CoderDojo comes to Ayrshire

School pupils from all over Ayrshire attended the first ever CoderDojo event in region at Ayrshire College’s Kilwinning Campus on 25 November 2014. CoderDojo is part of a global network of free computer coding clubs for young people. At the college session, young people from 8 to 17 years old learned how to code and develop games in a fun and social environment. It was so popular that the College will be hosting further dojos at our Ayr, Kilmarnock and Kilwinning campuses in the next few weeks!

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Big dojo thumbs-up from 8-year-old Lita Rosa and 10-year-old brother Giuseppe

There are many benefits to the club. Young people gain first hand exposure to what a career in ICT offers, while developing the skills and confidence they need to become a great programmer in a safe, fun and sociable environment. As well as staff mentors at the College, the project involves ICT students acting as mentors.

Loraine Johnston, Curriculum Manager for Business and IT said “We are really excited about running the first Ayrshire CoderDojo at the College’s Centre of Excellence for Computing in our Kilwinning Campus. I first heard about the club at an event in Edinburgh and thought it was a great way to help get young people interested in coding and bridge the skills gap in the computing industry in Scotland, the UK and Europe.”

Young people changing our digital world

CoderDojo clubs promote computer science and technology in a fun, thought-provoking and inspiring way, and encourage young people to consider studying computing at school, college or university. They raise awareness of the rewarding opportunities available in the rapidly expanding ICT and digital technologies sector.

Craig Steele, CoderDojo Scotland Project Manager at the Glasgow Science Centre said “We are very excited to bring CoderDojo to young people in Ayrshire. It doesn’t matter what your level of coding is. You may be a beginner wanting to learn the basics or you may have some experience and be looking to hone your skills! Young people at our dojos have coded their own games, apps and websites so we are eager to see what creativity and skill we can find in Ayrshire.”

Glasgow Science Centre Chief Executive, Stephen Breslin said “The IT industry is growing rapidly, at a much faster rate than any other sector, but the uptake of studying computing science at school and college is on the decline. CoderDojo is an active learning opportunity where young people can equip themselves with knowledge and skills to pursue careers in the sector.”

Ayrshire College will continue to work with CoderDojo to bring this exciting activity to more young people. Who knows, we may find the next Mark Zuckerberg right here in Ayrshire!

Could you be a CoderDojo mentor?

The driving force behind CoderDojo Scotland are the volunteers and mentors with a technology background who want to inspire the next generation of digital content makers. If you are a computing teacher or professional software developer living in Ayrshire and want to volunteer as a mentor, contact Loraine Johnston for more information on 01294 559000.

You can find out more about CoderDojo at www.coderdojoscotland.com

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RAISING ASPIRATIONS | INSPIRING ACHIEVEMENT | INCREASING OPPORTUNITIES

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