Dojo starts in Geraldton
“Dozens of digital technology ‘ninjas’ are spending Saturday mornings working on games, apps, robots and 3D designs at ‘CoderDojo’ in Geraldton. The pilot CoderDojo program will run throughout Term 1 and meets demand from local children and young adults who want to get creative with technology. The sessions are each Saturday 10-12 at Durack Institute of Technology and parents can register children to attend online http://pollinators.org.au/learning/coderdojo/
CoderDojo is a facilitated program fueling young people’s passion for coding and better understanding the technology that shapes their world. In each 2 hour session participants hear about inspirational examples and are supported by peers and mentors to work on their own digital projects. CoderDojo makes development and learning to code a fun, sociable, rewarding experience and similar groups are run in more than 51 countries.
At the end of the first session, participants gave high ratings and praise for the format:
“I liked having experienced coders to help me when I needed help. It was great having it at the TAFE since the computers I was able to use were effective and helpful.”
“…the coding was fun and tricky but I got through it. It was a challenge that’s what I liked.”
Andrew Outhwaite, Community Lead at Pollinators Inc described a little more about the motivation behind the pilot:
“As well as being fun and educational, CoderDojo provides skills and inspiration for young people pursuing digital careers. According to recent national reports, there is a projected gap of more than 100,000 ICT workers in Australia in the next five years. Another report estimated up to 25% of the State’s economy will be impact by disruptive digital and internet technologies in the next ten year.”
“If our region wants a slice of the massive growth in digital and tech industries, local programs like CoderDojo are essential. Working with schools, Durack, GUC and local businesses we can grow the local digital economy and be a ‘smarter’ city and region while still having fun with our digital devices.”
Darren Winterbine, Training Director for the Management, Automotive, Computing and Engineering portfolios at Durack said,
“We are very supportive of this initiative to engage young people in coding. In addition to providing a safe and inclusive space for the participants, our Computing Lecturers and students are volunteering to mentor and guide them through the program.” Mr Winterbine continued,
“Our computer labs are up to date with the latest technology, making them an ideal learning environment for the group.”
The CoderDojo team are also on the lookout for technical mentors, and parent volunteers. Parents at the first session were already creating helpful automations for work and home using their phones and some fantastic software.
The CoderDojo pilot program is an initiative of Pollinators Inc thanks to funding and support from Mid West Science Engagement Group, Inspiring Australia and Scitech. Local partners include Durack Institute of Technology, with Fogarty Foundation and CoderDojo Foundation providing program support.”