Junior Spiders continue to weave their web of success

Technology | Mon 25 Apr | Author – Business & Finance
eir Junior Spider Awards
Pictured receiving the eir Junior Spiders Award for ‘Best Group Project’ is Jade Lynch and Aoife Taite from Our Lady’s School, Terenure with group project AJ’s Garden

The 2016 eir Junior Spiders Award winners were announced at a ceremony at Croke Park, Dublin today.

Hosted by RTE’s Aidan Power, the Awards recognise and reward youths and young adults aged 4 to 19 for the innovative ways in which they use the internet, especially around website coding, development and design.

Established in 2009, and now a favourite with schools and CoderDojo clubs across the country, the eir Junior Spiders Awards was originally conceived by Business & Finance Media Group and has been supported over the years by main sponsors, eir.

The aim of the Awards is to acknowledge the innovation amongst web creators and to provide them with an exciting programme that will encourage further development of their technology skills in web design. As with previous years, the Awards have provided a springboard for students who wish to pursue a career in this sector by offering access to influential business executives.

There are three categories in the eir Junior Spider Awards. The Mega Spiders (aged 4 to 12 years), which has three sub-categories, Best Individual Project, Best Group Project and Creative Web Coding.

For older children, aged 13 to 15, there is The Giga Spiders and for students from 16 to 19, there is The Tera Spiders. The Giga and Tera Spiders reward students under the sub-categories: Best Group Project, Best Individual Project, Best Concept, Best Web Design, Creative Web Coding and the Suiomh Is Fearr awards the students with the best site using the Irish language.

Each age division is also presented with an overall Grand Prix winner, those who have excelled in their field.

John Anslow, sponsorship manager, eir said: “The eir Junior Spiders Awards is a really exciting initiative that celebrates the most enquiring minds and best ideas out there. I’m forever amazed at the calibre of entries and sheer hard work and creativity that goes into the entries. The fact that they come from some of the youngest and most talented people is really inspiring.

He continued: “For us in eir, this is a perfect fit and we hope to continue this relationship well into the future. The reason we created these awards was to highlight how primary and post primary students embrace the internet; creating innovative products, services and solutions that ‘all things digital’ into your school and home lives. Having seen first-hand the talent and sheer brilliance of some of the entries I can honestly say you have very bright futures ahead of you.”

This year saw the largest number of entries ever submitted, from over 25 counties across Ireland. The standard of entries was also the highest it has ever been with the majority of the winning sites being hand-coded.

The Grand Prix Winners for this year are:

Mega Spider (Aged 4-12 years) – Cool STEAM Kids, The Teresian School, Dublin 4

Cool STEAM Kids is an app and website encouraging kids to try out science, technology, engineering, art and maths (STEAM). It is available to download in the Google app store or by visiting www.coolsteamkids.com. The app is designed to encourage 10 to 15 year olds to try out STEAM. This in turn will bridge the skills gap that currently exists. This site was hand-coded using HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

Giga Spider (Aged 13-15 years)Gaeilge Iontach, Midleton College, Co. Cork

Gaeilge Iontach is designed to make learning Irish more enjoyable for primary school students. It utilises games, audio, images and graphics to present vocabulary in a new, exciting and entertaining way. It is designed to be used at home and in schools, across a range of devices, such as iPads, laptops, etc. Each topic has a list of vocabulary with images and audio pronunciation. There are also games based on each topic. Gaeilge Iontach was created with HTML and CSS and uses the Bootstrap framework. The games were developed in JavaScript and use the Phaser library.

Tera Spider (Aged 16-19 years) – VT Networks, CoderDojo Athlone, Westmeath

This project was developed for an IoT start-up. It was custom designed and built from scratch using HTML, CSS and JavaScript.


For further details on the winning entries, visit www.juniorspiders.ie.

To view a gallery from the event, click here.