Coolest Projects highlights need for STEM to excite children

Updated / Saturday, 17 Jun 2017 13:06

Cathriona Hallahan, Managing Director for Microsoft, Ireland

Coder Dojo Coolest Projects 2017 is taking place today at Dublin's RDS and the focus of the event is to bring together young innovators and digital developers to exchange learnings in this exciting forum.

A number of Ireland's leading technological companies are taking part in the event, such as Intel, Facebook and Riot Games.

Arguably one of the most popular games for young children is Minecraft and Microsoft's Cathriona Hallahan told us that she believes that STEM learning is essential but also needs to excite children.

"Microsoft went all out this year in Coolest Projects because we really believe this is a great event for showing innovation in Ireland and we have seen some amazing kids here today and the event keeps growing.

"We've been involved for the last three years and its getting bigger and better every year.

Parents and teachers are continually trying to ready their children for the future as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) learning takes centre stage.

"STEM subjects are critically important in the education system but we need to make it relevant for children, they need to be excited by the technology."

"An example of that for us is Minecraft in education.

"I've met some students, parents and teachers today who are using that in the classroom and its an open world programme developed by Microsoft, not just to teach Tech but to teach creativity. collaboration, problem solving - skills that they'll use in every other subject they do in education in the future."

Helen O'Neill & Taragh Loughrey-Grant