On Friday 4th November, over 200 young people from youth clubs and schools across Ireland gathered in anticipation at the Google Foundry for the celebration of the Annual Creative Tech Festival. The event is organised by Camara Ireland as part of the TechSpace Programme, the national education movement that aims to inspire and encourage young people to become digital creators by providing access to software, hardware, trained youth workers and creative mentors.
The Creative Tech Fest is the perfect opportunity for young digital creators to take part in interactive workshops, to witness inspirational speakers and hear live performances. Young people also celebrate their own creative media pieces, computer science creations and inventive Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths (STEAM) projects that they have been busy working on throughout the year.
Exhibitions from The 3D Design Expo were particularly popular and allowed young people to make their own prints including badges, hearts and horses. Google Expedition took the students on virtual field trips to space and to the Great Barrier Reef. The TechSpace as Gaeilge network gave the opportunity for young people to showcase their work alongside industry partners in the field of creative bilingual media and makers.
The afternoon workshops allowed young people gain experience on a variety of innovative technology projects, including mobile app development, robotics, prop design, animation, computer science, documentary making, virtual reality expeditions and music technology. Dean, aged 12 from Athenry said, “It was a brilliant experience, my favourite part was making my robot”.
After the afternoon workshops had ended, attendees were treated to a live performance by Irish Beatboxing Champion, Amaron. Inspirational speeches and great advice came from Tanya Rosen, Assistant Director on Game of Thrones, and Harry McCann, entrepreneur and one of The Journal’s 20 of Ireland’s most inspirational rising stars under 20 years old.
Young people won awards for many creations, from the most creative use of video to the most outstanding maker and electronics projects. “The day was awesome because we won awards,” said Ameerah, aged 11 from Athenry.
According to Jen Hesnan, national coordinator, “TechSpace channels young people’s native interests in technology into something that they can both engage and share with others. By training educators in creative facilitation, any young person who comes through the door can find a purpose, becoming a creator and not just a consumer of technology”.
To find out all the latest news on Creative Tech Fest, check out creativetechfest.com