Tech Week is back!  Ireland’s national festival of technology aimed at students, parents and the public, takes place this year from 24-30 April. Organised by the Irish Computer Society, and part-funded by Science Foundation Ireland, the week will see more than 100,000 primary and post-primary pupils all over Ireland taking part in a range of fun activities including the finals of tech events that have been running throughout the past year.

According to Jim Friars, CEO of the Irish Computer Society, “Research indicates that Ireland needs an additional 45,000 skilled new ICT professionals by 2018 to fuel our continuing growth.  The current generation of children and teens are ‘digital natives’ but instead of just using technology it’s important for them, and their parents, to understand that careers in technology are creative, rewarding and enriching. We want young people and their parents to understand and be aware of the opportunities a career in technology can provide. They can then choose the right subjects and make college decisions on an informed basis around all that technology has to offer”.

“Tech Week provides hands-on opportunities for young people to learn about how computing and related technologies are shaping every area of life. The aim is to stimulate thinking around future opportunities for study and careers in technology, through learning in the wider areas of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects”.

Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Advisor to the Government of Ireland said“Science Foundation Ireland are delighted to support Tech Week again this year.  The week plays a key role in our new Science Rising campaign by making an important contribution in helping young people to understand more about the role, impact and opportunities created by technology in society and the economy. Through our support for Tech Week, Science Foundation Ireland is helping to progress Ireland’s economic development by encouraging more young people to think seriously about a career in technology.”

The highlight of this year’s Tech Week will be a showcase which takes place in Dublin’s RDS on Thursday, 28 April. The showcase will include the F1 in Schools finals, where pupils use CAD to design and race model F1 cars, the National BizWorld entrepreneur finals, and the Scratch Coding Final.

Students from St. Patrick’s Girls National School Limerick in conjunction with LIT, will demonstrate the use of Google Cardboard, Oculus Rift, Meccano Robot, Tobii Eye Movement, along with other exciting technologies, to the young people attending on the day.

Activity packs will be sent to schools nationwide to ensure as many young people as possible will enjoy Tech Week 2016.  A host of Tech Week regional events will take place such as the Brickflick Workshop in Rua Red in Tallaght where LEGO mini figures come alive and the Insight Centre Galway’s re-enactment of the world’s first radio broadcast.

Tech Week 2016 is an Irish Computer Society initiative sponsored by Science Foundation Ireland and Salesforce.org and supported by Google and PUCA.

You can learn all about Tech Week 2016 by downloading the Tech Week App, visiting www.techweek.ie,  facebook.com/techweekirl and following @TechWeekIRL on Twitter.