From Hour of Code to Young Person of the Year, in 12 months

7 Dec 201552 Shares

Hour of Code is upon us but, you may ask, what’s really in it for the kids? Is it just programming, learning the basics and getting to grips with a future industry? Well, no. They can win the Young Person of the Year award, too, if done right.

Over the weekend, Aoibheann Mangan and Padraic Godwin (eight and nine years of age, respectively) picked up the now-joint Young Person of the Year Award for 2015.

The preceding 12 months saw them sit down for Hour of Code last winter, think about how to put their new-found skills into action, create a farm safety website and, generally speaking, rock.

Pupils at 14-student Cloghan’s Hill National School on the Mayo-Galway border, Mangan and Godwin created www.farmsafety4kids.net a while back “because there is no farm safety websites aimed at children out there and there has been a scary increase in farming accidents and deaths in recent years”.

The fatality rate in agriculture is far higher than any other economic sector. Of the 193 people killed on Irish farms between 2005 and 2014, 22 were children.

“We are trying to get every child to […] examine how [to] identify dangers on the farm, dangers to them and dangers to others,” according to the brilliant duo’s website.

Hour of Code starts this morning, after being officially launched last week by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

The Digital Youth Council are, of course, heavily involved this year – founder and director Harry McCann kicking off this week’s coding festivities with Kenny, himself.

So Hour of Code is not just a thrifty education platform, it turns out there’s a direct route to achievement, too!

Main image of child on a tablet, via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt
By Gordon Hunt

Gordon joined Silicon Republic in October 2014 as a journalist. Unafraid of heights or spiders, Gordon spends most of his time avoiding conversations about music, appreciating even the least creative pun and rueing the day he panicked when meeting Paul McGrath. His favourite thing on the internet remains the ‘Random Article’ link on Wikipedia.

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