Friday, 19 April 2013

CULTURETECH FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES MASSIVE EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMME IN PARTNERSHIP WITH SEAGATE













CultureTECH, the week-long digital festival taking place in Derry-Londonderry this September, has today unveiled a major new addition to its programme which could see over 6000 local schoolchildren taking part in a massive science and technology exhibition.


CultureTECH Junior will take place in The Venue, Ebrington Square from Thursday 12th to Saturday 14th of September. The 12th and 13th will be reserved for access by schools, community organisations and education providers with the 14th open to the public. The organisers are preparing for upwards of 2,000 young people to visit on each of these days. The Festival will host fun and exciting exhibits from international technology companies, globally-recognised organisations like CERN, regional highlights like W5 and a host of local partners.



The programme is being funded through the festival's partnership with Seagate, who this year are celebrating 20 years in Derry-Londonderry, employing over 1300 staff.


Dr Brian Burns, Vice President, Seagate Springtown said:


“Over the course of Seagate's 20 year history in Derry/Londonderry, we have invested heavily in the development and training of our people and in technology to ensure that we stay at the leading edge of our industry. We have also always acknowledged that the ability to attract a high calibre workforce has been and will continue to be, a key element to our success. With that in mind, we have, over the last two decades, developed an extensive schools outreach programme with a strong focus on promoting the STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths) subjects--disciplines from which we draw a high proportion of our recruits. We're proud to say that the combined elements of that programme reach in excess of 1,200 students each year.”


“We believe that CultureTECH Junior will perfectly complement our STEM promotion efforts, bringing an exciting range of science and technology activities, exhibits and hands-on learning opportunities to thousands of young people and inspiring them to investigate and pursue the many exciting career options available in these fields." he added


One of the major highlights of the programme will be the first visit to Northern Ireland of TeenTech, which will bring major technology companies to the city to meet and work with some 600 teens across two days. Speaking ahead of the launch, co-founder of TeenTech, Maggie Philbin – who is also co-presenter of ‘Bang Goes the Theory’ on the BBC and a former Tomorrow's World presenter – said:


“We are thrilled to bring TeenTech to Northern Ireland and very proud to be part of CultureTECH. There are exciting opportunities for young people in dynamic science, technology and engineering companies and we want to make sure they understand how they can be part of this world. TeenTech is a chance for Northern Ireland to inspire the innovators of the future, to show teenagers the skills they need . TeenTech is a collaborative event, so if your company would like to be involved, just let us know! "


CultureTECH Junior will culminate on Saturday, September 14th with an enormous Coder Dojo event, which will bring together 500 young people for an afternoon learning software code. Coder Dojo is a voluntary movement which each weekend teaches thousands of kids from around the globe to write software code. The event at CultureTECH Junior is thought to be one of the biggest Coder Dojos ever planned.




W5, who will also be participating in the events in the Venue added:


“W5 is delighted to support CultureTECH Junior - interactive and innovative events like CultureTECH offer an invaluable opportunity for young people to see the variety of careers available within the digital technology, science, engineering and arts sectors right here in Northern Ireland. It supports what we have been pioneering at W5 for over 12 years now. We believe that engaging bright young minds in the science of everything is vital to safeguard the competitiveness of our economy for the future and we will continue efforts to educate and inspire students by introducing them to the many available opportunities and career choices. “


CultureTECH Junior is being curated in partnership with School Employer Connection with additional support from the University of Ulster and urban regeneration company ILEX. In addition to the exhibitions and events taking place in the Venue, from Monday 9th to Wednesday 11th, the University of Ulster, Magee Campus, will host a number of exciting science, technology and engineering workshops.


School groups and community organisations can register their interest in CultureTECH Junior by contacting School Employer Connections on 02871 364656 or by email to CTJ@seconnections.org