Students encouraged to enter software competition

19 Oct 2010

A software development competition has been launched that hopes to encourage students to tap into their creative ability on computers.

The Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Skills Mary Coughlan TD has launched the 2011 ‘Scratch Competition’, which gives students the opportunity to understand how software works and how it is built as opposed to simply knowing how to use it.

The contest, which is operated by Lero, the Irish Software Engineering Research Centre, and supported by the Irish Computer Society (ICS), promotes computing and software development at both primary and secondary-school levels.

Interest in computing

Coughlan welcomed the use of this technology in both primary and secondary classrooms and singled out the importance of generating interest in computing.

“As we build the knowledge economy and encourage more school leavers to opt for programmes in computing at third level, it is vital that we stimulate an interest in computing through initiatives like the Scratch Competition,” she said.

Developed at MIT, Scratch Software is freely available to students and can help them to combine their problem-solving skills with their ingenuity to create games, animations, stories and simulations.

Jim Friars, CEO of ICS, said, “The computing field has weathered the economic storm better than most. There continues to be strong demand for computing graduates and total employment in the technology sector grew by 6pc last year. This project gives students practical experience of many of the skills required in this interesting, well-rewarded and growing profession.”

Students can register online.