700 Young People Tackle Computer Coding at LIT
Young people got a fantastic opportunity to learn to code at the MegaDojo event that took place on December 2nd at LIT. Over the course of the day, more than 700 children and teenagers took part in workshops where they learned how to make games, animations, and web pages and create software using electronic kits.
This free, fun-filled family day was organised by the CoderDojo community of the Mid West. Some of the workshops wereled by 11-year-old Aoibheann Mangan, who won Digital Girl of the Year in the Age 11-14 category at the Ada Awards in Brussels recently CoderDojo is a worldwide movement of free, volunteer-led, community-based programming clubs for young people. Anyone aged seven to seventeen can visit a Dojo where they can learn to code, build a website, create an app or a game, and explore technology in an informal, creative, and social environment. This year, with the support of CoderDojo Ireland, Maynooth University and Bank of Ireland, it expanded to two locations with a sister event in Maynooth.
“The event offers young people the opportunity to explore technology in fun way,” according to Barry Kennedy, Event Coordinator and CoderDojo Mentor. “We hope we were able to inspire them to continue to learn how to code and use these skills to express themselves creatively.” Gender equality was high on the list on Saturday. “It was particularly heartening to see so many girls here today,” said Pamela O’Brien, lecturer in LIT and CoderDojo mentor. “We need to do all we can to engage our young girls in STEM. Through events like MegaDojo and the CoderDojo clubs we can help to redress the gender imbalance in technology.”
A number of guest speakers gave talks on topics such as Augmented Reality, Entrepreneurship, Games Development and improving the gender balance in the tech community. Plans are already underway for next year’s MegaDojo which will coincide with EU Code Week in October 2018.