DojoNews – October 2016
Ninjas visit the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre
Some lucky Ninjas visited the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre during the school holidays. Here’s what a parent had to say about their experience:
“Yesterdays session at the Pawsey Center was fantastic. Lewis really enjoyed the whole experience. Pretty sure he was somewhat blown away by the place. David our guide was fantastic…he reminded me of Louis Theroux hahaha he gave out clear paths for the kids to follow if they wanted to be working at the center in years to come, which was great (could see some of the kids brains clicking over…coding is the way to go…so they are so on the right path). I know Lewis was buzzing afterwards as was I. I actually thanked Lewis, because if it wasn’t for his interest I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to even know the center existed and I’d like to extend that thank you too everyone at Coderdojo. Such a brilliant experience. Thank you so much from both Lewis and myself.”
The Weekend West
CoderDojo WA and three of our Ninjas recently featured in The Weekend West. Read more about Lewis, Peter and Sophia’s experience at CoderDojo here.
Perth Games Festival
Did you visit us a the Perth Games Festival this year? If not, don’t worry, we’ve uploaded some photos and videos for you to check out here.
We had some very talented Ninjas come along to the festival to show off the projects they’ve been working on at the UWA and Midland Library Dojos. Game developers at the festival were very impressed! We look forward to having more Ninjas along next year to show off their work.
CoderDojo WA Birthday Bash
We had great fun at the Birthday Bash and hope you did too. A massive thank you to Murdoch University, Wesfarmers CEF, Bankwest and Gecko Steps for their sponsorship on the night and as always a big thank you to our partners Woodside and Scitech for their ongoing support, we couldn’t have done it without you! Everyone had a COOL time and we gave out some amazing prizes including:
- x3 tickets on the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre trip
- x4 Vouchers for JBHiFi
- x1 family pass to Adventureworld
- x1 GeckoSteps workshop
- x1 Makey Makey kit
- x2 Arduino Kits
- x1 Parrot Mini-Drone
- x1 Lego Mindstorm EV3
Everyone also went home with a brand-new CoderDojo WA bag filled with goodies. Photographer Daniel Grant took some amazing photos. Can you find yourself?
Visiting Ireland – Home of CoderDojo
On the 7th of June, I had the opportunity to visit the CoderDojo offices in the super cool Dogpatch Labs in Dublin, Ireland. Ross (who many of you may know as the Dojo verification overlord and developer incroyable) was able to show me around the offices and I got to meet the Dublin team. Ireland is the birthplace of the CoderDojo movement, with the first Dojo established In July 2011, in the National Software Centre in Cork. Ross was able to show me some of the awesome projects that the team are working on, and he was keen to hear how they might continue to improve their support for us in WA. Go raibh míle maith agat! Thanks for letting me visit!
Also, congratulations on reaching 1000 Dojos across the globe as of last month…. 62 of which are from Western Australia.
Ps: on the way home from the meeting, my taxi driver was the parent of a Dublin Ninja.
CoderDojo: The Classroom of the Future
Over four Thursdays in May, CoderDojo WA presented to approximately 300 lead primary school teachers as part of the Department of Education’s professional learning event on the Digital Technologies curriculum.
Apart from a Cook’s tour of the CoderDojo program, the focus of the presentation was on 21st century learning, and how the CoderDojo model of fun, flexible learning within a STEAM (STEM + Arts) space might just be the future of education.
At the event, it was announced that the government is investing $2.7 million in new teaching and learning resources for all public primary schools, which includes a digital technologies resources pack of “programmable, interactive robots, electronic engineering resources to create real world projects and touch tablet devices preloaded with numerous coding apps.” Good news for any Champions in public primary schools.
National Year of Digital Inclusion
In 2016, GoDigi, a partnership between Infoxchange and Australia Post, launched the National Year of Digital Inclusion (NYDI): a series of National Conversations and Pop-Up events that will be held across the country. Go Digi is a national four-year digital literacy program with the goal of supporting more than 300,000 Australians to improve their digital skills. Robyn King was at the NYDI Conversations event in Perth on the 18th of May to discuss how the CoderDojo WA community of Champions and Mentors works together to improve digital literacy for our Ninjas. Her presentation was entitled “Creating Coding Communities”.
The event included keynote addresses from Senator Scott Ludlam and Dr. Kate Raynes Goldie (Recently named one of MCV Pacific’s most influential women in games for the second year running). Other speakers at the event included:
- Michelle Sandford – Microsoftie, TEDxPerth Speaker, Tech Girl Superhero and one of MCV’s 100 Most Influential Women in Games 2016
- Lainey Weiser – Just Start IT
- Rebecca Ong – Manager of Participation and Learning at the State Library of Western Australia
- Debra Summers – President of the Public Libraries WA Inc
- Dr Helen Cripps – Lecturer in the School of Business and Law, ECU
Well done, Robyn, and congratulations to the GoDigi team for hosting such a successful event. To learn more about GoDigi visit their website: www.godigi.org.au
Australian Computer Society State Conference WA
Robyn also presented at the Australian Computer Society’s state conference on the 19th of May (busy lady). At the event, Robyn joined speakers from CISCO, Boundlss, Woodside Energy and Human Sparks, and was also invited to present on a panel including Louise Smith, Australian Computer Society, Apara Chokshi, Bloom Labs, Tom Goerke, CISCO, and David Cook, ACS WA Branch Chairman. The topic of their discussion was “The Social Impacts of Technology: Good or Evil?”. Their discussion included topics such as end user licence agreements, wearable technology, the effects of technology on our health, whether artificial intelligence is an exciting development or a potential threat.
Perth has more Dojos than any other city in the world
Congratulations everyone…Perth is now home to 48 Dojos, with 50 Dojos in Western Australia! We saw a large jump in our numbers recently thanks to Ross from CoderDojo Global assisting with verifications, and it just keeps growing! These new bragging rights are testament to the AMAZING work Karen Wellington has done in helping to build and support such a wonderful WA community of Dojos. As Karen always says, “YOU ARE SUPER IMPORTANT”, and we can’t echo this enough! It’s always a pleasure to see how supportive the online community is, and how helpful you are when it comes to running and organising events, welcoming new Dojo family members, and just generally being cool. Hopefully we will see this number continue to grow throughout WA, helping more and more Ninjas to develop skills and passion in this important area. The future of WA is in good hands.
Kancho Calling – Dojo Census
In order to get a better picture of the Dojos in WA, we are asking Champions to please complete a VERY short Dojo census. This includes questions as to how the Foundation can better serve the community in 2016, and whether your Dojo is looking for mentors.
As well as improving our support of the community, we want to begin envisioning the next step for Dojos in WA, asking the question, “after CoderDojo, then what?”. Perhaps this will mean developing industry links and internship programs for Ninjas, perhaps it will mean helping Dojos to identify Black Belt Ninjas that we can support; however this unfolds, your feedback will be central to the process, and the Dojo census is the first step in achieving this. Thanks for your support.
In March we welcomed Rebecca Loftus, who has stepped into Karen’s role as the CoderDojo WA program manager. Rebecca has spent the past four years living and working in Karratha, as the Head of the Science Department at St Luke’s College. She moved back to Perth at the beginning of the year and is currently completing her doctoral studies at Murdoch University. Her research area is Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) education, which is a new model for education that, coincidentally, has a lot in common with the already established CoderDojo model. Welcome, Rebecca.
Karen hasn’t had too much time to relax with the arrival of her mini-Ninja Neve Aniko Wellington on the 24th of April. We wish Karen all the best on this new adventure, and look forward to her return towards the end of the year. Welcome, baby Neve.
New Online Home
Our new Website went live in April. Huge shout out to Karen Wellington and Robyn King, for driving this change, and thanks to the folks at Draw History for doing such an amazing job! We are calling on the community to send us news, pictures and stories from your Dojos so that we can share the good work that you do with everyone in WA, and beyond.