The TECS programme is a nationwide search for Ireland’s most talented students in technology, engineering, creativity and science. TECS is run by the newly established Immersive Software Engineering (ISE) programme and Patch Summer Accelerator. This year we are also grateful for support from the Irish Computer Society.
The inaugural TECS awards ceremony was held at the University of Limerick Concert Hall on the 6th of January 2022. John Collison of Stripe, Patricia Scanlon of Soapbox Labs, Tom McCarty of Patch, UL President, Kerstin Mey and the ISE team of Profs. Stephen Kinsella and Tiziana Margaria were in UL to hand out the awards to the group of talented young students.
Meet the winners
Abutalha Alam from Castletroy College Limerick
Emma Burgess from Dublin’s Wesley College
Jakub Golinski from Creagh College, Wexford, and Daniel McCarthy from Ashton School, Cork.
Abultalha claimed first place prize of €2,000 & €1,000 for his school.
Additional prizes are available, and award winners will attend a special event at UL.
“Whether you’re interested in making an idea happen, or want to pursue an interest in science, tech or business, I’d wholeheartedly recommend taking part in TECS. If I was taking part, I would programme a drone that delivered chips from my local takeaway.”
Bobby Healy, founder of Manna Aero & TECS judge.
ISE is a new computer science degree at UL where you learn by doing. In 4 years, you get an integrated Masters/Bachelors degree and spend half your time getting paid to work in some of the world’s best tech companies. Current 6th Year students can apply now through the CAO.
Patch is a 6 week long summer accelerator for 16 – 21 year olds that want to push the world forward. Supported by Stripe, Dogpatch Labs & some of Ireland’s most successful entrepreneurs, Patch is open to future entrepreneurs, scientists, engineers, designers & technologists.
Yes! You should definitely take part. You might even win a prize – Prizes will be awarded to participants that make the most progress over the 4 weeks, rather than those that start strongest.
TECS is not just for coders. We are looking for anybody working on creating something of their own, whether that’s charitable, mechanical or entrepreneurial. So yes, please do apply!
Of course! You just need to get started on something. Check out the ‘Projects’ section below for some sample ideas and resources. You might already have a project, but not realise it – what do you spend your spare time doing?
No. We are most interested in how you progress with an idea, not the means by which you progress. If your idea is software-based, you will need to code, but you can do many things without learning to code, and there are also many no-code tools you can use. If you don’t code, you could organise events, set up a business, or build something physical.
How much time you spend working on your project is entirely up to you, and each project is different. Some will take 2-3 hours a week, others will require far more than that. Your time commitment depends mainly on how interested you are in working on your project, and how much you want to win a prize. Aside from working on your project, the weekly TECS updates should take you no more than 15 minutes to fill out.
TECS prizes are awarded based on how much progress projects make from week to week. The weekly update is our way of keeping track of your progress. Each week while TECS is running, we’ll send out a form with 2 – 3 questions asking for a very brief update on what you achieved over the week just passed.
Prizes for students range from €2000 to €500 and students’ schools can win between €1000 and €500. Winners will also be invited to a ceremony at UL and receive a trip to Dogpatch Labs in Dublin. Follow-on support will be available for projects too and everyone who completes TECS will get a certificate of completion.
No, TECS is open to solo entries only. If others are working on your project, please mention that in your application.
No, they are separate processes. However, your TECS project can be included in your applications to both ISE and Patch.
Yes, of course.
Yes, if you are in Year 11 or 12.
We’ll ask you for some information on your project when you register for TECS. After you’ve filled out the project details, you just need to submit your weekly update each week for 4 weeks in November, and that’s all! We’ll send you regular reminders to fill out any updates, so don’t worry about missing any of them. The project application is open from October 15th to November 3rd.
Mentors will provide feedback on your project after the first round of progress updates are submitted. You’ll also be able to see some examples of what other people around Ireland are working on, and we’ll share some helpful videos and resources throughout November.
Your project depends entirely on you, but you can’t go wrong with just starting something and seeing how far you get with it. You don’t need a master plan, you just need to start.
If you’re interested in software, think about creating a website, modding a game, or starting an online business. Are you working on a Leaving Cert Technology project, or BT Young Scientist entry? You could use either of those as a TECS project. Check out the projects at Patch.
If you’re struggling to come up with an idea, you might find some inspiration at Coolest Projects, IndieHackers and Frontier. Do you see any day-to-day problems you could solve through technology? In your school? At home? With your friends? Is there a website or app that you think could be improved, like the iPad?
If you’re interested in business, you could start selling something online or locally. It could be a physical good, or you could start writing online, or offer a service. Can you make something and sell that, or provide services for people or businesses? Maybe you like to cook, and could start a food business. Can you teach people how to use a tool or platform? You could run an event, or organise a volunteering initiative.
If you are creative, do you want to write a piece of music (or record an album?), shoot a video, or make a sculpture and document the process. Could you promote your work somehow, or just try out a new way of producing your art? If you are interested in redesigning something, is there a technology/website/building/tool that you can improve?
Are you interested in 3D printing, mechanics, or electronics? There are so many things to build. Do you want to build your own CNC machine, rebuild an engine, or build a squirrel maze? Or maybe you want to start a home lab?
Are you a gamer? What about coming up with a mod for a game, or creating your own one? Is it an online game across a group of friends? How could you improve the experience? Or maybe you want to rethink how we play games and use computers.
All of the above would make good projects. If you have any questions, let us know at [email protected]