Tag Archives: CoderDojo

Celebrating European Code Week with our annual EUDojo

via Raspberry Pi

On Wednesday 17 October, CoderDojo held the sixth annual EUDojo in the European Parliament in Brussels.

EUDojo 2018

EUDojo 2018

Since last year’s event, CoderDojo has grown significantly: we have almost 500 new Dojos, and our network now spreads to over 100 countries! We organised this year’s EUDojo to coincided with the annual Europe Code Week — also in its sixth year.

Our event was co-hosted by MEP Seán Kelly and the EPP party, and it was attended by MEPs from over ten European countries. The other attendees were Dojo volunteers and parents from across Europe, along with more than 40 young coders!

EUDojo 2018

These young people travelled to the EU Parliament from Italy, the United Kingdom, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Moldova, Romania, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, and Ireland to showcase their coding and technology skills. The kids presented technology projects they had created to the MEPs and sponsors, and they also taught MEPs to write their first lines of code!

Irish MEP Seán Kelly opened EUDojo and spoke of the pride he felt working with CoderDojo on such a special event. During the coding session, the young coders taught MEPs how to create a basic game using Scratch, and showed them how to build a website using HTML and CSS. Participants also learned how to program micro:bits, which created a fantastic buzz amongst the MEPs and their young tutors.

Coding projects to impress the MEPs

The CoderDojo youths made great use of this opportunity to showcase projects that they have made in their local Dojos for the politicians and sponsors.

Nadezhda from the Sofia Dojo in Bulgaria showed off a Scratch game she had built to test players’ agility skills, taking inspiration from river crossing puzzles.

EUDojo 2018 - Nadezhda from the Sofia Dojo in Bulgaria

Nadezhda from the Sofia Dojo in Bulgaria

Lucy Brennan and Caragh Bolger from the Waterford Dojo in Ireland presented two very different projects. Lucy demonstrated Piano Pal, a project she created to help people learn and practice to play the piano. Caragh Bolger presented her project How to make the world a better place, which is about the little things that make the world better.

EUDojo 2018

Lucy Brennan and Caragh Bolger from the Waterford Dojo in Ireland

Edward from Harrogate Dojo, UK, presented his project for encrypting and decrypting files in C++ .

EUDojo 2018 - Edward from the Harrogate Dojo

Edward from the Harrogate Dojo

Innovators of the future

Cabinet member Manuel Mateo Goyet discussed the importance of digital skills, highlighting the importance of encouraging girls to get involved. He noted that he was delighted to see just as many girls coding at EUDojo as boys, and that he was looking forward to sharing photos from the day with his daughter to encourage her too.

EUDojo 2018 - Cabinet member Manuel Mateo Goyet

Cabinet member Manuel Mateo Goyet

Karolina Telejko, SAP’s EU Government Relations Director, discussed their approach to training, lifelong learning, and building partnerships, and explained why EUDojo sponsor SAP decided to help spread coding skills around the world.

EUDojo 2018 - Karolina Telejko, SAP’s EU Government Relations Director

Karolina Telejko, SAP’s EU Government Relations Director

Derk Oldenburg of Liberty Global spoke about social innovation and how it is promoted by CoderDojo’s Future Makers Bento Box resources for young coders. He challenged young people around the world to find a social issue they care about and design a solution to it using technology.

EUDojo 2018 - Derk Oldenburg of Liberty Global

Derk Oldenburg of Liberty Global

Giving young people the space to become inventors

Giustina Mizzoni, Executive Director of the CoderDojo Foundation, hopes that this event will drive more organisations and public services to invest in young people’s technology skills.

“We are delighted to be co-hosting EU Dojo, the flagship CoderDojo Europe Code Week event, for the sixth year running. This event was made possible thanks to our partners Liberty Global and SAP, and the team at MEP Sean Kelly’s office. At this year’s event, we are marking the work of libraries and the significant contribution they make to the CoderDojo movement.”

EUDojo 2018 - Giustina Mizzoni, Executive Director of the CoderDojo Foundation

Giustina Mizzoni, Executive Director of the CoderDojo Foundation

“Today, as always, I was incredibly impressed by the young people’s projects. All of these projects had one thing in common: they were made using creativity! Learning how to code gives young people the opportunity to express themselves and develop their skills. I hope that, as a result of today, more library groups will be inspired to join the CoderDojo movement, and use their space to give more young people the opportunity to code, create, and learn about technology!”

Learn more about CoderDojo

If you’d like to find out more about CoderDojo, from their to starting a Dojo in your local area, visit the CoderDojo website. You can also sign up for our free three-week online training course, and learn everything you need to start a Dojo and help enable young people worldwide to create and explore technology together:

Start a CoderDojo || free online learning || Raspberry Pi Foundation

Get support and advice on how to grow your confidence in coding and start a CoderDojo for young people in your area.

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Hang out with Raspberry Pi this month in California, New York, and Boston

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This month sees two wonderful events where you can meet the Raspberry Pi team, both taking place on the weekend of September 22 and 23 in the USA.

And for more impromptu fun, you can also hang out with our Social Media Editor and fellow Pi enthusiasts on the East Coast on September 24–28.

Coolest Projects North America

In the Discovery Cube Orange County in Santa Ana, California, team members of the Raspberry Pi Foundation North America, CoderDojo, and Code Club will be celebrating the next generation of young makers at Coolest Projects North America.

Coolest Projects is a world-leading showcase that empowers and inspires the next generation of digital creators, innovators, changemakers, and entrepreneurs. This year, for the first time, we are bringing Coolest Projects to North America for a spectacular event!

While project submissions for the event are now closed, you can still get the last FREE tickets to attend this showcase on Sunday, September 23.

To get your free tickets, click here. And for more information on the event, visit the Coolest Projects North America homepage.

World Maker Faire New York

For those on the east side of the continent at World Maker Faire New York, we’ll have representation in the form of Alex, our Social Media Editor.

The East Coast’s largest celebration of invention, creativity, and curiosity showcases the very best of the global Maker Movement. Get immersed in hundreds of projects and multiple stages focused on making for social good, health, technology, electronics, 3D printing & fabrication, food, robotics, art and more!

Alex will be adorned in Raspberry Pi stickers while exploring the cornucopia of incredible projects on show. She’ll be joined by Raspberry Pi’s videographer Brian, and they’ll gather footage of Raspberry Pis being used across the event for videos like this one from last year’s World Maker Faire:

Raspberry Pi Coffee Robot || Mugsy || Maker Faire NY ’17

Labelled ‘the world’s first hackable, customisable, dead simple, robotic coffee maker’, and powered by a Raspberry Pi, Mugsy allows you to take control of every aspect of the coffee-making process: from grind size and water temperature, to brew and bloom time.

So if you’re planning to attend World Maker Faire, either as a registered exhibitor or an attendee showing off your most recent project, we want to know! Share your project in the comments so we can find you at the event.

A week of New York and Boston meetups

Lastly, since she’ll be in New York, Alex will be out and about after MFNY, meeting up with members of the Raspberry Pi community. If you’d be game for a Raspberry Pi-cnic in Central Park, Coffee and Pi in a cafe, or any other semi-impromptu meetup in the city, let us know the best days for you between Monday, September 24 to Thursday, September 27! Alex will organise some fun gatherings in the Big Apple.

You can also join her in Boston, Massachusetts, on Friday, September 28, where Alex will again be looking to meet up with makers and Pi enthusiasts — let us know if you’re game!

This is weird

Does anyone else think it’s weird that I’ve been referring to myself in the third person throughout this post?

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Happy 7th birthday, CoderDojo!

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What is CoderDojo?

CoderDojo is a global network of free informal clubs for young people aged 7-17 to learn how to code and create with technology. There are more than 1400 active Dojos in 75 countries, regularly attended by 40000 young people.

Happy birthday, CoderDojo 🎂

Seven years ago today, on 23 July, James Whelton and Bill Liao held the first-ever CoderDojo session in Cork, Ireland. When that first group of volunteers and young people (Ninjas) came together to learn how to make a website, design a game, or write their first program, they never imagined how far the CoderDojo movement would go. But the message of CoderDojo and its values of openness, inclusivity, creativity, and community have resonated with many thousands of people and continue to encourage them to get involved to learn and to volunteer.

CoderDojo birthday Raspberry Pi

Founders of CoderDojo James Whelton and Bill Liao

Going global in 95 countries

Since that first Dojo session, the movement has become truly global: there are now more than 1900 Dojos in 95 countries around the world. And not only CoderDojo clubs have developed, but also a fantastic, welcoming, worldwide community of volunteers, and a foundation that provides it with support and resources and is part of the Raspberry Pi family.
CoderDojo birthday Raspberry Pi

Sharing the community spirit

As if running and growing the network of Dojos wasn’t enough, our community also runs wonderful events: CoderDojo volunteers started the Coolest Projects showcase in 2012 as a way for Ninjas to come together and share the projects they have created.

Celebrating Coolest Projects International 2018

Coolest Projects is a world-leading showcase that empowers and inspires the next generation of digital creators, innovators, changemakers, and entrepreneurs from across the globe.

This year, more than 1000 young coders showcased what they have built at the international Coolest Projects event in Dublin, with regional events taking place in Belgium, Bulgaria, Italy, the UK and, in two months’ time, in North America.

Coolest Projects UK 2018 Raspberry Pi Foundation CoderDojo Coolest Projects UK 2018 Raspberry Pi Foundation CoderDojo Coolest Projects UK 2018 Raspberry Pi Foundation CoderDojo Coolest Projects UK 2018 Raspberry Pi Foundation CoderDojo

Passionate CoderDojo community members also saw the importance of meeting each other and sharing experiences of running their Dojos, so they decided to create an event to bring community members together: DojoCon gives volunteers from around the world the opportunity to gather in person, make friends, and learn from each other to better run and develop their Dojos. Regional DojoCons have been held in Toscana (Italy), Perth (Australia), and Osaka (Japan), along with numerous smaller mentor meetups that offer more localised support and friendships.

And MegaDojos have enabled groups of hundreds of young people to meet up for a day and code together, also providing the chance for newcomers to get involved and try a variety of technologies.

Forming regional bodies

In regions where the concentration of Dojos and the drive to create more clubs are high, CoderDojo community members have formed regional bodies to provide focused support for growth.

“We are located in a city in Italy hit by the earthquake in 2016. We do not have a lot of places to meet. But every month, with a lot of work, we organize a CoderDojo, and the happiness in the children’s eyes is all we need!” – Dojo champion, Macerata, Italy

This highlights the grass-roots nature of the movement, and the passion that people involved have to achieve our goal of every child worldwide having the opportunity to learn to code and to be creative with technology in a safe and social environment.

Publications and initiatives

Since 2011, community members have created and shared learning resources, and translated content at home and in organised hackathon events to help more young people learn to program. Following on from these resources developed in Dojos, two CoderDojo books have been released and translated into ten languages to help even young people in areas where Dojos haven’t cropped up develop the skills to be tech creators.

CoderDojo birthday Raspberry Pi

The CoderDojo Foundation is implementing initiatives to encourage diversity in all Dojos, such as the CoderDojo Girls Initiative, which was inspired by and shares the outstanding work that Dojo volunteers around the world already do to encourage more girls to become Ninjas and learn to code.

Award winners

Since CoderDojo began, we’ve had eight girls attending Dojos be named European Digital Girl of the Year. Ninjas have been nominated for the BAFTA Young Game Designers award and won regional robotics challenges. They’ve travelled to the European Parliament to show MEPs a thing or two about coding. Ninjas have coded in libraries, tech-hubs, nursing homes, hotels, community centres, children’s hospitals, under trees, and on buses!

Answering the call

CoderDojo has encouraged cross-collaboration and intercultural learning. For example, Ninjas in Japan made 1000 origami shuriken to share with Ninjas attending this year’s Coolest Projects International in Dublin, and young people and volunteers in Dojos in Argentina and Belgium worked together to enter the European Astro Pi Challenge. And on community calls, volunteers from different continents, who would never have the opportunity to talk to each other otherwise, ask each other questions and offer each other advice.

“CoderDojo provides Ninjas with a positive, safe space for them to exercise their brain and to work on various projects. The sense of recognition and achievement among the young people is amazing. [Where our Dojo is located] is considered a disadvantaged area with a high level of poverty, substance misuse issues, and unemployment. Having such a positive space like CoderDojo for the young people of this community is acting as a prevention factor to the issues. Our young people are continuously learning, exploring, building relationships, and increasing their chances at a better quality of life.” – Dojo mentor, North Dublin, Ireland

Over the past seven years, thousands of amazing volunteers and supporters around the world have enabled 200000 young people to be technology creators. In 2017 alone, volunteers gave an incredible 290000 hours to support Ninjas to gain the confidence and skills to create with code!

☯CoderDojo☯ on Twitter

It was amazing celebrating our 7th birthday today. Well done in particular to all the young people who attended, those who shared what they were working on with the Duke & Duchess of Sussex, to their parents/guardians, & all the volunteers for their support thoughout the day!♥

But it’s not just time they give, volunteers have contributed their enthusiasm, creativity, and love to create a generous and fun community! We would not have reached this seventh birthday without all the champions, mentors, and other volunteers who are the backbone of the CoderDojo movement, so thank you! We hope, with all your help, to continue to inspire young coders around the world.

Join the CoderDojo movement

“As the champion, the Dojo is the thing in my life I am most proud of, and that I look forward to each week. It is the most meaningful thing that I do, and seeing all the kids having a great time with their friends each week, and enjoying the learning experience, is truly fulfilling. It makes me wish I was young again to have such an opportunity to learn and be cool with all the great kids involved. It re-ignites my own passion for technology, which sometimes is easy to forget!” – Dojo champion, Kildare, Ireland

If you would like to start a fun, inclusive coding club for 7- to 17-year-olds in your local area, then find out more about setting up a Dojo here.

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Bell Gardens’ Code Club is headed to Coolest Projects North America

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Located outside Los Angeles, the Boys & Girls Club of Bell Gardens run after-school and summer programming for youth in the community. The club at Bell Gardens is part of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, a national organization of local chapters that offer after-school programs for young people. In September, their Code Club members will be heading to Coolest Projects North America to share their coding projects and connect with other young coders.

Two girls with backpacks reading about a Raspberry Pi project — Boys & Girls Club

Boys & Girls Club of Bell Gardens

At Bell Gardens’ Boys & Girls Club, activities center around healthy living and homework support, in addition to opportunities for kids to practice good character and citizenship, and to explore the arts and technology. But, as we know, rapid changes in technology mean needing to always be on the lookout for updated and kid-friendly materials. Therefore, Loren and her Boys & Girls Club team wanted to find resources that expose their kids to technology and empower them to contribute to society, to solve problems, or to simply get creative.

Code Club Bell Gardens

Loren found that Code Club, the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s longest-running outreach program, has just the resources and online project platform they needed to really level up their digital tech program. Code Club resources, like all resources provided Raspberry Pi, are user-friendly, accessible, and always free.

A boy at a laptop coding in Scratch — Boys & Girls Club

Now, just two short months since their first session, the on-site Code Club at Bell Gardens has grown exponentially and become a favourite of the community. At 20 members and growing, their Code Club is composed entirely of members from the Bell Gardens community, serving kids from 6 to 15. The club runs at least once a week, and Loren hopes to run it more often due to its positive effects. She says:

I’ve seen a lot of internal and external growth in each member. I can honestly say that all the members have been impacted by the exposure to new resources and opportunities. Not only has their self-confidence improved, so have their skills in critical thinking, coding, and math.

Loren admits that the first day of Code Club started off as challenging. “Many of the youngest members faced significant learning difficulties pertaining to literacy and math. However, many of them happily surprised our staff with their ability to memorize the projects steps along with the symbols on the screen. After a two-hour session, most members were able to complete their projects without any assistance!”

Two children holding up Code Club stickers — Boys & Girls Club

The club members come from diverse backgrounds, so Loren is thoughtful about creating a team culture while supporting individual development. As a team, they focus on two objectives: passion and innovation. “Members are constantly seeking solutions to their own questions and challenges. They thrive on inspiration and motivation, which in my opinion is the finest way to be a catalyst in the technological age.”

Bell Gardens heads to Coolest Projects

With Coolest Projects North America coming in September, Bell Gardens’ Code Club members are working on projects over the summer to prepare for the big event. Loren is already looking forward to the showcase: “I am thrilled to bring our club to Coolest Projects because it’s a unique opportunity for the community! Our community has an overwhelming lack of resources, especially concerning education, so I am looking forward to introducing our members to an innovative, competitive environment, but most of all to inspire them to select a project they can feel passionate about.”

Coolest Projects North America

Coolest Projects North America will take place at the Discovery Cube, Orange County, on September 23, 2018.

Coolest Projects UK 2018 Raspberry Pi Foundation CoderDojo Coolest Projects UK 2018 Raspberry Pi Foundation CoderDojo Coolest Projects UK 2018 Raspberry Pi Foundation CoderDojo Coolest Projects UK 2018 Raspberry Pi Foundation CoderDojo

All levels of coders are welcome, and all types of projects are encouraged! Find tickets to the the event, register your project, and learn about travel stipends on the Coolest Projects North America website.

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Coolest Projects International 2018

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Like many engineers, I have folder upon folder of half-completed projects on my computer. But the funny thing is that this wasn’t a problem for me as a child. Every other Friday evening, I’d spend two hours at Ilkley Computer Club, where I could show off whatever I’d been working on: nothing motivates you to actually finish a project like the opportunity to share it with an audience.

Raspberry Jams, Code Clubs, and CoderDojos all provide children (of all ages: we’re looking at you, Peter Onion) with a place where they can learn, share ideas, and make cool stuff with code and computers. But you can get so involved with the things you’re working on that you forget to take a step back every once in a while to look at what you’ve accomplished. And what do you do when you’ve shown your project to everyone you know, and you fancy a shot at a slightly larger audience?

Enter Coolest Projects International, now in its seventh year. Here’s a video that captures about 1% of the awesomeness of being there in person.

Celebrating Coolest Projects International 2018

Coolest Projects is a world-leading showcase that empowers and inspires the next generation of digital creators, innovators, changemakers, and entrepreneurs. This year, for the first time, we brought Coolest Projects to the UK for a spectacular regional event in London!

Coolest Projects brings Ninjas from CoderDojos across the globe together in Dublin for a chance to share their work with the world, and to compete to be coolest in one of several categories:

  • Scratch projects
  • Websites
  • Games
  • Mobile apps
  • Hardware
  • Evolution (basically, next-level stuff)

At this year’s event, more than 1000 children presented projects, from 15 countries including Argentina, Bulgaria, Italy, Japan, Romania, and Spain.

Raspberry Pi on Twitter

This is it! #CoolestProjects https://t.co/eoepjNWLsC

And for the first time, Coolest Projects was open to Raspberry Jam and Code Club members, and to the broader Raspberry Pi community.

Liz, our daughter Aphra, and I spent the day at the event, along with the CoderDojo team, what felt like half the Raspberry Pi Foundation, keynote speaker Pete Lomas, and the most amazing army of volunteers. Between chugging slushies, I had the opportunity to judge hardware projects with Noel King, CoderDojo volunteer and co-founder of Coolest Projects. Noel provided the judges with a pep talk at the start of the day. He reminded us that the aim wasn’t necessarily to find the most complete, or polished, or technically audacious project, but to seek out creativity: the project that does something unique, or does something you’ve seen before but in a unique way.

To my mind, the focus on creativity is what sets Coolest Projects apart. This is, after all, a contest that aims to “empower and inspire the next generation of digital creators, innovators, changemakers, and entrepreneurs”, and that recognises that each of those activities is, at heart, a creative pursuit.

Unsurprisingly, given the strength of the field, judging went on for some time. Each category’s winner and runner-up were exceptional, and there were countless other projects that didn’t quite make the cut but that I’d be proud to have made myself. Where were these folks when I was a teenager?

You can see the winners and runners up in each category on the Coolest Projects Twitter feed, and you should also check out the winners of the six special prizes. One that especially struck me was Selin Alara Ornek’s project, iC4U, a robot guide dog that she developed at her local CoderDojo in Turkey.

While Coolest Projects started in Dublin, it’s now an international phenomenon. In the last couple of months we’ve seen Coolest Projects regional events in Belgium, Romania, and the UK.

Showcasing your projects at Coolest Projects UK 2018

Coolest Projects is a world-leading showcase that empowers and inspires the next generation of digital creators, innovators, changemakers, and entrepreneurs. This year, for the first time, we brought Coolest Projects to the UK for a spectacular regional event in London!

In September we’ll be holding the inaugural Coolest Projects North America at the Discovery Cube in Orange County.

Coolest Projects began as a volunteer-run event, and we’re immensely privileged to have this wonderful showcase for our community. We are enormously grateful to all the staff and volunteers who continue to give huge amounts of their time, effort, and talent every year to make it the wonderful event that it is. Thank you, all of you.

Events like these give me hope that the future of our industry will be every bit as exciting, and vastly more diverse, than our past and present. If you have a chance to participate in one of them, I think you’ll come away feeling the same.

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Join us at the Education Summit at PyCon UK 2018

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PyCon UK 2018 will take place on Saturday 15 September to Wednesday 19 September in the splendid Cardiff City Hall, just a few miles from the Sony Technology Centre where the vast majority of Raspberry Pis is made. We’re pleased to announce that we’re curating this year’s Education Summit at the conference, where we’ll offer opportunities for young people to learn programming skills, and for educators to undertake professional development!

PyCon UK Education Summit logo

PyCon UK 2018 is your chance to be welcomed into the wonderful Python community. At the Education Summit, we’ll put on a young coders’ day on the Saturday, and an educators’ day on the Sunday.

Saturday — young coders’ day

On Saturday we’ll be running a CoderDojo full of workshops on Raspberry Pi and micro:bits for young people aged 7 to 17. If they wish, participants will get to make a project and present it to the conference on the main stage, and everyone will be given a free micro:bit to take home!

Kids’ tickets at just £6 will be available here soon.

Kids on a stage at PyCon UK

Kids presenting their projects to the conference

Sunday — educators’ day

PyCon UK has been bringing developers and educators together ever since it first started its education track in 2011. This year’s Sunday will be a day of professional development: we’ll give teachers, educators, parents, and coding club leaders the chance to learn from us and from each other to build their programming, computing, and digital making skills.

Educator workshop at PyCon UK

Professional development for educators

Educators get a special entrance rate for the conference, starting at £48 — get your tickets now. Financial assistance is also available.

Call for proposals

We invite you to send in your proposal for a talk and workshop at the Education Summit! We’re looking for:

  • 25-minute talks for the educators’ day
  • 50-minute workshops for either the young coders’ or the educators’ day

If you have something you’d like to share, such as a professional development session for educators, advice on best practice for teaching programming, a workshop for up-skilling in Python, or a fun physical computing activity for the CoderDojo, then we’d love to hear about it! Please submit your proposal by 15 June.

After the Education Summit, the conference will continue for two days of talks and a final day of development sprints. Feel free to submit your education-related talk to the main conference too if you want to share it with a wider audience! Check out the PyCon UK 2018 website for more information.

We’re looking forward to seeing you in September!

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