Eircom launches Junior Spider Awards for young online innovators

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CoderDojo co-founder James Whelton; Carolan Lennon from Eircom; fifth-year student Aoife Roche; and Dara Donovan, a student from third class, at Science Gallery in Dublin

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Eircom is now accepting entries from primary and secondary school students for its 2013 Junior Spider Awards to showcase innovative ways they are using the internet in their schools and day-to-day lives.

Spawned from the Golden Spider Awards, and now in their fourth year, the Junior Spiders have three overall categories for students.

The ‘Mega Spiders’ is for primary school students and has three categories: Best School Blog, Best Project and Best School Website.

The ‘Giga Spiders’ is open to students at second level who are either in first, second or third year. Its categories are Best Project, Best Web Design and Best Irish Website (Suíomh is Fearr).

Finally, the ‘Tera Spiders’ is for students who are in fourth (transition year), fifth or sixth year. Its categories are Best Concept, Best Project, Best Web Design, Best Irish Website (Suíomh is Fearr) and Best Web App.

CoderDojo co-founder James Whelton, this year’s winner of the Internet Hero accolade at the Spider Awards, helped launched the awards today. He was also a winner of a Junior Spider Award in the past.

"The awards were a great platform for me to showcase my coding skills and helped me start my career as an internet entrepreneur," said Whelton, as he encouraged students with an interest in the internet to get involved.

Eircom’s Carolan Lennon, who is chairperson of the Junior Spider Awards’ judging panel, said the awards help students develop the skills and interests they have in the online world.

"James Whelton is an example of how exciting a career in the internet can be. Last year, we had fantastic entry levels and we are eager to see what the students do this year," she said.

Students have until 1 February 2013 to submit their entries. The Junior Spider Awards will take place on 5 March 2013 at the RDS in Dublin.

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Carmel was a long-time reporter with Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com