CoderDojo Nenagh 3 years on

We’re coming up to our 3rd birthday at CoderDojo Nenagh so I thought I’d share some of what has been happening over the past 3 years.  We’ve been running once a month since the 18th April 2012 with the exception of the summer break and we’ve settled into a great routine.  In the beginning Scratch was the mainstay of the Dojo but we also had Arduino and Python workshops.  For the last year we’ve had Scratch and HTML groups happily working on projects.

For me one of the highlights of the past 3 years was in February 2014 when James Daly and Michael Murphy from Atom Split Games came to do a workshop.  We all thought James and Michael would come with cool technology to show us (well I certainly did 🙂 ), but they came with … paper and markers!  What transpired was a Design workshop that certainly stopped me in my tracks. Our instructions were to put away the laptops and get drawing.  It was an electric session that culminated in a series of presentations that symbolise for me all that is good in CoderDojo.  Here’s a selection of images form that workshop

DesignWS1

DesignWS2Another highlight has been the collaboration with Nenagh Foróige that has just begun.  Our Dojo has been lucky to have a space provided for us by Nenagh Arts Centre since the beginning. Foróige are housed in the same building and before Christmas I was approached with a view to a collaboration.  Foróige run an entrepreneurship programme and they wanted to work with a group of our ninjas with CoderDojo providing the technological know how.  A group was chosen and the fun and games started at the beginning of February.  It’s mostly team building at the moment but in their second week they went to Google HQ in Dublin.  I wasn’t a bit jealous!  10 of our ninjas went and took part in a Dragon’s Den on the day and one of our teams won 🙂  I’m really looking forward to seeing how this evolves over the coming year …

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Over the years there have been many other highlights that come as part of the package that is CoderDojo … the hum of conversation as ninjas work together making their own games, animations and websites, the smile as a problem is sorted, the quiet confidence as ninjas share what they’ve been working on not to mention the smiling faces coming in the door and the groan when I tell them it’s time to pack up …

It’s been a great few years as CoderDojo Nenagh has evolved.  This has been possible with the help of the parents, some of my former students who have been generous with their time and of course the ninjas themselves.  I’m looking forward to what comes next for the Dojo … 🙂

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