In an unusual year for students, parents and teachers alike, it’s been a busy week for ICS Outreach with Tech Week taking place last week. There were many virtual talks in schools and classroom workshops this year and a good buzz in the schools during the week. ICS organised the National Finals of two competitions:
Bebras Computational Thinking Challenge
945 students took part in the second round of this challenge. The Bebras® Computing Challenge is an international initiative that introduces computational thinking to students, by allowing them to solve interactive tasks online. The second round of the challenge invited the top 10% of participants from the November challenge back to take on another challenge. The gender breakdown of participants at the finals was:
Female – 41%
Male – 44%
Unknown – 15%
Scratch National Programming Competition
In a peculiar year for students we were delighted to have 215 projects entered in the Scratch competition. Judges then reviewed the student projects whittling them down to 34 finalists across the age categories from Junior infants to 6th Year.
The day began with the Judges, who very kindly gave up their time, meeting with the students (virtually) to discuss their projects. After that the hard job of deliberation of awards was made.
After lunch we came back to an interactive workshop with Chris Exton “From little things, big things grow” a senior lecturer in the department of Computer Science and Information Systems at University of Limerick and a member of Lero – the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Software. Chris introduced all to Blockpy as a step for those who want to move on from Scratch.
Feedback from Judges and our Chair of Judges Clare McInerney, Lero, was very good, they felt the projects on view at the finals were polished and very impressive.