YRS Festival of Code

Young people with a keen eye for coding are competing in a national competition taking place across the country this week.

i-DAT, the Institute of Digital Art and Technology at Plymouth University, is a host centre for the Young Rewired State Festival of Code, which will see under-19s presented with real world problems and challenged to address them through their self-taught hacking skills.

They will be supported by YRS’ team of experts to help them create websites, prototypes and inventive applications, alongside peers with the same passion for coding.

i-DAT will then host the grand finale of the festival, with each of the 58 centres across the UK descending on Plymouth from Friday 01 August to Sunday 03 August.

During the weekend, around 1,000 youngsters will have the chance to present their designs to a panel of high-profile judges and meet fellow peers.

Chris Hunt, centre lead at i-DAT, which is the Festival of Code host with Plymouth University, said:

“We’re delighted to be opening the doors of i-DAT at Plymouth University this summer and host the Festival of Code. This really is a fantastic event, and an invaluable one in giving the next generation platform to enhance their skills for the future and collaborate with the best in the digital industry. We look forward to seeing what projects come out of Plymouth this year and helping these talented young people in this exciting journey they’re on.”

As well as the competition, Young Rewired State has also put together an impressive line-up of guest speakers, who will be present on the Friday to share their own experiences from within the technology sector. Confirmed speakers include leader of the Hour of Code in the UK Avid Larizadeh, musician and CEO of Interlude Yoni Bloch and George Mpanga, also known as George the Poet.

This year's Festival of Code will also see the launch of a new collaboration between YRS and American Express. The ‘Hyperlocal’ programme will pledge to continue engagement between the kids and their centres after the Festival ends on 03 August.

This will include a number of follow up sessions whereby the youngsters can continue to develop the prototypes they created at the festival of code, continue to connect with their peers and have access to a number of resources to help them along the way.

Emma Mulqueeny, CEO Young Rewired State, said:

“Young Rewired State’s ambition is to find and foster every child driven to teach themselves to code. Connect them to each other, and a community of mentors, to solve real world problems through open data. The Festival of Code is our annual week-long celebration. It provides these young people with an environment that emboldens their passion for coding and programming. It gives them a chance to work in partnership with their coding peers, learn from the experts and create new digital solutions to problems we all face! The week will be very hands on with plenty of data to get stuck into, as well as the chance to hear from some top speakers from across the industry. We can’t wait to visit Plymouth this year and celebrate the nation’s young coding talent once again – we are urging youngsters all across the area to sign up and join us this for what will be a week of fun, hacks and challenges.”