TechSpace @ Web Summit

Last year Tim Campos, the CIO of Facebook, gave us what he called, ‘maybe the strangest interview I’ve ever done’.

Jamie Heaslip, Irish and Leinster Rugby star, promised to knock Tony Hawk off his skateboard for us.

Oh, and we also met Web Summit’s first ever talking horse.

“We” are TechSpace, and, thanks to the incredible support of Electric Ireland and Web Summit, we’re doing it all again in 2014!

TechSpace is an open educational movement for young people, hosted by the social enterprise Camara Ireland.

It is based on the Computer Clubhouse model of learning developed by Media Lab @ Massachusetts Institute of Technology. ‘Learn by doing’ is at the core of TechSpace.

Young people actively learn through inquiry-based projects in creative media (film, animation, photography, graphic design) and STEM (coding, robotics, electronics, 3D printing).

Inspirational educators and volunteers provide mentoring and guidance to help young people realise their ideas and execute projects.

To date we’ve established over 50 TechSpace sites across the island of Ireland through a brilliant network of partner youth organisations including Foróige, YMCA, City of Dublin Youth Service Board, and the National Youth Council of Ireland.

At Web Summit this year we’re highlighting the power of mentorship. Each day two teams of young people will be handed a challenge, to conceptualise and pitch a tech product that will address a social problem in Ireland.

Throughout the day they’ll go through the full process of product development, from brainstorming and conceptualising, to storyboarding, body storming and UX testing.

The best bit? They will be supported by ‘Speed Mentoring’ sessions from inspirational Web Summit speakers at various points throughout the process.

At the end of the day each team will be invited on stage to showcase their pitch video and answer some questions on how they went about developing their product idea.

You can get involved too, come down to our Stand and wander into the middle of the action, be accosted by a young TechSpacer on the floor of the RDS and help them with their research, problem solving, or idea testing. You can even sign yourself up to give a 10-20 minute Speed Mentoring throughout the day!

Oh, and Tony Hawk? You had better watch your back dude!

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