Celebrating 7 Years of CoderDojo: A Royal Occasion

Yesterday we celebrated 7 years since the first ever Dojo session in Cork. As part of our birthday celebrations we invited Ninjas from Dojos across Ireland to attend and participate in the party. We played pass the parcel and other fun birthday themed games to celebrate before getting down to coding!

While some children used our idea generation worksheets to come up with their own project ideas, others decided to stick to the birthday theme and make this fun cake project or tried creating random sparkles on Sense HATs.

As well as children involved in CoderDojo attending we had very special guests also celebrate the occasion with us, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex!

The couple had the opportunity to meet with Dojo attendees, who explained why they enjoy being part of CoderDojo. They also talked with a number of CoderDojo attendees who demonstrated their creative tech projects.

Harvey (16)​ demonstrating his project Intelligentia with the Duke and Duchess. The app uses facial recognition to search for missing people in the users photographs on their mobile device. Harvey, from Dublin scooped the ‘Future Maker’ prize at Coolest Projects International for his project last May.

 

Cliona (11)​ showing off her unicorn game which she designed and coded in the visual programming language Scratch, using skills she developed at her local Dojo.

Peter Reid (11)​ discussing how his Smart Fridge works with the Duke and Duchess. Using a portable fridge Peter added pressure sensors which he coded to sense how much food a person has in their fridge. This data is then transmitted via the internet to a web page which displays how much of each type of food he has left in the fridge, ensuring he will never run out of milk!

Aoibheann, 11, is the current joint EU Digital Girl of the Year. She explained her Hospital Holly and Henry Project, which uses a Scratch story interface that interacts with a real life doll to help a child going to hospital for the first time to understand what may happen during
medical procedures such as blood tests and x-rays.

In addition, Aisling, 13, showed her project ‘Girls Do Code’, which recently won an award at Coolest Projects International. She has used multiple web development technologies to build a website that encourages girls to begin programming, by helping them locate CoderDojo clubs they can attend around the world and by showing inspiring examples of women in tech.

“Meeting the Duke and Duchess of Sussex was absolutely amazing. It’s amazing that they took the time to come to see how CoderDojo works and look at my Hospital Holly and Henry Project. One of my favourite things about CoderDojo, which I told the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, is that it really promotes and encourages girls from a young age to get involved in coding.

It’s CoderDojos 7th birthday and I’ve been going to my Dojo in Cloghans Hill National School for three and a half years now! I absolutely love it! I don’t have the internet at home so it’s a place to go to learn really cool coding activities and make friends. I’ve got a chance to try out so many things from Scratch (the visual programming language) to website building, robotics, drones and even how to live code music with Sonic Pi! It’s thanks to the skills I’ve learned in my Dojo. I was named joint EU Digital Girl of the Year in December!

I think if you have a CoderDojo near you, you should definitely join it. If there isn’t [a club] near you could always beg your parents or teachers to start one – that’s what we did in Cloghans Hill. There are great resources that the CoderDojo Foundation provide so even people with no coding experience can start a CoderDojo club!” – Aoibheann

Young people at the event got to learn more about resisters, LEDs and even try their hand at soldering. At the conclusion of the visit, Ninjas turned on a large CoderDojo sign fashioned out of these LEDs, resistors and batteries. We’ll be sharing how to make a similar project in your own Dojo in the coming days!

See more photos from the day here.


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