Ireland’s ambition to launch Europe’s next generation of software coders via the Junior Cycle took a further step forward last week with the help of computing innovation world leader Intel.
Over 50 junior cycle teachers spent a day exploring Coding at the Intel Ireland Campus in Leixlip, with the company also making a donation of 900 Galileo Gen 2 Boards and teacher kits to 19 post-primary schools.
The training day and donation are part of a collaborative initiative between Intel Ireland, Lero – The Irish Software Research Centre – and Junior Cycle for Teachers (JCT).
The project is designed to support schools and teachers in exploring the Coding short course now available under the Framework for Junior Cycle 2015.
Students will engage in technology and design-related activities with the use of these state-of the-art resources.
“This donation will support schools in this innovative and exciting Coding project, which we hope will produce Ireland’s innovators of the future,” said Paul Phelan, Public Affairs Operations Manager, Intel.
“Intel Ireland are delighted to give students an insight into technology, and allow the development of both logical and digital skills in a fun, collaborative, and innovative learning environment.
“These digital skills are vital if Ireland, and indeed Europe, is to address the coding skills shortage which has led to in excess of 500,000 open job postings across the continent in 2015.”
Participating teachers enjoyed specific training at the event to support their exploration of this new learning area in their schools. Both Intel Ireland and Lero support JCT in this work.
“A career in computing can be interesting and creative. This project will allow students to take the first steps in exploring this potential,“ said Clare McInerney, who is Education and Outreach Manager in Lero.
“We are very happy to help build capacity in schools to provide inventive short courses like Coding to their students.”
The 19 schools for this initiative were chosen from over 120 entries from post-primary schools from all sectors, and participating teachers will receive two days of initial training, and further online and regional support.
Further information on this initiative can be found at the JCT website.