Young Athenry coder wins prize in Coolest Projects race

10-year-old Shane Fahy from Athenry pictured with Orla Morris Toolen; Phil Smyth from Swipe TV, and Sarah Sexton from Intel at the CoderDojo Coolest Projects Awards and Launch’d Summit, which were held at the RDS, Dublin. Picture: Conor McCabe.

10-year-old Shane Fahy from Athenry pictured with Orla Morris Toolen; Phil Smyth from Swipe TV, and Sarah Sexton from Intel at the CoderDojo Coolest Projects Awards and Launch’d Summit, which were held at the RDS, Dublin. Picture: Conor McCabe.

10-year-old Shane Fahy from Athenry took a winner’s prize at the CoderDojo Coolest Projects Awards at the RDS, Dublin last Saturday (June 18 ).

More than 800 young innovators took part in the awards which attracted 10,000 people to what is the largest technology event held in the country this year.

Shane was placed first in the hardware category for his innovative flood warning system that can automatically alert members of the community and local authorities of rising waters.

“We decided to do this project as Ireland is a flood prone country, and having experienced very bad flooding in the past we wanted to make life simpler and safer for people in very badly affected areas,” said Shane.

Other projects that wowed the judges on the day included a mobile flood warning system, a robotic dog feeding app, and a mobile phone for developing countries that doesn’t require a network.

“It was fantastic to see 100 entries from outside Ireland at Coolest Projects. We now have 1,020 dojos in 63 countries and reach 35,000 children a week, “said Coolest Projects co-founder Noel King.

“Coolest Projects provides the bridge from learning coding skills at local 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 2016.”

This year also saw the introduction of Launch’d – an event over four stages featuring 50 top international speakers as well as 100 of Ireland’s top tech start-up companies.

Launch’d is aimed at inspiring and supporting the next generation of technology entrepreneurs and was an essential platform for the Coolest Projects kids, tech professionals and anyone considering a career in coding.

Among the speakers was Seattle-based Dubliner Aidan Hughes – the developer of of the world’s most popular calculators, with more than 70 million combined downloads and 11 million monthly users.

Michael Hunger, caretaker of the Neo4J community, talked about how his organisation helped to unravel the Panama Papers.

Coolest Projects is supported by Intel, Microsoft, Aol, Openet, Bank of Ireland, Folens, Symantec, Virgin Media, RTE, Deloitte Digital, Salesforce, Dublin City Council and Accenture.

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