The following information is a UPC Ireland Press release from before the move to Virgin Media

Champions of Coolest Project Awards 2015 Crowned

Young Coders Show Off Their Cool Coding Concepts UPC and Liberty Global platinum supporters of Coolest Projects

Monday 15th June, 2015: Hundreds of young coding ninjas descended on Dublin’s RDS this weekend to showcase their digital skills and most importantly, their creations for the next big thing in app technology, computer programmes, websites and games, at this year’s CoderDojo Coolest Projects Awards 2015.

Now in its 4th year, the Coolest Projects Awards 2015 attracted over 500 entries from young coders from across Ireland and the entire global CoderDojo network. UPC together with our parent company Liberty Global recognise that we have the responsibility to address the predicted jobs skills gap by preparing young people for the jobs of the future. That means equipping young people with essential computer programming and coding skills.

As the largest international cable company, Liberty Global believes that through our involvement as a pan-European supporter we are enabling CoderDojo to reach hundreds more young people, giving them the opportunity to learn coding which will greatly improve young people’s career prospects in the long term.

This year, UPC and parent company Liberty Global sponsored a very special prize which recognised the most innovative project that solved a particular social issue. This was won by David Brett from Cork CIT Blackock for his project entitled Marlin Brando Oceanic Avenger.

Speaking at the event, Magnus Ternsjö, CEO of UPC Ireland said, “The Coolest Projects Awards are always an exciting time. It is a great event that recognises, encourages and nurtures the creativity from the CoderDojo community and I’m delighted to be involved to see what these enthusiastic and imaginative young people come up with.

“Not only is the event a fantastic opportunity for young coders to display the skills they have learned at their local CoderDojos but it’s a great way for them to come together with coders from across the world and share their ideas.”

In a recent study commissioned by UPC it was found that 54% of people believe computer coding should be introduced to the school curriculum at primary and secondary levels. According to the consumer research, the optimum age for children to learn coding was between 9 -10 years old and 70% of those surveyed said coding should be introduced between the ages 6 -12.

Magnus continued, “It’s clear that there is a considerable appetite out there for children to learn how to code. Our goal is to enable CoderDojo to reach more and more young people, giving them the opportunity to learn coding skills that will help them become the next generation of creators and innovators.”

The Coolest Projects Awards 2015 were open to all coders aged 7 – 17 years with projects in a number of different categories including Scratch, Websites, Web and Platform Video Games, Apps for Mobile, Hardware and Evolution.

Mary Moloney, CoderDojo Global CEO added: “Coolest Projects is the only event of its kind globally, it makes me so proud to host 500 kids and young people demoing their projects and 5,000 attendees being amazed and inspired by them. The projects that the kids and young people have developed are really impressive, not just in their use of technology but also through the wide array of topics, challenges and subjects that they are covering. Whether they're developing games using Scratch or sophisticated enterprise solutions using advanced coding languages like C++ and Swift, they each have challenged themselves and have achieved great results. It's great to see the kids and young people exploring and working with new technologies too, like robotics, drones and virtual reality. These kids are not just the inventors of the future, they are change makers and explorers right now.”

This year’s judging panel totalled 67 and to name a few, Magnus Ternsjö (UPC), Roy Sharon (Liberty Global), Joe Hogan (Openet), Muirne Laffan (RTE) and more.

Noel King, founding member of Coolest Projects concluded: “It has been another year of amazing growth for Coolest Projects Awards with over 500 projects attending the RDS. Extending the awards this year to being a European wide event is very exciting and this will add an extra dimension to the creativity and excitement we witness on the day. Seeing young people from different countries come together to share their visions and experience is very cool and I am sure this experience will spark more creativity and ideas for members projects next year.”