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Thursday, 26th March 2020

Tech week 2020: where tech and talent unite

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Pictured (before the Covid 19 crisis) at the launch of Tech Week, Ireland’s national festival of technology, are Thomas Michelon, Eire Ruiz De Azua,  Clara Soreil and Thibault Picard. Photo: Marc O’Sullivan.

At last, something that is going ahead! Tech Week, Ireland’s national festival of technology, will take place from Saturday 28th March to Friday 3rd April.

Organised by the ICS Foundation, the social enterprise arm of the Irish Computer Society, powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS) and supported by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), Tech Week aims to unite and inspire the talent of tomorrow with emerging technologies of today.

Now in its seventh year, Tech Week has established itself as a firm favourite, with schools, teachers, and local communities by finding new and creative ways to help students engage with technology and provide them with hands-on opportunities to learn about how computing and related technology are reshaping every area of life.

Covid-19 is not stopping this great initiative. The technology-focused week will go ahead with plenty of activities available online and on social media to keep young scientists and technologists engaged, learning and well-prepared for their STEM-filled future. A number of national finals of events (requiring attendance by students) are deferred to Autumn.

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Tech Week 2020 will provide online resources, activities and games to help keep students of all ages engaged and inspired to create, learn and make while having fun. This will include the first Tech Week Computational Thinking Challenge, which is a quick and easy activity for students to develop their computational thinking skills. These simple STEM projects will help reinforce important life skills and help to potentially spark a lifetime interest in this crucial field.

Following social distancing guidelines put in place due to Covid-19, all Tech Week activities have been designed to ensure that students are able to participate fully at home or online with friends ensuing their safety and overall wellbeing.

Speaking at the launch of Tech Week 2020, Jim Friars, CEO of the Irish Computer Society said “The aim of the week 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.”

 “The future of work is happening right now as technology continues to remould our everyday lives, requiring skills that are far more advanced and diverse than ever before. STEM workers are driving Ireland's innovation and competitiveness by generating new ideas, new companies, new industries and attracting new investment. The future success of the Ireland’s economy will require increased numbers of skilled workers with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) qualifications.”

“Tech Week is a vehicle for children and young adults to take a closer look at these areas, become inspired, and become architects of their futures. It is hoped, that by building awareness of the diverse range of careers in the sector, that a greater number of young students will consider Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths courses at third level” continued Jim.

Dr Ruth Freeman, Director of Science for Society, Science Foundation Ireland, said: “Science Foundation Ireland is delighted to support the Irish Computer Society’s Tech Week initiative through our Discover Programme. This is an excellent way to help students realise the potential of computer science and what a career that includes STEM might look like. It’s important that the foundations are laid now to boost the stream of STEM talent that is so important to the future of the Irish economy and society.”

Tech Week is supported by Amazon Web Services (AWS) and the SFI Discover programme.

You can learn all about Tech Week 2020 by visiting www.techweek.ie, and by following #techweek2020 #techweekirl and @TechWeekIRL on Twitter.

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