Over 400 young people attended the national Tech Féile showcase and awards event

Wednesday 4th March 2020: Shannon Airport became the showcase for some of the country’s top young digital media, music and 3D Design talent as well as a world record attempt when some 400 students gather for the fourth annual Camara Ireland’s Tech Féile on March 4th.

Ireland’s largest Irish language tech event, Tech Féile showcases young people’s achievements in inventive Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths (STEAM) and Digital Media. All schools and clubs present on Wednesday have taken part in Camara Ireland’s hugely successful TechSpace programme, enhancing the STEAM and digital media experience for young people. Activities saw students exhibit their work and take part in interactive workshops as well as being inspired by guest speakers and live performances.

Speaking at the event, the Minister of State for the Gaeltacht, the Gaeltacht and the Islands, Senator Seán Kyne said “I very much welcome the interest shown by young people in the TechSpace Programme and the opportunity it gives teenagers to develop their imagination and creativity and to use Irish as the language of communication. This project gives young people the opportunity to be active in the creation of digital and technology content. This helps them to develop self-confidence as well as develop social skills and mobility, which will last them for life."

Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen TD said: “I am delighted to have been at Tech Féile, a festival for young people to showcase their innovation and creativity in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, through the medium of the Irish language. There wass a great atmosphere here with over 400 students from Gaeltacht areas engaging in a variety of interactive workshops and exhibitions. The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation supports this engagement through Science Foundation Ireland. I am confident that the event will empower and inspire the students to consider careers in STEM subjects.”

Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) funds the Tech Feile project. Dr Ruth Freeman, Director of Science for Society, SFI said “Science Foundation Ireland is delighted to sponsor Tech Feile as part of the STEM as Gaeilge agus Cant project, the largest funded project to date under the SFI Discover Programme. Tech Feile is one of the leading Irish language events for young people in Ireland, showcasing the application of STEM through music, digital media, as well as showing practical applications such as technology used by air traffic control and the gardai.  The event offers a novel mix of activities including live performances, interactive workshops, games and the opportunity for students to exhibit their own work.”

Celebrating the progress of the TechSpace programme we will be undertaking an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest buzz wire! A buzz wire is a steady hand game that is well known to many as a tabletop amusement. Measuring over 17 metres long and inspired by the aviation theme, the giant buzz kit features as a centre-piece at Tech Féile.

Speaking of the event, Séamus Ó Fátharta, Clár TechSpace Coordinator, Camara Education Ireland said: “Camara Ireland are delighted at the turnout at Tech Féile in Shannon Airport. It is inspiring to see so many young people here today, showcasing their work and taking part in the workshops on offer. The TechSpace programme is growing and evolving year-on-year, and this was our largest event yet with over 400 students from Gaeltacht schools around the country present. The programme wouldn’t be possible without the support of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, and Science Foundation Ireland. Special thanks to Shannon Airport for hosting and sponsoring the event.” 

MCing the event, TG4 presenter Micheál Ó Ciaraidh and SPIN South West presenter Louise Cantillon kept audiences engaged leading the event. Over 30 workshops are took place, offering students the opportunity to learn first-hand from creative industries representatives present. Among the workshops that took place, TG4 hosted a weather workshop complete with green screen, Shannon Airport hosted an aviation workshop, Radió Rí-Rá offered students a hands-on approach to podcast creation.

Kindly hosting Tech Féile on the day, Shannon Airport provided an inspirational location, offering students a chance to see first-hand the benefits of STEAM in a professional setting and the many career opportunities in this field.  Welcoming the event Rachael Leahy, Shannon Group, who took part in the event said: “We are rooted in our community and as such were delighted to make the airport available for an event which celebrates the creative talents of young people in the STEAM and digital media space.”