Donegal TD Joe McHugh, Minister of State with responsibility for the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands, announced today that he has sanctioned a grant of €283,347 for Camara Ireland to further develop the Clár TechSpace project.
The Clár TechSpace project is a national project that aims to impact the lives of young people by becoming Ireland’s leading creative technology network for outcome focused youth development through the medium of Irish.
The expansion of the programme will open it up to schools and youth organisations in Donegal.
TechSpace is a national network of digital media spaces in youth centres and schools.
The network helps young people to create digital and technological material as they engage in activities such as digital film, web design, mobile app development and robotics, among others.
Under the direction of trained instructors and mentors, young people can enhance their computer competency, while improving their self-confidence and social skills.
Launched in Connacht in 2015, the Clár TechSpace team is currently working with schools and youth clubs in Connacht and Munster.
The funding announced today will allow this work to continue in both provinces, with an increased emphasis on developing the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) disciplines. Additionally, work will commence with a view to rolling the programme out to Ulster and Leinster.
A major addition this year is a new event, Tech Féile, which will celebrate the work of the young people participating in Clár TechSpace.
Speaking today, Minister of State McHugh said “I was delighted to launch the Clár TechSpace project in 2015, as I recognised the positive impact it could have on young people’s lives, and the opportunity it would afford them to develop their technology skills through Irish. It is heartening to see the progress that has been made by the project since then as it expanded from Connacht into Munster, and I welcome the news that work will commence this year to begin rolling it out in Ulster and Leinster.
“I am particularly pleased with the development of Tech Féile, a major new event in collaboration with TG4, which will highlight the work being done by young people through the medium of Irish in the Clár TechSpace programme.
“A full day of events is being planned with workshops, exhibitions, guest speakers, music and prizes and I’m sure it will be a great success. As we celebrate Bliain na Gaeilge 2018, it is particularly apt that we celebrate the innovative work being undertaken by the next generation of Irish speakers in this programme.”
Clar TechSpace background
At present 11 schools and youth organisations are taking part in Connacht, nine in Munster and one in Leinster.
The programme began in Connacht and Munster and one school in Leinster took part after applying at the pilot stage.
Schools and youth organisations in Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan and in Leinster can apply in the autumn to take part. Training of teachers is expected to take place in early 2019.