By Suzanne Pender
CREATIVITY, curiosity and skill combined perfectly for four Carlow students named among the prize-winners at the recent 13th National Scratch Coding competition.
Karen O’Neill from St Leo’s College, Carlow won top prize in the fourth-to-sixth-year category, while fellow St Leo’s students Xinyi Chen, Kabirat Kokumo and Ancita Roney were presented with a Judges’ Award.
The annual National Scratch Coding competition is organised by Lero, the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Software and the Irish Computer Society.
The national finals brought together top-scoring teams from schools and clubs across the country, with participants demonstrating their Scratch projects to judges at University of Limerick.
“What we see in the National Scratch Competition finals is the culmination of many months of work for the participants, their teachers and their families, and the end result is very impressive,” said Dr Clare McInerney, education and public engagement manager with Lero.
“Their projects are a convergence of science and creativity and allows them to see what coding makes possible,” she added.
There were 280 entries in this year’s competition, a big increase on last year, and an excellent gender balance with 56% male and 44% female participants. Forty-five students made it to the finals and the panel of 15 judges was very impressed by the quality and originality of the projects on show.
Scratch is a visual programming language that helps children to build key coding skills in a fun and interactive way.