Scratch 2014 overall winner Shane Fanning with Michael O’Connor, chairman, ICS Skills Board

Scratch competition begins search for top young coders

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PIctured: Scratch 2014 overall winner Shane Fanning with Michael O’Connor, chairman, ICS Skills Board

15 October 2014

The 2015 Scratch Competition has opened for entries. Run by the Irish Computer Society (ICS) and supported by Lero, the Irish Software Engineering Research Centre, the competition promotes computing and software development at primary and secondary schools.

Scratch gives students an understanding of how software is built and how it works. It challenges students to create stories, games and animations using software. It encourages innovation and creativity while giving them a taste of possible future careers in the IT sector where an estimated 44,500 new ICT professionals are needed by 2018. For the upcoming year, the Irish Computer Society are making 10,000 Scratch classroom packs available, which contain everything needed to get started.

Last year over 3,000 students participated from 599 different schools, CoderDojos and other groups. Entries to the Scratch Competition have also increased steadily, with 960 projects being submitted for 2014 competition, a 41% growth on 2013. In 2015, the national finals will be held in Dublin Castle during Tech Week from 26 April to 2 May.

Jim Friars, CEO, ICS, said: “The computing field has weathered the economic storm better than most. There continues to be strong demand for computing graduates and this project gives students practical experience of using the skills required for this interesting, highly rewarding and growing profession.”

Students can register online at scratch.ics.ie with entries to be submitted by 27 February 2015.

TechCentral Reporters

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