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CoderDojo at Storm ID – Learn to Code in Edinburgh

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Digital Skills for Everyone

We’re excited to officially kick off a series of monthly coding lessons for children and teenagers interested in the world of digital, commencing this April!

Members of Storm ID and Storm Ideas (full of knowledge about coding and equally full of enthusiasm to pass this knowledge on to a new generation of coders) will offer free lessons to young people between 7 and 17 years.

We call these sessions “Dojos” and they are organised under the international movement CoderDojo. Dojo originally comes from the Japanese expression for “place of the way” and refers to training of disciplines – and this is exactly what Dojos are all about! Our young participants will learn to code in a very creative and playful way while socialising with peers from various backgrounds. Dojos really are “a place of learning” – the idea being that everybody involved learns from each other, not just young people learning from mentors.

Amandine Eap, one of our talented web developers, has organised Dojos privately for almost a year now and believes this concept is convincing:

A Dojo is a great way to participate in a worldwide movement which helps young people from any background get free access to digital skills within an informal, creative, and social environment.

Motivated by the success of her first lessons, Amandine suggested starting regular Dojos here at Storm. Enthusiasm and excitement greeted her initiative – within only a couple of weeks, the first concepts were drafted, materials bought and a myrad of ideas collected.

Amandine Eap (second from the left) with some fellow members of CoderDojo Scotland. Photo credit: @BBCEdFest

Pawel Orzechowski, who –judging by his late-night emails- gave up a lot of sleep over the last few weeks to experiment with ways to make these sessions an incredible experience for our youngsters, is very excited about the concepts of CoderDojos:

CoderDojos expose students to technology, programming and even robotics at an early stage, enabling young boys and girls to take an active role in society. I’m especially excited about BBC’s micro:bit platform – a tiny (inch x inch) computer with infinite possibilities which we will use in our workshops to push the boundaries between the digital and physical world. For me, CoderDojo is a unique way to overcome the digital divide between people with and without access to technology and I am really looking forward to working together with interested youngsters in Edinburgh.


Learning to Code with BBC Micro:bits – lessons for all abilities

Now that everything is set up, our group of coders are busily working on fun activities to meet interests of people with different levels of coding knowledge. If anything, our dojos will be characterised by variety – from interactive storytelling using BBC micro:bits, a children’s book and conductive paint to clever code-cracking challenges, there will be something for everyone.

The basic idea of all Dojos is to use simple to advanced coding techniques with BBC micro:bits and combine these with creative and challenging games. That way, children can approach programming language in a playful way and will understand its effects and applications in everyday life.

An important enabler of this project is CoderDojo Scotland, a national network which has provided our group of to-be coding mentors with considerable support and multiple BBC micro:bits (on behalf of the BBC micro:bit foundation) to make this vision come true. Equally important are all volunteers involved in this project – a big shout-out to our crew here at Storm ID & Storm Ideas!

As the lessons are completely free and open to everyone, children of all backgrounds can get access to digital skills and share their passion with like-minded peers in a fun environment.

So far, the dates for three Dojos have been set. Lessons will take place at Storm ID, 43 Constitution Street in Edinburgh, and will have space for 10 children to participate – save your spot and sign up via Eventbrite if you want to take part!

A Story Come Alive:  Thu 27th April 2017 (5:30-7pm)

Tell a story like never before with the help of a BBC micro:bit. Use cardboard, conductive paint and your imagination to bring a book to life. Draw your own circuit and brighten up your story with lights, sounds and movement.

Bring own laptop and earphones.

Craft materials provided.

Open for registration.

Digital Jewellery & Interactive Garments: Thu 25th May 2017 (5:30-7pm)

Fashion with brains. Bring your jewellery and clothes to life with conductive threads, stretching sensors, lights and the help of a micro:bit. Imagine a pencil case changing colour with temperature; using your sweater’s buttons to play a ‘Simon says’ game; a sports armband that changes colour when you tense your muscles; earphones glowing in response to sound; a badge displaying a smiley in response to your voice or friend’s proximity.

Bring own laptop, earphones and a piece of clothing you would like to enhance.

Craft materials provided.

Crack the code – 007 goes digital:  Thu 29th June 2017 (5:30-7pm)

Solve riddles and crack the code for tricky challenges with the help of a BBC micro:bit – every right answer will open the clue for the next code. The group breaking the code first wins a dazzling price.

Bring own laptop and earphones.

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