The IET is organising its fifth CoderDojo club in a bid to get more young people, especially girls, into coding in order to alter perceptions of STEM careers amongst children, parents & teachers.
CoderDojo is a global network of free, volunteer-led, independent, community based programming clubs for young people. These young people, between 7 and 17, learn how to code, develop websites, apps, programs, games and explore technology in an informal and creative environment.
In addition to learning to code attendees meet like minded people and get to show off what they have been working on. Read more...
Clubs are available once a month, on a Saturday, at the IET Stevenage offices from 14:00 - 17:00
Clubs are free of charge.
Participants will need to bring their own laptops in for the day. Most can borrow a device from their parents but if this is going to be an issue, please email us.
There is free parking in the IET car park.
Please note that places are available on a ﬁrst come, ﬁrst served basis.
Is my child too young to attend?
We generally recommend that participants be aged 7 or over, but if you have younger children that you need to take care of then you’re welcome to bring them along as well.
Do I have to stay with my child during the CoderDojo Club?
If they are aged 12 or under then yes, they will need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian. We are not a childminding service, and our volunteers and mentors are not able to look after any of the participants.
If they are older than 12 then it’s at your own discretion. However, if a participant is disturbing the people around them then we will ask you to chaperone them in future.
My Child already does a lot of programming on their own: why should they attend CoderDojo?
CoderDojos are a great way for kids who’re interested in programming to meet like-minded people and to learn from their peers and from our mentors. They provide an environment for people to develop their own interests, but where they can ask for help if they need it.
Does my child need to already know code?
No. Most dojos have space for complete beginners and for children who already know a lot. Part of the idea of CoderDojo is that children learn how to teach themselves, by having ideas, trying things on the computer, using online resources and by teaching each other, with mentors there to help that happen. There should be mentors there who have a lot of programming experience. Often this is not required, because other children around can help them get started.
What does my child already need to know?
It's good, but not necessary, for the child to already know a bit about using a computer e.g. to surf the internet or write an e-mail.
What do I need to bring?
Most dojos have rules that children need parents or guardians there. The ideal is that the parent helps the dojo run, where anything needs doing, and it is not just tech skills that dojos need, and gets to know other parents so that there is a community. The rule for example may be that children under 12 need a parent at the dojo. In most dojos children also need a laptop to program on.
Should I get my child a new/faster laptop to participate in CoderDojo? What kind?
Tablets iPad or android and chromebooks aren't suitable for learning programming, and notebooks with tiny screens 13" or lower will be frustrating. Whether it makes sense to get a new laptop depends on the child's interest. Most of the coding going on in Dojos does not need a high specced laptop with fast graphics. Refurbished laptops that are a few years old will work perfectly well in a dojo. We couldn't make recommendations about best value laptops as different people have different views and prices and features are constantly changing.
I don't know anything about Computers. Can I help?
Yes. There are many aspects of running a dojo. The more parents help with making the dojo work well, the more time mentors have for mentoring.
What topics do you teach? Is there a lesson plan?
Dojos may teach web development, programming in Scratch, Python and other languages. Some dojos do electronics projects, game development and app development. The tools for doing this can be downloaded for free. How much actual teaching and how much mentoring and whether there is a lesson plan varies from dojo to dojo.
For further information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
We hope to see you there!