CoderDojo is returning to Mary Immaculate College for Spring 2020 with free sessions running for four weeks from 11 March – 1 April for children aged 7-12 years of age. Taking place every Wednesday at the College’s Limerick campus from 6pm to 7pm, these free sessions are open to children who are new to the concept of coding.
Participating children and their parents will learn how to code in a relaxed and fun learning environment, supported by MIC students who will act as ‘Dojo’ mentors.
For the past three years, CoderDojo at MIC has been increasing in popularity with children from around the region. The workshops teach children how to code through the development of interactive games, stories and animations using Scratch – a block based visual programming language used around the world. Each week, the children will engage in a fun and interactive coding challenge and project.
Over 50 students from MIC have volunteered again this year to guide the CoderDojo attendees, known as Ninjas. These students assist the children in learning to code and provide support as the children complete their weekly challenges. The coding sessions benefit the children in many ways through the development of key literacy and numeracy skills, such as sequencing, variables, team work and communication skills, as well as higher-order thinking, creativity and problem-solving skills.
The CoderDojo sessions at MIC form part of the College’s NextWave initiative for primary level children and their parents. The NextWave initiative is a bespoke STEM education strategy aimed at providing opportunities for conceptual and practical engagement with next generation technologies.
According to Dr Maeve Liston, Director of Enterprise and Community Engagement and senior lecturer in STEM at MIC, "Mary Immaculate College is the leading third-level institution in Ireland in the provision of programmes in the teaching of STEM at primary level. The College is at the frontline of teacher education and plays an important role in shaping the attitudes and fostering the value of STEM education for 21st century learners through both formal and informal educational outreach initiatives."
Dr Liston added, “These coding sessions have two very significant objectives, to develop key IT skills, computational thinking, logic and critical thinking skills among our younger generation, and also to develop digital literacy skills in our future teachers to integrate STEM effectively right across the curriculum.”
In addition to the NextWave initiative, MIC has also recently been awarded €350,000 towards the development of a major STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) outreach initiative, which will see the establishment of a dynamic and interactive public exhibition and interactive workshop space entitled CRAFT Maker Space, allowing for the innovative fusion of creative arts and STEM education.
According to Dr Liston, the key vision of the CRAFT Maker Space will be to catalyse the public’s engagement with STEAM through a variety of outreach activities such as these Coder Dojo workshops, focusing on building creativity, innovation and STEAM skills for life. The CRAFT Maker Space will be the first of its kind to be located in the Mid-West region. To find out more, click here.
To book a place on the free 4-week CoderDojo course, please click here. Spaces are limited and booking up fast. Please ensure to book a space for all 4 weeks. For any other queries, please contact email@example.com.
The Coder Dojo programme at MIC is kindly supported by the Irish American Partnership and Coder Dojo Mid-West.