Young coder ninjas have the cool factor
Coding whizzkids came in their droves to DCU last weekend to demo a dizzying array of cool and imaginative coding ideas at the CoderDojo Coolest Projects awards ceremony supported by a host of corporate sponsors including Intel, UPC and RTE Digital. The top prizes were awarded to projects ranging from an eCar charger locator app to a camera selfie site.
Pictured at the event was Tom Molloy (age 9) from Rathfarnham with his project ‘Mouse Maze Race’
The Coolest Projects Awards, now in its third year, is an opportunity for members of local coding clubs or dojos to showcase the application of the skills and knowledge they have gained from attending their weekly coding sessions. The event has gone from strength to strength each year with 250 projects being presented on Saturday to an expert judging panel which included Silicon Republic’s Ann O’Dea, EU Code Week Ambassador Julie Cullen, and James Whelton of CoderDojo who found choosing the winners a difficult feat, “Just seeing the kids so in their element brought it home the difference that coolest project makes to them, the projects just blew me away it was so hard to judge the winners as there was an incredible amount of great projects who were all raising the bar in terms of creativity’’
Intel, who has been involved since the first Coolest Projects Awards were held at the Intel campus, was a sponsor again this year providing a number of prizes at the event which this year included projects from dojos in the UK, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and Romania who were all in attendance at the event.
Paul Phelan of Intel Ireland, who was involved as a judge at the event this year, spoke about Intel’s involvement in the initiative “Intel is delighted to once again support the Coolest Projects this year – the CoderDojo movement is such a fantastic way to engage young people in coding and design and the event here today is an important recognition of their ongoing hard work. The energy and enthusiasm in the room at the event today was almost overwhelming – it is incredible to see the quality, creativity and ingenuity of the work being demonstrated here by these young people”.
Projects were ranked not only for the complexity and usability of the project but also for that essential ‘cool’ factor, similar to the one rule of CoderDojo: “Be cool!”. Prizes, provided by Coolest Projects founding partner Intel, included a top of the range Fonepad, cameras and phones, and were awarded across 6 categories:
Overall winner: Pulse of the People – interactive data visualization, Cork Dojo
Farm Recorder, Ciaran Flanagan Claremorris CoderDojo, Spot Ant, The Kids Studio, Lauren Boyle, Bray Dojo.
Overall Winner: ESB eCar Charger, Niamh Scanlon, DCU
Fix my Pothole App, John Ryan, Thurles Dojo, Classroom Auction App, Ciara Hogan, CoderDojo Girls DCU, Punchbag IT, Jeremy Rigney, Athlone Dojo
Overall Winner: Camera Selfies, Harvey, Science Gallery
Ardalet, Ciadhla Mulloy, Bray Dojo, Project 126, Albert, Zambrów Dojo (Poland)
Galileo Robot, Thomas Carrigan DCU Dojo,
Mix Category (HTML Games, Enterprise, & ADvanced Languages)
Overall Winner: Web Based Responsive Design, Adam Barry, Malahide Dojo
Alexis Ordinary Day, Gillian Connolly, Sligo Dojo, CheetahSpoke Store, Ben Herbert,
Clash of Empires, Adrian and Raul, Timisoara Dojo (Romania)
Overall Winner: The Showdown Western Game, Gavin Athlone Dojo
Anti Bullying Quiz, Kathleen Maughan, Deansrath Dojo, Dyslexic games, Curran Brothers, Wimslow Dojo (UK), Percy Jackson Quiz, Ronan Cassidy, Athlone Dojo
Overall International Project
Useless Box, a mechanically programmed box, Ugo Baroncini, Bologna Dojo (Italy)
Young coders from across Ireland and beyond assemble for the Coolest Projects Awards
Pictured with their project are Conall O’Toole from Glasnevin and Luke McAllorum (age 12) from Cabra
Brothers Darragh (age 8) and Danny Morgan (age 9) from Dunboyne with their project ‘Starwar Shoot Em up’
Pictured at the Coolest Projects Awards were coders Helen Aherne (age 12) and Caitlin Donnelly (age 12) from Thurles
Further images can be found here: Coder Dojo Coolest Project Awards 2014 – an album on Flickr
CoderDojo is an open source, volunteer led movement orientated around running free coding clubs (Dojos) for young people between 7 – 17 years old. At a Dojo, young people learn how to code, develop websites, apps, programs, games and much more. Dojos are set up, run and led by volunteers. Dojos make development and learning to code a fun, sociable and kick ass experience. As of June 2014 there are 431 Dojos either actively running or in planning in 44 countries, reaching over 15,000 children monthly. CoderDojo is supported by the CoderDojo Foundation, a charitable organisation set up by CoderDojo co-founder James Whelton to scale and support the movement on a global level.
To join your local CoderDojo, you can find your nearest one from this list. If there is not a CoderDojo near you, would you be interested in setting one up? For more information check out http://coolestprojects.org, http://coderdojo.com and www.hwf.io. Twitter: @CoolestProjects @CoderDojo
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