Humans of CoderDojo WA – Terry Keesing
Terry Keesing, Champion at Rostrata Primary School
This month, Rostrata Primary School opened its doors to 95 Ninjas!! Because of the huge demand, they had to split their Dojo into three separate sessions! I caught up with Champion Terry Keesing to ask some questions about his Dojo experience:
What has been the best part of setting up your Dojo?
The best part of setting up a Dojo is seeing the excitement generated by the children while working on their projects. The ninjas are very focused and love the interaction amongst themselves and the free choice they have to work on whatever they want. Is also great to see the girls getting involved in large numbers, and being involved in projects such as robotics. The parent mentors have been helpful and the Dojo has a nice warm community feel about it.
What has been the most unexpected part of the Dojo experience so far?
The most unexpected part was the large number of children wanting to be involved. We didn’t want to turn anyone away, so with 95 Ninjas enrolled, the number of Dojos increased to three. The Dojos run before school from 7.30 to 8.30 three mornings a week.
Any advice for new Champions?
My advice to Champions is: don’t worry about starting a Dojo! I have no coding experience myself, I am just a facilitator of opportunities. I think a little bit of structure is good, but have plenty of opportunities to explore available. For example, I have a web page with hyperlinks to different coding sites. This gives Ninjas an idea of what’s available to them. Mbot robots are fantastic for construction and purposeful coding, and Raspberry Pi and Raspbian are a cheap and great way to encourage coding projects. You don’t have to know about these things though! The Ninjas work together to solve their own problems, and that is the real value of running a Coder Dojo.