On Monday, 5th February, principals, teachers, guidance teachers and a very small number of students from the 40 pilot post-primary schools who will start to teach Computer Science in September 2018 were invited to the official NCCA launch in Dublin.
Ms. Gordon, Mr. Culliney, Mr. Fennell, Ms O'Kelly, along with students Jakob Miller (TY), Rachel Murphy (2nd Year), Katie Wilcoxson (2nd Year) and Finn Nankivell (2nd Year). Richard Bruton, Minister for Education and Skills spoke at the launch. Professor Brendan Tangney gave the keynote address and will also be talking at Stratford's official launch of teaching Computer Science at 7pm on Thursday, 8th March. All are welcome to attend.
Finn and Rachel write of their impressions of the day:
I was originally surprised to have been invited to the launch of the Computer Studies leaving cert course, but I just went with the flow anyway. The talks at the start were interesting, but being a student, I didn’t have much interest in the Teacher Training course, the other talks were more interesting.
Finn Nankivell (2nd Year)
On the 5th of February, me and three other students arrived at the Alexander Hotel for the opening conference for Leaving Cert Computer Science. Following pastries and tea, we sat down for the opening words of the event. After some very interesting talks from computer scientists, and an assassination attempt on a MacBook (ed: water was spilled by accident on the computer - all was saved), we retired for lunch.
The students then took part in a coding workshop, in which my group made a birthday cake with an LED candle that plays an oddly melancholy chiptune rendition of "Happy Birthday" and a screen that displayed the text "Happy birthday!" In bright red. If I'm going to be totally frank, we had no idea what we were doing, but the result was a brand new (if not slightly underwhelming) way to celebrate someone's birthday.
It was really interesting, and I'm thankful that our school gets the privilege of participating in this monumental new subject being introduced.
Rachel Murphy (2nd Year)