CoderDojo Ninjas triumph at Digital Girl of the Year Awards

The Ada awards highlight and recognise the efforts of the top girls and women in technology across Europe. We are delighted to announce that all six shortlisted girls, who are actively involved in their local CoderDojo clubs went on win Digital Girl of the Year awards list night across three different age categories!

Congratulations to Helena Staple, Zara Ilyas, Ruby Scott Kenny, Aoibheann Mangan, Charlotte Johnson and Maeve Galvin, who were presented with their awards recognising their work learning coding skills as well as supporting and encouraging other girls to realise their potential to create with technology.

Friends Zara and Ruby both attend Silicon Docks @ Accenture Dojo, Dublin noted after receiving their awards that This award is encouraging us to further support other girls to understand technology and learning more on coding and robotics”. One of their mentors, Gemma, has written several blogs (see here and here) on encouraging girls in CoderDojo clubs shared her excitement:


Helena is a regular member of a Hammertown CoderDojo, based at Kingston University London. With the support of Mentors at her Dojo over the last year she has grown in confidence and expanded her communication skills, and is now at ease helping children considerably older than herself. Helena beamed My dream is to become a teacher and show other girls like me how awesome programming is”. Over the last year Helena has developed a strong interest and commitment to mentoring younger children learning Scratch. She believes “Everyone should learn to code”.

Helena’s interest and confidence in coding grew with thanks to role models like CoderDojo Ham mentor, Gisela and approaches like the girls table which she setup, to provide a supportive space for girls like Helena to develop their skills and confidence in their abilities. Last month Helena, using a micro:bit she coded, gave a talk about kindness at Pycon UK 2017.


Aoibheann, an advocate of coding and technology opportunities for girls has Mentored with Cloghans Hill and Robeen Dojos for the last two years. Bear in mind, Aoibheann only tried coding for the first time three years ago as part of the hour of code! “I especially love and encourage girls to use technology” beamed Aoibheann, who has been working hard promoting technology and coding for girls. Last month she lead a workshop at Mozfest showing young people how to use and code with Pi-tops. Aoibheanns mother, Iseult, who Champions both Cloghans Hill and Robeen Dojos, works to make the school she is the principle of as forward thinking about technology as possible; travelling to the UK to train at Pi-cademy and supporting students to enter Astro Pi the last two years.


Charlotte attends her local Dojo in Glasgow Science Centre where she really enjoys learning new coding skills. She traveled over to Dublin for Coolest Projects 2017 and Brussels for EUDojo in the European Parliament, where she got to meet and share her insights with other young coders and MEPS. Last month Charlotte was named a National Coding Week Rising Star 2017. She is currently working with one of her coding colleagues on a project for Coolest Projects 2018. Unfortunately Charlotte couldn’t make it over to Brussels for the ceremony itself but we wish her all the best with her new title and hope it empowers her to inspire more girls to be tech creators!


Maeve Galvin, impressively has already won the Tech Week Ireland Scratch competition for the last three years consecutively in her age category. She also volunteers her time to Mentor younger children in her local Dojo in Kinvara explaining coding logic and more using Scratch and lessons which she prepares. We’re excited to see what great things Maeve achieves next after winning the award in the 15-17 year old category.



Teen-Turn (Ireland) was awarded the 2017 European Digital Impact Organisation Award. Teen-Turn works with companies throughout Ireland to cross the digital divide by providing hands-on work experience in technology career environments to teenaged girls from disadvantaged communities in order to address the industry’s social inclusion, gender disparity and skills shortage challenges. Catrina, a Mentor at the CoderDojo Girls group in DCU and who has actively supported CoderDojo Coolest Projects throughout the years, is heavily involved in this great organisation. She was there on the night to receive this very prestigious award and we congratulate Teen Turn on their well deserved success.



As evidenced by those who won; role models, whether they be parents, guardians, Mentors, Champions, fellow Ninjas or peers are so important in supporting and paving the way for more tech creators to follow. We want to congratulate not only all the amazing girls, women and organisations that were finalists and won last night, but also all those who have given their time and energy to supporting them to achieve these awards.


Learn more about how the CoderDojo Foundation is supporting and encouraging girls to be tech creators as part of the  CoderDojo Girls Initiative here.

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