By @TheMarkDalton

More than 800 young innovators from across Ireland and Western Europe will take part in the fifth annual CoderDojo Coolest Projects Awards, which looks set to be the largest technology event held in the country this year.

This year’s awards will be held at the RDS on Saturday June 18th and is expected to attract more than 10,000 spectators to witness demonstrations of apps, websits, animation, games and robots among this year’s submissions.

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The CoderDojo Coolest Projects Awards are unique in Europe and have been embraced by the EU. The were established as a competition and exhibition to create, support and inspire a generation of innovators, creators and entrepreneurs aged from 7 to 17.

The Coolest Projects launch at CHQ in Dublin was attended by some of Ireland’s brightest young innovators who were flanked by a giant robot. Eight year old blogger, Lexi Schoene has entered the blog/website category with her site lexililybelle.com.

Lexi blogs on her life and interests across a range of platforms. She said:

“I used the HTML and coding skills I learned at CoderDojo Dun Laoghaire to design my website using WordPress.”

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Joining Lexi was 11 year old Dhruv Bhamidipati from Francis Street CBS who created his website Dino-Know-It-All to educate people about dinosaurs. He built it using HTML and CSS coding learned at The Docklands Dojo.

Harvey Brezina Conniffe (14) from The Warehouse Dojo in Dublin has created an online editor that helps kids design their own website. He also designed an app that enables homeowners to check in on their personal security cameras by tweeting them – a project that was featured at SXSW and TechCrunch Disrupt NY.

12-year-old animator Grainne Meghan from CoderDojo Dun Laoghaire created ‘Mob Show: the race for the last cookie’, a quirky Minecraft-inspired animation using Apple’s coding language Swift.

The Awards create a unique platform for young people to develop a broad set of coding and digital skills by offering them the opportunity to showcase the skills they have learned at CoderDojo and other coding clubs.

Noel King is the Coolest Projects co-founder and said that:

“Coolest Projects provides the bridge from learning coding skills at CoderDojos to innovating and creating future employment. We are the piece in the middle which makes the connection. These digital skills are vital if Europe is to address the coding skills shortage which has led to 500,000 open job postings across the region in 2015.”

Coolest Projects has seen young people deliver projects across the latest technologies from Cloud, to Internet of Things (IoT) to Virtual Reality and has the real potential to drive vital digital skills across a pan-European platform.

There are Coolest Projects Awards across a range of age groups in the disciplines of websites, apps, animation and games, scratch, advanced languages, enterprise and hardware.

This year also sees the addition of Launch’d, a unique one-day event aimed at supporting the next generation of technology entrepreneurs.

Running in parallel with Coolest Projects, it will feature Ireland’s 100 top tech starts ups and a host of top international speakers, in what will be the biggest technology event held in Ireland this year.

Coolest Projects is supported by Intel, Microsoft, Symantec, Bank of Ireland, Folens, Openet, Virgin Media and RTE.

Múirne Laffan, RTÉ’s Chief Digital Officer said that:

“Equipping young people in Ireland with the skills to become the digital creators of tomorrow is vitally important. RTÉ is proud to support Coolest Projects. It is a great confidence-builder for young people, celebrating what they have achieved with the skills and knowledge learned at CoderDojo.”

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