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Back to Press Releases 29 October 2020

ESB Creative Tech Fest celebrates youth creativity and innovation with virtual reality exhibition

  • 11-year-old Shaun Samra from Finglas, Co Dublin is named 2020 ESB TechSpacer of the Year
  • 17 award winners from across the country for projects in categories including STEAM, digital creativity and computer science
  • Young people from TechSpace hubs sent VR headsets for a virtual reality exhibition showcasing each project

29 October 2020

An 11-year-old from Finglas, Co Dublin has taken the top award at this year’s ESB Creative Tech Fest, which took place virtually for the first time on Wednesday, October 28th. Aspiring rap artist Shaun Samra was named ESB TechSpacer of the Year 2020 for his rap and video “Anxiety” – which told the personal story of the impact of Shaun’s’ struggles with anxiety for both himself and his family.

Shaun attended a TechSpace programme run by youth worker Mick McCullagh in Finglas Youth Resource Centre, with a focus on sound production and empowering young people to express themselves through music.

As well as awards for young people, teacher Helen Ní Chríodáin from Colaiste Naomh Eoin in Inis Meáin was named ESB TechSpace Educator of the Year for her work in establishing a TechSpace programme, delivered through Irish, on the Aran Islands.

The awards, hosted by TG4 presenter Micheál Ó Ciaraidh, honoured 17 winners in categories covering creative computer science, digital creativity and STEAM, in addition to a virtual reality exhibition showcasing each project, as young people from TechSpace hubs were sent VR headsets to their homes around the country to enjoy the celebrations.

There were also performances and inspiring TechTalks from Daithí Ó Sé and TikTok stars Chris is Ainm Dom and Cairde.

Pat O’ Doherty, Chief Executive at ESB, outlined his admiration for the young people involved in this year’s ESB Creative Tech Fest awards: “It is both reassuring and inspiring to see the innovation and creativity in the projects submitted for this year’s awards, and we congratulate each of the nominees and winners for their work. Every young person in the TechSpace programme should be hugely proud of what they have achieved, in such challenging circumstances, this year.”

Marianne Checkley, CEO of Camara Ireland said ensuring the awards went ahead virtually was a key priority: “There has been some hugely inspiring projects despite the really difficult circumstances this year and, despite us not being able to be together in person, we wanted to bring the network together virtually, to celebrate the quite incredible achievements of educators and young people this year.”

Over 1,000 young people, aged between 10 and 18, from youth clubs, schools and gaelscoileanna across Ireland, were part of the first-ever virtual ESB Creative Tech Fest, the annual bilingual event celebrates the innovation, creativity and collaboration of young people who participate in TechSpace programmes nationwide across STEAM, digital creativity and computer science projects.

TechSpace is a creative technology education programme that is managed by social enterprise Camara Ireland and delivered in the informal and formal education sectors. It encourages young people to unlock their passions and potential through the creative use of technology.



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For more information on the TechSpace programme: visit: / 



TechSpace is a creative technology education programme that is managed by social enterprise Camara Ireland and delivered in the informal and formal education sectors. It is supported by ESB, Science Foundation Ireland, Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media and Rethink Ireland.

See the rap animation #FlipTheScript here.



Digital Creativity

Best Photography: Lee Hickey - ‘Jingle Bells’, Syddan Foroige Youth Club, Co Meath.

Best Sound Production Award: Milosz Adeszko - ‘Where'd You Go’, Foróige Birr, Co Offaly.

Best Design: Jared Comer, Kelly O'Beirne, Daniel Duffy, Daniel Dwyer, Kate Cunningham, Molly Beckett, Ryan Davies, Liam Pearce, Remy Ryan, William Neary, Niamh Cuttle, Paddy McTeigue, Conor O'Regan, Daniel Hegarty, Luke Stephens, Jade Yeung, Kevin Brady Barry, Caoimhe Leonard and Katie Blain - ‘Bury Drugs Not Your Dreams' Booklet Launch’, Youth Work Ireland Midlands, Co Westmeath.

Best Short Film: Rhian Boyle, Caolan Boyle, Kaitlin Downes, Julianna Mironica, Jake Donnelly, Leah Donnelly, Adam Bell, Ava Bell, Sinead Heffernan and Sarah Heffernan - ‘CLUEDO: Clubhouse Edition’, Foróige Computer Clubhouse Blanchardstown, Co Dublin.

Best Music Video: Mckenzie Lowe - ‘Covid When We Were Young’, Fuse Youth Club, Finglas, Co Dublin.


Computer Science

Innovative Computer Science Award: Samuel Quinn O'Flaherty - ‘PlanetSavers’, Gaelcholaiste an Phairsaigh, Co Dublin.

Creative Computer Crossover: Sophie Stewart, Ruby Cullen, Julie Duffy, Sean Healy, Erin Egan, Shane Power, Thomas Coffey and Callum Gately - ‘Remote Control Forklift’, Gaelcholáiste Mhic Shuibhne, Co Cork.


STEAM Awards

Best STEAM Project: Tadgh Nolan, Jimmy Donoghue, Johnny McDonagh, Jerry Conors and Evan Whelan - ‘Electro Art, Carlow Regional Youth Service, Co Carlow.

ESB Engineer of Imagination: Colum Ó Cinnéide, Ava Mc Morrow, Ébha Ní Laithleoir and Robyn Carey - ‘Spongebob Square Pants World’, Coláiste Naomh Eoin, Inis Meáin, Co. na Gaillimhe.

ESB Energy for Generations Award:  Adam Anoar - ‘STEAM’, Ballywaltrim School Completion Programme, Co Wicklow.

ESB Sustainable STEAM:  Adam King - ‘Satellite Imagery Project’, Foróige Blanchardstown Clubhouse, Co Dublin.


Overall Awards

TechSpace Volunteer Club of the Year: Syddan Foróige Club, Co Meath.

ESB TechSpace Sustainability Superhero:  Oisín Flynn and Tom Óg Naoise Flynn - ‘‘OUR EPIC SOLAR SYSTEM’, Foróige, ARD Family Resource Centre, Co Galway.

ESB TechSpace Educator of the Year: Helen Ní Chríodáin, ‘ESB TechSpace Educator/Oideoir’, Coláiste Naomh Eoin, Inis Meáin, Co. na Gaillimhe.

ESB TechSpacer of the Year: Shaun Samra - ‘MC Samra: Anxiety’, Finglas Youth Resource Centre, Co Dublin.

NYCI Best Online: Harley Hunt, Jamie Dixon, Keith Evans, Keith Cummins, Mia Croker-Mooney, Philip Batty and Sarah O'Grady - ‘Technology’, Sphere 17, Co Dublin.

Covid Community Responder: Virtual Summer Camp 2020 - ‘ESB TechSpace Community Responder’, Clare Youth Service, Co Clare.