Coder Dojo Dogpatch

As Ireland’s Information Communications Technology sector continues to go from strength, the importance of STEM disciplines becomes more apparent.

Ireland is the second biggest exporter of computer and ICT services in the world today and this is due, in part, to our highly skilled and knowledgeable workforce.

There are a number of STEM innovations operating in the country that teach students the basics of ICT in an accessible and straight-forward manner, encouraging their interest in this area through intuitive learning.

In the first entry of our STEM Workshop series, we’re taking a look at CoderDojo, a global network of free, volunteer-led, community-based programming clubs for young people.

What is CoderDojo?

CoderDojo was founded in Cork in 2011 by James Whelton and Bill Liao, two self-taught computer programmers who wanted to help young people learn how to code in a social setting.

Their goal is to give anyone aged seven to seventeen the tools and resources they need to learn how to code, build websites, create apps and games and better understand technology in a positive environment.

In the years since, more than 1,100 verified ‘Dojos’ have sprung up in 63 countries, helping young people all over the world to take their first steps in computer programming.

CoderDojo clubs typically run once a week for one to two hours per session, but this can vary from Dojo to Dojo.

School-run Dojos take place after school when the students are free from their daily studies and are run by CoderDojo approved volunteers.

Students attended a CoderDojo club can expect to learn a variety of programming languages including Python, Unity and Scratch, plus how to build and use computers such as Raspberry Pi’s.

As mentioned above, they will also learn how to build apps and games and gain knowledge in other related fields and disciplines, all of which is geared towards providing students with the skills and confidence to pursue a career in ICT.

Check back with us next week to see how STEM workshops like CoderDojo can benefit schools and students.