Coder Kids to Showcase their Projects at Insight NUI Galway
Parents, teachers, teenagers and children interested in computer programming are invited to attend NUI Galway on Saturday May 17th when members of one of lreland’s fastest growing volunteer youth clubs will showcase their own computer games and digital stories.
The event will take place from 12pm-2pm at the university’s Insight Centre for Data Analytics in the Dangan Business Park.
The organizer is Coderdojo, an open source, volunteer-led movement orientated around running free not-for-profit coding clubs and regular sessions for young people in a relaxed and social environment. At a dojo (Japanese term for training centre), young people between the ages of five and seventeen learn how to code, develop websites, apps, programs and games. Dojos are set up, managed and taught by volunteers. The first Coderdojo was established in Cork in June 2011 by James Whelton and Bill Liao. Since then it has become an Irish technology export success story active in forty-three countries.
According to Brendan Smith, one of Coderdojo Galway’s co-founders and an Outreach Officer at Insight, “There is a real appetite amongst our young people to learn how to code. They want to move on from playing computer games to making their own versions. This is shown by the fact that every Saturday, in cities, towns and villages across Ireland, thousands of enthusiastic children and teenagers create their very own games, digital stories and web applications facilitated by volunteer Coderdojo mentors.
May 17th is International Scratch Day. Developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology(MIT), Scratch is the most popular computer language for young people worldwide, being a significant catalyst in the huge uptake in coding across the world over the last few years. It has a cross-disciplinary ethos and structure that combines mathematics with elements of arts, engineering and personal development. So we are using this opportunity to encourage our young coders or ‘ninjas’ to showcase their projects to the general public.
Coding is the new literacy of the 21st century. It will be as important for our children to learn how to programme as it is how to read and to write. It is the foundation stone on which the modern technology age is being built. Hence for Ireland to develop a sustainable knowledge economy and society, it is vital that we harness the creativity of our youth to innovate the beneficial products and processes that the world needs.