Worried young people are spending too much time online or on computer games? Well, did you know games such as Minecraft are actually teaching them the basics in computer programming and managing servers? Or Hopscotch explains how to code through interactive games?
Teenagers here with a talent and interest in the technology and creative industries are being urged to develop those skills now – and follow in the footsteps of our most influential tech entrepreneurs.
16-17 year olds across the province are being called on by the Northern Ireland Science Park to snap up their place at their Generation Innovation Night of Ambition at St George's Market in Belfast on 18 March 2015.
This action packed evening, this year hosted by Radio 1 DJ Phil Taggart, sees young people, who have been nominated by their schools and colleges, meet our top innovators, including Kyle Gawley of Get Invited and Clare Colhoun of 8over8.
Generation Innovation Programme Manager, Claire Burgoyne explains: 'This event is not designed for our young people to just sit and listen to speakers tell their stories of how they got to where they are today.
'In fact, it's really an opportunity for them to get up close and personal, and have one-on-one chats with some of our most successful local tech talent. It's interactive, it's dynamic and they'll be able to ask all the questions they want answers to.'
At last year's Night of Ambition, hundreds of teenagers were treated to a live Skype chat with none other than Twitter co-founder, Jack Dorsey, who works with Northern Ireland expat Sarah Friar.
Claire Burgoyne continued: 'Each attendee becomes a member of our Generation Innovation programme, so they’ll have more opportunities to participate in other projects and events to really develop that interest further. We’ve over 50 of our local entrepreneurs attending so the chance to network with them is incredible.'
Generation Innovation is looking for those 16 – 17 year olds most likely to succeed in the new knowledge economy, such as engineers, scientists, gamers, App developers, programmers, designers, creatives or budding entrepreneurs.
There are only a few days left to enter so parents, schools and colleges are asked to nominate teenagers with the most promising potential before 20 February 2015. Students may also ‘self-nominate’.
Send the names of nominees, their favourite subjects and a few lines outlining the reasons for the applications to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit www.generationinnovation.co.uk