DCU member’s coolest project rocks UK education

DCU member’s coolest project rocks UK education
An Intel, eSkills and CoderDojo collaborated GCSE short course has just been launched in the UK to teach algorithms. This course is a little different and hopefully a little cooler as CoderDojo DCU member Catrina Carrigan inspired it.
Catrina joined CoderDojo DCU shortly after it was founded in July 2012 and after only a few months of programming HTML, CSS and little JavaScript, Catrina developed this really fun project for the CoderDojo Coolest Projects Awards (www.coolestprojects.org) that effectively enabled you to create your own rock group from the comfort of the internet. The idea was a music instrument website teaching you how to play a piano, guitar and drums. This website just rocked and it was a lot of fun for everyone around as Catrina developed her website getting the notes to play and the drums to beat. After the Coolest Projects Awards I reflected on the contribution, learning opportunities and excitement of this project and felt other members would benefit from this so I asked Catrina could we create a game Piano Rock Star based on her project.
Fast forward to January 2013 when we were invited to brain storing session with Intel UK on content for a short ICT course for UK education. Immediately I thought of Piano Rock Star of how the game would relate to all students while also providing key programming principles including algorithms, objects, loops, function and variables. Intel (www.intel.co.uk) and eSkills(http://e-skills.com) loved the idea and we working on developing this short course since.
At CoderDojo, we always like to spread across learning boundaries and when you create a project that you can personalise to people’s interests – in this case learning how to program a fun game that also teaches you how to play your favourite song on an instrument. This can really engage people in tech at a creative and exciting level, and they want to learn more. This is what Catrina achieved and why we are so proud of her project and the inspiration she has generated from it.
We want to thank Intel and e-Skills for all their great work over the last year defining and creating this exciting and cool course.