Leitrim and Westmeath primary schools reach national finals of ‘Ireland’s Future is Mine’ digital skills competition

Two primary schools are celebrating today having made it to the All-Ireland final of Ireland’s first national digital skills competition, Ireland’s Future is MINE. The competition is being delivered through a collaboration between Microsoft Ireland and RTÉjr. St Hugh’s National School from Leitrim and Moyvore Primary School from Westmeath successfully progressed through the various stages of the competition, which challenges students to think creatively, collaborate and problem-solve as they re-imagine their communities and shape Ireland’s sustainable future through the world of Minecraft.

First announced in September, the Ireland’s Future is MINE digital skills competition challenges primary school students in both Ireland and Northern Ireland to use Minecraft: Education Edition to build critical 21st century skills by exploring fun challenges such as building their own NASA rover and coding their very own polar ice hut. These are challenges aligned to curricula covering subjects from English and Maths to Science, Geography and SPHE.

Delivered by Microsoft Ireland’s Dream Space teachers on Dream Space TV in collaboration with RTEjr, the are designed both to support teachers to deliver digital learning experiences in the classroom and inspire students to think creatively and encourage them to think of the possibilities within STEM now and into the future.

Having successfully progressed through the semifinals, St Hugh’s National School and Moyvore Primary School will now compete in the All-Ireland final, which will be televised in June in a never-before-seen e-sports-style exclusive programme.

Commenting on the competition, James O’Connor, Vice President of Microsoft International Operations, said: “At Microsoft, we’re passionate about ensuring students are given the opportunity to develop the essential skills that are required to fully participate in our digital economy and society. The ‘Ireland’s Future is Mine’ digital skills competition is designed to do just that while encouraging students to have fun, think creatively and re-imagine a more sustainable future for the communities they live in.

“We are so proud to see this vision realised in the form of the many innovative submissions we have received from schools around the country. I want to congratulate the Microsoft Education team and RTEjr for their passionate work in bringing this competition to life and St Hugh’s National School and Moyvore Primary School for their dedication and commitment to creating such compelling entries.”

Suzanne Kelly, RTÉ Group Head of Children’s & Young People’s Content, said: “Congratulations to St Hugh’s National School and Moyvore Primary School for advancing to the All-Ireland final! We have been blown away by the incredible creations that have been built in primary school classrooms across the island of Ireland since September. We should take a moment to say well done and thank you to all the teachers and pupils who signed up and submitted their work. The ‘Ireland’s Future is MINE’ competition has challenged primary schools across the country and provided students a fun and innovative platform by which to amaze us. We are very proud to have been there to assist them in shaping Ireland’s sustainable future with Microsoft’s Dream Space team and we can’t wait to see what innovations we’ll see next in the final!”

Microsoft Dream Space TV episodes and a full range of accompanying teacher guides containing direct links to specific curriculum areas, worksheets and extension tasks are available at https://Rte.ie/Minecraft.

St Hugh’s National School’s winning submission can be viewed at https://youtu.be/fiBt3NX_Qms.

Moyvore Primary School’s winning submission can be viewed at https://youtu.be/T8wbL1OCMSk.

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Andrew Naughtie

News reporter and author at @websalespromo