CoderDojo movement, which was established six years ago in Cork by James Whelton and Bill Liao.

Currently, there are 1,200 CoderDojos in 70 countries around the world, giving young people the opportunity to learn all about coding and technology.

At the inaugural event at Intel six years ago, there were 19 projects and 100 attendees. By 2016, Coolest Projects had grown to become the largest kids tech event in Europe with more than 700 projects from 10 countries, and more than 13,000 attendees.

Coolest Projects 2017 will showcase up to 1,000 coding projects created by CoderDojo’s international members and will feature several categories encompassing mobile/app, hardware, website and gaming.

Some of last year’s winning projects included a Bluetooth app to find keys, a flood warning system for people in high-flood-risk areas and a low-cost, network-less phone for users in developing countries.

Key themes this year include: the Smart City, for young people interested in how technology will continue to shape our futures; the STEAM Experience, with interactive exhibits, shows and workshops; and a Games Arena, to give participants insights into the many aspects of the games business.

It’s gonna be a Riot

Sponsors of Coolest Projects 2017 include: Intel, Microsoft, Openet, Mastercard, Symantec, Folens, Zalando, Workday, Liberty IT, Accenture, Twitter, Zendesk, Dublin City University, Barnardos, Institute of Education and Bank of Ireland.

Riot Games, the creators of League of Legends, has also been named a key sponsor of the event this year, continuing a relationship that began in 2015.

“Karma, our global philanthropic programme, helps Riot’s worldwide community engage with social impact opportunities on a local level, to create positive impacts in ways [that] are deep and meaningful,” said Alan Bridgeman, general manager of European operations at Riot Games, which employs 180 people in Dublin.

“Getting behind CoderDojo as part of Karma was a natural decision for Riot Games. Coding is crucial to many aspects of the economy, including the gaming sector, but it is also a skill in short supply. Working with CoderDojo, we hope to play a part in stimulating an interest in coding, and helping to boost Ireland’s future coding talent pool,” Bridgeman said.

John Kennedy
By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years. His interests include all things technological, music, movies, reading, history, gaming and losing the occasional game of poker.

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