We are very passionate about education projects and this February we started a new one. We founded CoderDojo Essensys, an autonomous programming club, launched from the desire to make programming and technology accessible to children. A CoderDojo is an international community of free programming clubs, called dojos, where children (ninjas) can learn programming from mentors with practical experience.
To begin with, CoderDojo Essensys will be a private, closed circuit dojo, and our little ninjas are children in a disadvantaged situation who otherwise don’t have access to such courses. Our colleagues who volunteered as mentors will help them make the first steps in programming, teach them how to solve a problem, and encourage the children to team up and help each other.
For this first session we will work with 11 children from School 136 in Bucharest. Children are 10 to 14 years old and will start with learning Scratch, a visual, intuitive and very easy to learn programming language developed by MIT. The learning sessions take place every two weeks, on Saturdays, and last for two hours. Besides Scrath, they will be able to work on web applications, mobile, games, arduino etc.
CoderDojo is a global community of nonprofit programming clubs that emerged from the desire to give children and young people access to that part of the technology that remains hidden to the average user. The first CoderDojo appeared in July 2011 in Ireland, at the initiative of James Whelton, a passionate programming high school student, and Bill Liao, an entrepreneur, philanthropist and visionary investor. The CoderDojo Movement creates spaces and contexts where young people learn programming for free in an informal and open way.
The idea behind CoderDojo is pursuing the development of technical creativity, achieving team working skills, increasing the desire for self-improvement, opening people to mentoring and volunteering. The over 2000 dojos active in over 110 countries are communities that promote programming and technology as positive change forces.
In Romania, CoderDojo currently counts about 50 local programming clubs where organizers provide the conditions for all children interested in learning programming in an efficient, friendly and accessible way.