Registrations are now open for schools and students to take part in this year’s Young ICT Explorers.
My own kids have participated in YICTE for four years now – in fact they pop up in the video below. They’ve also won or placed in the State competitions for each of those four years – which has undoubtedly enthused them and led to them following their ideas and creating things that would otherwise have remained just a passing thought. I say that, not just because I’m proud of my kids, but because it explains that what I’m about to say is not a function of retrieving something from my kids not winning: The best thing about YICTE is not the competition.
The true greatness of YICTE lies in wandering about and seeing so many geeky kids doing so much cool stuff.
The competition with its lure of prizes certainly gives kids a goal which encourages them to put that extra effort into getting an idea off the conceptual drawing board and out into reality. In turn that sees hundreds upon hundreds of kids from around the country making things, finding solutions to problems, being creative – and that has to be a good thing.
The main thing YICTE provides is an audience who comprehend what the kids have achieved and who are excited about it. That audience is partly the judges but mostly the other kids at the YICTE event. One of the problems with making technical things is that people often don’t appreciate what’s involved – so parents will, for example, congratulate a student on the colourful paint job on their invention, not realising that the really clever stuff is the thousands of lines of coding or the wiring behind the scenes. A day at YICTE provides an audience that really gets what’s involved and is thrilled by it.
Going to the YICTE judging days is a truly inspirational experience filled with laughter, creativity, and excitement. If you want some sense of what it’s like take a look at the video below. But beyond that, if you’re a teacher or parent, don’t hesitate, get your kids involved.