The Coolest Projects 2017 is a showcase of coding projects that are for the kids and by the kids, and is a huge achievement for Ireland, said event MC Philip Smyth.
Smyth, an award winning physicist and RTÉ broadcaster, talked about the diversity of the event which took place Saturday at the RDS, with kids partaking from 17 different countries.
"For something that started in Cork, that diversity is reflected not only in these sponsors that want to look after it but the amount of people who are happy here, chatting in Spanish and Portuguese and English."
Smyth said that as a country, the knowledge and skills that the kids have gained and their enthusiasm is something the Ireland needs. The social aspect that mixes with the technology of the event is what drives the kids to partake every year. ‘The kids come up with amazing projects," he said, "things you wouldn’t expect them to do.’
The projects that the Coolest Projects kids create range from video games to manufacturing projects. Sadhbh Ann, 12, who is partially deaf in one ear, created a site that allowed her to learn sign language so she could communicate with people in her Deaf Hear group.
The MC for the event was Newsday presenter Gillian Stedman, who echoed Smyth’s praise of the diversity to hand. As well the multiple countries represented, Stedman was happy about the amount of girls who were at the event as she felt coding and tech can sometimes be thought of as something just for boys: ‘Looking around here today I don’t think that the girls aren’t equally represented.’
Emily, 11, explained that it was her brother that introduced her to the world of coding: ‘He was always doing really cool projects, and I wanted to start.’
Helen O’Neill & Adam Daly