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CoderDojo gives BRisbane kids digital mojo

04 July, 2013

CoderDojo gives Brisbane kids digital mojo

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk will today launch CoderDojo Brisbane, a program for school-aged children to learn how to code, develop apps and build websites to lift the future digital capabilities of Brisbane residents.

The Lord Mayor said CoderDojo was part of a world-wide movement of free, not-for-profit coding clubs and regular digital sessions for young people, with Brisbane to be the first city in Australia to introduce the program.

“CoderDojo Brisbane is about enhancing the digital savvy of residents via computer programming sessions for young people and is a perfect fit with Brisbane’s Digital Strategy,” Cr Quirk said.

“As our world becomes more and more reliant on digital technology, the demand for coding and programming expertise is growing. We want Brisbane to meet this demand, by ensuring we have a generation of children fluent in the language of coding.”

During each CoderDojo session, participating children choose particular coding projects such as building a website, an app or a game. Mentors then guide them as they learn.

For the next month a CoderDojo Brisbane pilot program will be run at the Brisbane Square Library and then the official program will kick off in August at a number of Council Libraries.

Cr Quirk said Brisbane already had many talented youngsters and CoderDojo was about supporting and growing these whiz kids.

“Just last month three John Paul College Year 10 students – Hayden Johal, Aydan Hardidge and Ilia Tikhomirov – excelled themselves at GovHack 2013 against hundreds of other hackers Australia-wide,” Cr Quirk said.

“In a 48-hour period, they created an app called Night at the Museum which allows users to browse the Queensland Museum Online Collection, and were awarded the Spirit of GovHack prize for Brisbane competitors.”

Brisbane’s Chief Digital Officer Kieran O’Hea urged Brisbane’s digital leaders to get involved in CoderDojo Brisbane.

“We are currently enlisting volunteer mentors to facilitate the sessions and I’d love to see some of Brisbane’s experienced digital players getting involved,” Mr O’Hea said.

“I’m confident CoderDojo, in conjunction with our Digital Brisbane strategy initiatives will help to unearth and nurture our next generation of world-class digital entrepreneurs.”

The CoderDojo movement began in Ireland in 2011 but has since gone global with dojos being held in 23 countries, reaching thousands of young people. To become a CoderDojo Brisbane mentor or participant, go to CoderDojobrisbane.com.au/

FACT BOX: CoderDojo Brisbane at a glance

• CoderDojo Brisbane is a free and open non-profit movement enabling kids aged 7-17 to learn to code.
• The first CoderDojo Brisbane is a Brisbane Marketing initiative under the Brisbane Digital Strategy.
• Anyone can start their own CoderDojo.
• CoderDojo sessions will run each Saturday during school terms and go for two to three hours over the pilot and official program.
• Mentors work their way around the room to assist participants with coding and their projects.
• Participants under the age of 16 must have a parent with them at all times.
• Participants and volunteer mentors are free to register for as many sessions as they are able to, however a minimum of four week blocks is recommended.
• Participants must bring their own laptop.

[Ends] JULY 3, 2013

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