How Ninjas enjoyed the first MegaDojo in Moldova
On the 28th of October 2017, MegaDojo Chișinău gathered 128 children and teenagers interested in technologies of the future, in the capital of the Republic of Moldova. This was the first large scale CoderDojo event in Moldova, dedicated to informal education in IT for children ages 7 – 17. The event also celebrated the new comers, up to 60 out of 128, thus reaching more youngsters and showing potential for expansion.
MegaDojo Chișinău, was integrated in the EU Code Week initiative, which takes place every year on the European level. As such, the MegaDojo Chișinău agenda included workshops in programming, website, gaming and design development, getting acquainted with 3D printing, as well as having fun with Virtual Reality simulators. The activities were guided by 20 CoderDojo Moldova volunteering mentors and champions. The event took place in the IT Excellence Center Tekwill and had the participants divided in groups of 10 to 12, based on their area of interest and age. Along with the activities dedicated to youth, parents who accompanied their children, had the opportunity to attend a training session on online child security.
MegaDojo Chișinău was organized with the support of Moldova Competitiveness Project, funded by USAID and the Government of Sweden, in collaboration with Tekwill ICT Excellence Center, East-European Foundation, Ellation, Matrix and RiftTime companies.
Ionela Titirez, ICT Education and Entrepreneurship Development Manager, Moldova Competitiveness Project: “The IT sector in the Republic of Moldova has a great potential for development at an accelerated pace and it is important to contribute to the training of the labor force corresponding to the requirements of the 21st century. That’s why we organized the first edition of MegaDojo Moldova – an event that aims to promote IT and digital skills as being very important for future careers. The first edition proved to be a success: for the first time, such a large number of children is about to start programming. Many of them tell us that they will become programmers when they grow up, which makes us very happy. We also plan to organize such events in the future, meantime, every Saturday there are free programming courses for students aged 7-17, within CoderDojo, in 5 locations in Chisinau.”
Ninjas thoughts on CoderDojo
Nicolae Malcoci, participant, 11 years old: “I started attending CoderDojo Chisinau one year ago. Since then, I participated at the CD summer camp where I’ve learned to develop a new game. Now I aim to create a website and launch it by the end of the year.”
Cătălina Ernu, participant, 15 years old: “I started attending the CoderDojo activities just recently. I’ve been motivated by my parents, who are both programmers. Today, I am a promoter of the courses and have convinced some of my friends to come over and learn programming as well”.
Gabriel Gorceag, participant, 14 years old: ”I’ve been with the courses since the first Dojo was created in Chișinău, June 2014. I managed to understand how programming can help us, as well as progressed at programming languages such as JAVA, HTML, CSS. Due to the skills gathered so far, I’ve created a website and in the future, I see myself in IT.”
Daniel Istrati, participant, 14 years old: “When I started to attend the CoderDojo courses, which was 1,5 years ago, I only knew how to copy/paste. Now, I can build websites and I even experiment with game development. CoderDojo is such an amazing initiative, that I even convinced my mother to be involved. Now she is a Dojo champion.”
Moldova counts 5 active Dojos where up to 140 children are involved every Saturday in exploring new technologies. Given an impressive interest showcased for the MegaDogo event, similar activities are planned for the upcoming period.
Well done to all involved in hosting MegaDojo Chișinău! A big thank you to all those who supported and helped out at the event. Needless to say a lot of work went in to organise such a great event. We have no doubt that all the young people that attended now feel even more empowered to continue developing their coding skills to make really cool and creative projects! Thanks in particular to Veronica Esanu