ESB Creative Tech Fest celebrates youth creativity with VR exhibition
An 11-year-old from Finglas, Co. Dublin, has taken the top award at this year’s ESB Creative Tech Fest.
Aspiring rapper Shaun Samra was named ESB TechSpacer of the Year 2020 for his song and video titled Anxiety – which told the personal story of the impact of Shaun’s’ struggles with anxiety for both himself and his family.
Samra attended a TechSpace programme run by youth worker Mick McCullagh in Finglas Youth Resource Centre that empowers young people to express themselves through music.
The awards, hosted by TG4 presenter Micheál Ó Ciaraidh, honoured 17 winners in categories covering creative computer science, digital creativity and STEAM. Additionally, young people from TechSpace hubs nationwide were sent VR headsets to enjoy a virtual reality exhibition showcase of each project. There were also performances and inspiring TechTalks from Daithí Ó Sé and TikTok stars Chris is Ainm Dom and Cairde.
As well as awards for young people, teacher Helen Ní Chríodáin from Colaiste Naomh Eoin in Inis Meáin was named ESB TechSpace Educator of the Year for her work in establishing a TechSpace programme, delivered through Irish, on the Aran Islands.
Pat O’Doherty, chief executive at ESB, outlined his admiration for the young people involved in this year’s ESB Creative Tech Fest awards: “It is both reassuring and inspiring to see the innovation and creativity in the projects submitted for this year’s awards, and we congratulate each of the nominees and winners for their work. Every young person in the TechSpace programme should be hugely proud of what they have achieved, in such challenging circumstances, this year.”
“There has been some hugely inspiring projects despite the really difficult circumstances this year,” said Marianne Checkley, CEO of Camara Ireland. “Despite us not being able to be together in person, we wanted to bring the network together virtually, to celebrate the quite incredible achievements of educators and young people this year.”
More than 1,000 young people, aged between 10 and 18, from youth clubs, schools and gaelscoileanna across Ireland, were part of the first virtual ESB Creative Tech Fest. The annual bilingual event celebrates the innovation, creativity and collaboration of young people who participate in TechSpace programmes nationwide across STEAM, digital creativity and computer science projects.
TechSpace is a creative technology education programme that is managed by social enterprise Camara Ireland and delivered in the informal and formal education sectors. It encourages young people to unlock their passions and potential through the creative use of technology.