It’s hard to believe CoderDojo Clonakilty has been in operation since May 2012 when 25 kids came to the Quality Hotel and none of us really knew exactly what to expect. Since then CoderDojo in Clonakilty has evolved into a hub of high tech activity held every Friday evening when approximately 60 young coders descend onto the Quality Hotel with laptops, gadgets, robotic equipment, circuit boards and more in hand and take off to another world, developing websites, games, app, robots etc. and have great fun doing it.
Caoimhe Collins and Brigid Creswell have attended CoderDojo since the very early days. We asked for their perspective – these are their words!
“CoderDojo is an awesome place where you can hang out with your mates, be on a gadget and learn totally cool tricks at the same time! Whether you like animations, code, robotics with Kate and more, CoderDojo mentors normally have a few amazing tricks to teach you and if they don’t they will definitely learn them! The whole atmosphere is so friendly and welcoming. There is always somebody to talk to! You can meet Thady and see his spectacular demos; he nearly always has something new to show! The things that people of around seven on their third day come up with are probably more imaginative than a pro coder could come up with! CoderDojo is awesome because even if you do not do something amazing in one session, you see others make things that inspire your idea the next week! There is ALWAYS something cool happening! Also it has the one BEST rule ever, BE COOL!
We’ve had things like a 3D printer and Arduino and Raspberry Pi demonstrations. You can also share you knowledge with others and help out mentoring. Just like in a dojo, there are different coloured USB wristbands, like a belt in Tae Kwon Do. There’s white, yellow, blue, green, orange, red, purple and black. As well as that, we have a showcase day to show off what we’ve done and that’s where you receive a wristband. There are also great competitions to enter such as The Coolest Projects Awards in June, The Scratch Competition and The Eircom Junior Spider Awards, which we have entered our website, www.u-runique.weebly.com, into. One of the great things about CoderDojo is that you can work together on projects, like Brigid and myself are. You don’t have to be a genius at CoderDojo, anyone can learn! It’s great craic and we’re always looking forward to seeing new faces!”
Simon Jennings is an avid programmer and tells us that “CoderDojo is a place for kids aged 5-16 years. CoderDojo is great for kids who want to learn to program and make computer games. Some of the programs that you can use are HTML5 (a program for developing websites), Scratch (a simple game development program), Arduino (a program to build and control robots) and much more. The best bit is that CoderDojo is extremely fun and completely free. You can make loads of friends and learn lots about code. CoderDojo is a great thing to do on a Friday night and I would highly recommend it!”
This May CoderDojo celebrates its 3rd year in operation and to mark this occasion we will hold an evening Expo event at the Quality Hotel on the 8th May where the Ninja’s will showcase their projects to invited guests, parents and dignitaries in an informal and fun setting.
We are extremely grateful to the Quality Hotel in Clonakilty who have so generously provided CoderDojo with a great venue each week. SouthWestern have also been a great support to CoderDojo in Clonakilty since we started and have generously sponsored our awards which will be presented to the ninja’s on the 8th May. We are also immensely grateful to all our mentors who give their time each week.
For more information about CoderDojo go to https://coderdojowestcork.wordpress.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are particularly interested in finding new mentors so if you think you could help please do contact us. You can also follow us on Facebook (CoderDojo Clonakilty).