This Saturday (13 June), tech wunderkinds from across Europe will descend on Dublin’s RDS for the 4th annual CoderDojo Coolest Projects Awards.
The participants, all aged between 7 and 17, will showcase technological creations, including apps, games, websites, robots, drones and hacks, all developed utilising skills learned at CoderDojos.
This year’s event, which runs from 10.30am to 5.30pm and which is open to the public free of charge, sees the introduction of an ‘evolution’ category, encompassing sophisticated projects that involve advanced hardware, software or coding languages.
“The level of innovation we are seeing in the Coolest Projects entries we are receiving from around the world is inspiring,” says Mary Moloney, CEO of the CoderDojo Foundation. “There is no doubt that we are at the vanguard of a youth movement that sees young people generating astonishing results in coding and hardware.”
More than 500 projects will be on display at Coolest Projects, all coded, hacked or built by young CoderDojo coders.
Attendees will be able to interact with the projects over the course of the day, visiting the Hardware section to touch and feel the amazing innovations.
In the Hack Space, young coders will be hacking into drones, robots and Internet of Things (IoT) projects to uncover new and inspiring possibilities.
The event will also feature demos and tutorials introducing young people to the world of invention that can be accessed through coding. These will be offered by Microsoft, this year’s official Coolest Projects sponsor.
Patrick Ward of Microsoft Ireland says these tutorials are open to everyone who’s interested: “If you are not currently involved in coding, you are very welcome to come along to the event and sample the fun you can have when you pair your imagination with the capabilities of technology.”
Talks from Start-Up Commissioner Niamh Bushnell; Stuart Johnson, Havok; Des Traynor, Intercom; Kevin Neary, Gamestop; David Rook, Riot Games; Laura Browne, DCU Intergenerational Learning Program mentor, and Ann O’Dea, Silicon Republic CEO, will take place in morning sessions.
Coolest Projects is one of the world’s largest tech showcase events for young people and is expected to draw a crowd of more than 5,000 to the RDS.
The Coolest Projects Awards winners will be announced on Saturday evening.
Previous winners include 10-year-old Lauren Boyle, EU Digital Girl of the Year 2014, who will be speaking at next week’s Inspirefest event.
Inspirefest 2015 is Silicon Republic’s international event running 18-20 June in Dublin that connects sci-tech professionals passionate about the future of STEM with fresh perspectives on leadership, innovation and diversity.