The 2017 Scratch Competition will launch this week, to coincide with EU Code Week, taking place from 15th – 23rd October. Run by the ICS Foundation and supported by Lero, the Irish Software Research Centre, the Scratch Competition promotes computing and software development at both primary and secondary school levels.
The aim of Scratch is to give 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.
Following Minister Richard Bruton T.D’s recent announcement supporting the addition of coding in the primary school curriculum Scratch is an ideal introduction to coding for primary students.
Jim Friars, CEO of the ICS Foundation said, “The ICS Foundation is proud to run the Scratch National Competition. 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 the skills required in this interesting, well-rewarded and growing profession.”
Education and Outreach Manager at Lero, Clare McInerney, said, “In today’s world, software impacts every aspect of our lives. Since its launch in 2007, interest in Scratch has grown year on year and has proven to be a great way to introduce children to coding and software at an early age.”
Participation in Scratch is increasing every year, as more teachers are becoming aware of the benefits of the programme.
Students can register online at www.ics.ie/scratch for the 2017 Scratch competition with entries to be submitted by February 10th 2017. The national finals of Scratch will be held during Tech Week, taking place 23rd to 29th April, 2017.
About Lero – The Irish Software Research Centre
Lero (www.lero.ie) is a global leader in software research. It combines the best in Irish software talent by bringing together researchers from Dublin City University, Dundalk Institute of Technology, NUI Galway, Maynooth University, Trinity College Dublin, University College Cork, University College Dublin and University of Limerick. It is funded by Science Foundation Ireland as well as by contracts from Irish and international technology corporations.
Developed at MIT, Scratch software is freely available to students and can help them to combine their problem solving skills with their ingenuity to create games, animations, stories, and simulations. Lero has developed extensive teaching materials and student exercises that are freely available to support teachers and students using Scratch in the classroom