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CoderDojo Club to be established in Athlone

Story by Tom Kelly

Wednesday, 8th February, 2012 5:30pm

An information evening to encourage volunteers to join an innovative computer programming initiative is to take place in Athlone IT on Thursday next.

The Athlone Coder Dojo Club is to host the event, designed for mentors and volunteers on Thursday, February 9, at the new Engineering building in the AIT at 7pm.

CoderDojo is a not-for-profit organisation founded in Cork earlier this year by James Whelton and Bill Liao that teaches young people how to code. It is an Irish led, global network of computer clubs where young people come learn to code, develop websites, apps, games and more! They also organise tours, guest speakers and events.

Athlone along with other towns and cities are in the process of setting up Coder Dojo centres. Prof Ciaran " Catháin, Austin Hanley, Barry O'Loughlin, Denis McCarthy and Enda Farrell at AIT have been instrumental in setting up Athlone Coder Dojo by generously providing state of the art facilities for the club at the college.

Staff from the AIT and from Ericsson have also volunteered to take part in the programme, which is being promoted by Athlone Chamber of Commerce.

Dojos generally run from 12pm until 3pm on Saturdays. The club is aimed at children aged eight and over, although younger enthusiastic kids also attend. U13s must have parent present at all time. Mentors do not need any formal teaching experience and there is no formal curriculum.

First day activities at other dojos have included intro to 'scratch' programme, creating a simple web page and dismantling a computer. The more established dojos are working on HTML games and developing android apps. Volunteers are reminded that a weekly commitment is not necessary, only the desire to help and pass on your knowledge to the next generation. Come along on Thursday evening and see how it goes.

For further information visit the Google discussion group

Further information can also be got at Twitter a/c @coderdojoathlon for updates and or for further information.