YRS Festival of Code 2014

YRS Festival of Code, in partnership with i-DAT and Plymouth University, searches for UK’s top young digital innovators

Summary

The search for a computer genius with the potential to rewrite the future has begun as part of a major national competition being hosted by i-DAT and Plymouth University.

Further detail

Young Rewired State’s sixth annual Festival of Code (running from July 28 to August 3, 2014) will see over 1,000 young people at 50 centres around the country given government data and challenged to develop digital solutions to real-life problems.

They will then showcase their ideas to an elite panel of judges, with heats running at Plymouth University and the great final at Plymouth Pavilions, watched by an expected audience of 2,000 spectators.

The participants – who range in age from 5 to 18 – will be working alongside peers on coding challenges, helped and supported by professional programmers and mentors.

Birgitte Aga, Creative Director at i-DAT, said:

“i-DAT has been a YRS centre for the last three years, and we have seen the impact the Festival has on the drive, confidence, knowledge sharing, networking and enjoyment of young people. This complements the City’s commitment to making Plymouth a place where young people are inspired and supported to realise their aspirations and further connected through the University’s innovative and future facing world class education and research.”

i-DAT has been delivering world class research and cultural activities through experimenting with code and data to build digital prototypes since 1998. The successful bid to host the YRS Festival of Code, also backed by Plymouth City Council, is an endorsement of i-DAT and the University’s international reputation as centres of digital excellence.

It will also offer students of the University’s Digital Art and Technology and Computer Science courses a range of unique experiences which enable them to further their own creativity and potential.

Last year’s Festival of Code saw more than 700 people travel to the weekend finale, with the event also being endorsed by Stephen Fry on Twitter, and this year is set to be even bigger.Previous Festival of Code creations have included the energy league website GovSpark – designed by then 16-year-old Isabell Long, who matched a government pledge to reduce departmental energy usage with the fact those departments published their energy data separately – which was later taken up by Number 10 officials.

Since its inception in 2009, Young Rewired State has grown from just 50 developers to a 1,500-strong network of programmers and has recently expanded to New York, San Francisco and Berlin.

Emma Mulqueeny, CEO of Young Rewired State – a not-for-profit organisation which aims to find and foster young people teaching themselves how to code, said:

“The digital world in which we live is crying out for a workforce with the right skills for the 21st century, and the Festival of Code is an opportunity for young innovators to develop their skills in a creative and collaborative environment. We never fail to be impressed by the calibre of young coders and their creations, and we’re looking forward to seeing what comes from Young Rewired State’s Festival of Code 2014.”

As well as marking the end of the competition, the festival finale on Sunday 3 August will also feature free talks, music and entertainment from experts and celebrities from the digital sphere.