Friday 2 December 2016

Hours of inspiration for next generation of coders

Jane O'Faherty

Published 04/12/2015 | 02:30

Taoiseach Enda Kenny with Niall McCormick (left in black) of Colmac Robotics with Lauren Boyle (11, centre) and members of the Digital Youth Council of Ireland playing Sphero at the launch of Ireland’s 2015 Hour of Code
Taoiseach Enda Kenny with Niall McCormick (left in black) of Colmac Robotics with Lauren Boyle (11, centre) and members of the Digital Youth Council of Ireland playing Sphero at the launch of Ireland’s 2015 Hour of Code

More than 500 events throughout Ireland next week are set to encourage children and young people to try their hand at coding.

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The Hour of Code takes place from December 7 to 13, and allows participants to learn code through free hour-long tutorials.

Launching the events, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said: "It is imperative that we prepare our young people with the skills they will require to continue this digital revolution and coding skills are an essential part of that preparation."

EU Digital Girl of the Year 2014, Lauren Boyle, was on hand to help the Taoiseach through the finer points of coding.

Lauren (11) has designed several apps and websites after learning to code at the age of eight.

"At the start, you were wondering what it's all about," she added. "But once you go to your first session and you learn how to make a game, you're learning."

The young Dubliner is best known as the creative mind behind the Cool Kids Studio website and app.

The service provides advice to kids aged between three and 12 on what to do on rainy days, dealing with bullies and meditation.

Lauren also recently made the Cool Steam Kids app, which encourages young people to embrace science, engineering, art and mathematics.

"By 2020, nearly all jobs will have an aspect of technology," she said. "Not only is it fun, but you might want to get involved as well because you're going to need it in the future."

Irish Independent

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