The ICT Learning Centre is involved in the organisation, management and implementation of the following initiatives and events.
The ICT Learning Centre organises, mentors and supports UL student involvement in national and international ICT related student competitions. This is an exciting avenue for student further learning which allows individuals and groups to compete against their peers from other institutions and enables them to engage with their future industry peers and network with potential employers. The main competitions in question are:
This is a 1st year programming competition. The premise is to code in the Java programming language the logic for a small graphical tank that will engage in battle within an arena with other competitor robot tanks. The robot tank needs to be smart enough to avoid being hit, while inflicting hits on its competitors and capable of moving around the arena without any kind of manual control. The competitions intention is to allow students extend their early stage programming capabilities and knowledge of artificial intelligence and machine learning. Our students have consistently performed very well in this competition including being the overall competition winners in 2010.
This competition recognises the importance and indigenous growth within the games software development sector of the IT industry with both Microsoft and Activision Publishing, inc. sponsoring this competition. The premise of the competition is for a 3 member undergraduate team to use the theme of a well known computer game (e.g. PacMan) and create an original adaptation of this game. The teams adapted game is designed within the Microsoft Games Studio development framework using the C# programming language. All entrants games are displayed and judged in March each year at the Games Fleadh held in LIT-Tipperary and the judging panel is made up of varied gaming industry professionals who also deliver talks at this convention related to their aspects of the gaming industry..
This is a logic and programming based competition open to both undergraduate and postgraduate teams. The focus is on problem solving, ability to apply mathematical solutions and correct implementation of solutions within a programming language of the teams choice (from a competition defined list of programming languages). Teams are made up of 3 members and can include members from a non IT area (e.g. maths). The competition day consists of each team competing against all other entrant teams (from UL and other institutions) to solve a series of 8 problems as accurately and quickly as possible over a duration of 4 hours with prizes being awarded to the top 3 teams.
The ICT Learning Centre developed and implemented various ICT camps for secondary school students to inform and engage this student group of the core concepts and subjects relevant towards their future studies in ICT related areas. The following are the main initiatives that we have implemented over the last number of years for these potential ICT students.
These summer camps aim is to foster interest and engage secondary level students between 13 and 16 years of age in ICT subjects. The camps are ran with a focus on fostering problem solving and building teamwork within an ICT context. Three camps of 3 days duration are ran each July and August. Each camp has 6 different ICT themed sessions which are:
- Introduction to robotics and programming using Lego Mindstorm robots
- Introduction to Electronics
- Programming using Scratch – A visually interact programming starter set
- Programming using Greenfoot – A Java graphical programming environment
- Arduinos/Sensors – using embedded code to generate sound and solutions
- Music – An introduction to composing music using computers.
The UL Cybercamps have been ran each summer since 2010, catering for in excess of 60 students per camp.
From summer 2013, an additional Cybercamp presented and taught through the Irish language has been implemented aimed at fostering interest within students of the Irish language in ICT disciplines.
An introductory ICT camp targeted at transition year students which is run over the Christmas holidays was introduced in 2013. The camp content being of a more advanced nature than the above CyberCamp and catering for in excess of 25 students which have shown an interest in acquiring additional ICT skills during their transition year.