Coder Dojo movement going from strength to strength

Published 15/04/2014 | 05:40

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Fionn and Fergal O’Reilly at Coder Dojo in IT Sligo last Saturday.

There are 120 children and young teenagers in Sligo who meet regularly to learn about computer development and coding.

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It is part of Coder Dojo, an international movement inspired to get clubs set up to help young people develop their computer skills and learn how to code.

Gillian Horan Connolly is the co-ordinator of the Sligo group.

She said: "Coder Dojo is for anyone aged between seven and 17 years old.

"We have people from both Sligo and Leitrim, we meet on Saturdays in IT Sligo.

"Basically how it works is that teachers come in and the children learn to develop their computational thinking."

Animation, game making and HTML, where they create basic web pages, are among the subjects taught.

"It is all free to join, a Dojo signifies a temple of learning.

"There are more boys than girls and we would like to encourage more girls to sign up.

"We have two teams that are currently working on HTML games and they will be competing in the finals next June in the Helix, so we are looking forward to that."

All the mentors are volunteers and not all necessarily come with a technical background.

Gillian added: "The children taking part are a fantastic bunch.

"They are also learning problem solving skills."

Sligo has been selected as the international host for the Coder Dojo conference in May.

Gillian said: "This is taking place in the Knocknarea Arena on October 3rd and 4th.

"Most of the fellow Coder Dojos from around Ireland will be there, along with many from Europe.

"It will be good to meet the other mentors too."

Sligo Champion

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