Posted on Thursday 1 October 2015 by Ulster Business
Gareth Quinn, Founder Digital DNA, Josh Patterson, pupil from INST College, Lord Mayor Arder Carson and Dr Rochelle O'Hara, Director Sentinus Projects at the launch of Digital DNA at the City Hall Belfast. Picture: Elaine Hill
Thousands of school children from across Northern Ireland are in with the chance of winning a once in a lifetime trip to Silicon Valley as part of the Digital Futures Programme, which will culminate at Belfast City Hall on October 14th.
The Digital Futures Programme is part of Digital DNA 2015 – a series of events that promotes the benefits of technology to businesses in Northern Ireland with the aim of helping them grow locally and internationally.
As part of the Digital Futures Programme, a roadshow is currently working its way around Northern Ireland to help pupils to consider the challenges facing consumers and business and explore how digital technology can provide a solution.
The local schools will take their completed ideas to Digital Futures on October 14th, where they’ll present to some of the world’s leading digital thinkers from companies like Google, Fujitsu, and Coderdojo.
The top two teams, chosen by the expert panel, will travel to San Francisco and London later this year. Stanford University and Google’s HQ in Silicon Valley are just two of the locations that await the winners, while the London-bound team will include a visit to Facebook and Google’s UK headquarters.
Digital DNA Founder Gareth Quinn said: “The Digital Futures Programme will build on the success of previous years to inspire our young people to become involved in computer programming, software development and digital design at a range of levels. But more than that, pupils will gain a real sense of achievement and an understanding of the fulfilment that can be achieved through innovation and entrepreneurship.
Digital Futures is operated in partnership with Sentinus, an educational charity promoting engagement in STEM and Young Enterprise, a charity developing the entrepreneurial skills and aspirations of young people aged 4 to 25
Belfast’s Lord Mayor Arder Carson said he was delighted that City Hall would be the venue for the event.
“It is great to see local young people engaging with programmes such as this to help develop their digital skills and knowledge. Congratulations to all involved in organising this event. I wish it every success,” he said.
Sentinus Director Bill Connor added: “The tasks we're setting will open up the power of digital media to a whole new generation of business leaders. This is a fantastic opportunity for young people to experience all aspects of digital and work directly with industry leaders. “
With sponsors including Aer Lingus, MCS Recruitment, IEDR and TotalMobile, the programme will engage pupils between the ages of 12 and 17 years and will involve up to 1,200 pupils from secondary schools across Northern Ireland.
For further information about the full Digital DNA programme log on to www.digitaldna.org.uk or @DigitalDNAHQ