Calling All Irish Educators - This is your Call to Code!

In eight weeks time a very exciting event is taking place at Google’s European HQ in Dublin. An event that last year saw forty of Ireland’s best young programmers compete in the final stage of Google’s national coding competition.

Running for its second successful year, Google’s ‘Call to Code’ competition is now scouring the country, looking for inspired students to learn, compete and have a heap of fun with coding. Whether your school is looking for the right opportunity to introduce programming, a goal for Hour of Code week, or you have a number of talented techies looking to strut their stuff, ‘Call to Code’ is an amazing opportunity to inspire a love of programming with the backing and support of one of the world’s most innovative and influential tech companies.

Who can take part in ‘Call to Code’?

‘Call to Code’ is a completely FREE competition open to all students in the Republic of Ireland aged between 13 and 18. No matter if your students are first-time programmers or expert coders, the competition caters for all levels with the first phase of the competition giving students resources to learn and develop their programming skills. Whether in it to win or to just take first steps into programming, the incentive of prizes and to be part of an event hosted by Google is one of the best opportunities around!

Last year more than 2,500 second­-level students registered for the competition, with 1,374 competing in the initial online round. From that group, forty students qualified and were invited to compete at the final event at Google HQ in Dublin.

What’s involved in ‘Call to Code’?

Registration for the event is now open and closes on November 23rd. To compete, students must sign-up through their teacher and obtain parental consent. We are really encouraging educators to push this event in their own schools as part of STEM learning, computer science or just as an amazingly good opportunity to get students coding.

During the first phase of the competition, students learn the basics of coding and develop their computer science skills, with the support of their teachers during class time, at lunch-time ‘Call to Code’ clubs, or at home with family and friends. Students then have the option of competing in a friendly contest, which will include both logic puzzles and programming tasks designed for junior level and senior level cycles. You can learn more about the specifics of the competition here.

Round one of the competition will take place on 25th November between 8am and 11:59pm with students taking part online by visiting the ‘Call to Code’ site. The top 20 scorers in each age category will advance to the final round taking place during Hour of Code week on 9th December at Google HQ in Dublin.

‘Call to Code’ prizes

Student prizes

All students who submit at least one correct and complete answer will receive a participation certificate from Google (that’s actually very cool in itself). Prizes for students who are successful in the competition include Makey Makey kits, Google Play Store vouchers and the winner of the final round in Google HQ will receive a brand new Google Chromebook!

Teacher prizes

Yes, you read that correctly! The teachers who are able to register the most students in each category of Juniors and Seniors will win a Chromebook computer lab for their school, which includes ten Chromebooks for each winner.

How to register your school and students

Registration is already open and closing on 23rd November. Getting involved is simple:

  1. Register your school and sign up your students
  2. Learn the basics and develop the skills
  3. Code in the online competition on 25th November
  4. Win great prizes from Google

Links and resources


Feature image adapted from image courtesy of Flickr, Riebart and Google.

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