European Digital Girl of the Year 2016

Niamh Scanlon

My name is Niamh, I go to CoderDojo in DCU and I mentor the CoderDojo Scratch and CoderDojo Girls sessions. I’ve been coding at CoderDojo since I was 9 years old and I’m 13 now. As well as coding I like gaelic football, baking, piano, swimming and drama.

**** NO REPRODUCTION FEE **** 8/06/2014 : DUBLIN : Coding whizzkids came in their droves to DCU this weekend to demo a dizzying array of cool and imaginative coding ideas at the CoderDojo Coolest Projects awards ceremony. The Coolest Projects Awards, now in its third year, is an opportunity for members of local coding clubs or dojos to showcase the application of the skills and knowledge they have gained from attending their weekly coding sessions.  The event has gone from strength to strength each year with 250 projects being presented on Saturday to an expert judging panel. Our founding partner Intel came back on board with their support for the awards by providing the belts and prizes.  The support from Liberty Global, parent company of UPC and the largest international cable company, allowed the CoderDojo to increase the reach of the event to include projects from dojos in the UK, the Netherlands, Poland and Romania. Picture Conor McCabe Photography. MEDIA CONTACT : Gráinne Mooney, Dublin City University T: +353 1 700 8518 E: grainne.mooney@dcu.ieMy favourite thing about CoderDojo is that you can create anything, no idea is too big or too small! CoderDojo is a great place to learn how to code because everyone is so nice and you learn things in a really fun way. When my mum found out about CoderDojo she thought it would be good to give it a try. Going in I didn’t know anything about coding at all, but from the first day I loved CoderDojo!

Coolest Projects 2014 was brilliant! I presented my project, reCharge My eCar, an app that shows where all the charging points for electric cars (ecars) in Ireland are and whether someone is using each one, so you don’t have to wait in a queue for a few hours! Coolest Projects 2014 was a two day event, on Saturday the competition was held and on the Sunday we got talks from some people that worked in cool businesses, like Brown Bag Films. reCharge My eCar won its category in the Coolest Projects 2014 and in 2015 it won 2 Eircom Junior Spiders!

Check out the website for the app here.


Coolest Projects 2015 was even bigger…and even better! In 2015 the Coolest Project Awards were held in the RDS and there were so many entries. I got to speak on the Innovators Stage about my project, Auto-Journalist. Auto-Journalist is an app that is for people to contact each other using videos even if they live in different time zones or are very busy.

outbox-photoDuring the summer I got the chance to take part in the very first Outbox Incubator. Outbox Incubator is a programme for girls between the age of 11-22 that is run in London. Girls from all over Europe stay in a huge house together and get talks from people about marketing, pitching, coding etc. I went over toOutbox Incubator with my app, reCharge My eCar. It was lots of fun and not only did I get to learn loads about STEM and running a business, I got to knit, do yoga, go on day trips, watch Pretty Little Liars and much more!

Recently I went to Amsterdam for an Appathon, there I worked on my app, Auto-Journalist. It was a brilliant day, I got to add to Auto-Journalist and I got lots of freebies!

From CoderDojo and the Coolest Projects I have had so many opportunities including – talking at the WebSummit 2014, getting a tour of Brown Bag Films (animation company), talking to CoderDojos in Cork, being a Hackathon Hero at Girls Hack Ireland, speaking at the launch of Inspirefest and going to the Eircom Junior Spiders!

inspirefest2015I think all kids my age should be coding, it’s so much fun and your imagination is the limit! Coding helps you understand all the effort that goes into an app, website or game like Angry Birds, Instagram or Minecraft.

My advice to any girls who might be intimidated at the thought of coding is GO FOR IT! Give it a try, coding is a great skill to have for the future, because soon code and technology will be everywhere!!!