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Coláiste Bhaile Chláir in Claregalway is among the first schools in Ireland to benefit from specialist teacher training in coding, aided by the donation of development boards by computing innovation world leader Intel.

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Over fifty junior cycle teachers, who will be among the first to teach the new Junior Cycle short course in Coding, spent a day exploring the subject at the Intel Ireland Campus in Leixlip this weekend.

The nineteen schools participating in this initiative, including Coláiste Bhaile Chláir, were chosen from over 120 entries from post-primary schools nationwide, with participating teachers receiving two days of initial training, and further online and regional support.

Intel has also made a donation of 900 Galileo Gen 2 Boards and teacher kits to the nineteen post-primary schools.

The training day and donation are part of a collaborative initiative between Intel Ireland, Lero—the Irish Software Research Centre—and Junior Cycle 2015.

Students will engage in technology and design-related activities with the use of these state-of-the-art resources.

“This donation will support schools in this innovative and exciting Coding project, which we hope will product Ireland’s Innovators of the future,” said Paul Phelan, Public Affairs Operations Manager, Intel.

“Intel Ireland are delighted to give students an insight into technology, and allow the development of both logical and digital skill in a fun, collaborative, and innovative learning environment.

“These digital skills are vital if Ireland, and indeed Europe, is to address the coding skills shortage which has led to in excess of 500,000 open job postings across the continent in 2015.”

Participating teachers enjoyed specific training at the event to support their exploration of this new learning area in their schools. Both Intel Ireland and Lero support JCT in this work.

“A career in computing can be interesting and creative. This project will allow students to take the first steps in exploring this potential,” said Clare McInerney, who is Education and Outreach Manager in Lero.

“We are very happy to help build capacity in schools to provide inventive short courses like Coding to their students.”

Further information on this initiative can be found at the JCT website www.jct.ie.