Cork students showcase IT skills as part of kids in tech initiative

CEIA 2016
PIctured: James O'Fearal and Oran O Grianna, Scoil Mhuire, Macroom at the CEIA Schools Robot Competition final

Students from five local schools will showcase robotic and coding skills as part of the School’s Excellence Fund initiative involving children in tech

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9 May 2019 | 0

Cork students from five local schools will showcase their robotic and coding skills in Deerpark CBS today while the it@cork tech summit takes place in city hall.

Explaining the event, deputy principal of Deerpark CBS Aaron Wolfe said:Our Transition Year students from Deerpark have been guiding fourth class pupils from our partner schools in building the robot from scratch and then coding it to complete various tasks, eg move, change colour, flash its lights etc. We use Robobloq Q-Scout robots for the project, which students code using the Robobloq software and app.

Teachers have seen notable improvements in their students since working on the project. “Primary school teachers have commented on how the coding has helped students with many aspects of maths – ie decimals – and how it has also improved teamwork skills hugely as students have to work together to build and make the robot work.”

The project, BYTE (Bridging Your Transition in Education) is supported by the School’s Excellence Fund, an initiative promoting IT in schools. BYTE aims to ease the transition from primary to secondary school using IT. This comes after an ERSI study, Growing Up in Ireland, found that this transition can not only be difficult, but it can negatively impact future learning.

The project is organised by two Deerpark teachers, Ger Rea and Vicky O’Gorman. Greenmount National School, Morning Star, Scoil Nioclais and St. Columba’s are also involved.

Wolfe said: “Through our project, primary school students are introduced to secondary school life at an early stage. This year is one of a three-year commitment and we will work with the primary schools again next year with a new group of students. 

“We are hoping to launch a similar initiative with Togher Girls NS and Glasheen Girls NS as we believe it is very important to get girls involved.”

Speaking about the event, Anthony O’Callaghan, chair of it@cork, said: As soon as we were contacted by staff at Deerpark CBS and informed that they were hosting a tech event on the same day, we wanted to support them in their aims.

“It’s very exciting and promising that programmes of this nature are happening in our local schools, it’s such a great age for kids to begin learning IT and coding skills that will be of benefit to them in years to come, especially when they decide what pathways to choose for work and careers.

“Cork City is fast becoming known around the world for its tech talent, and who knows – some of these young people could well grow to become the developers and problem solvers of the future.”

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