Mid West kids got a taste for the art of digital coding as part of the eight-week CoderDojo pilot program.
Nearly 70 participants, aged nine to 17, mentors and parents tried their hand at creating games, apps, robots and 3D designs as part of the pilot program encouraging young people to get creative with technology.
Run by Scinapse (formerly the Mid West Science Engagement Group), the two-hour sessions at Durack Institute of Technology helped ignite young peopleâs passion for technology and foster better understanding of how technology shapes their world.
The program culminated in a discussion about âDigital Futuresâ aimed at young people considering careers in the technology sector, as well as a CoderDojo showcase in which the tech âninjasâ showcased their creations.
Scinapse Coordinator Andrew Outhwaite said many of the projects focused on creating games as a means to learn specific software languages, with some additional projects involving hardware, automations and animations.
âIt is a really fun-filled and peer-supported way for young people to get creative with digital technology, rather than just be consumers. Some ninjas are also working on really useful things, that can make a real difference,â Andrew says.
Participants relished the chance to mix with like minded people, learn the tricks and overcome the challenges behind coding.
"I enjoyed seeing how a CoderDojo worked and took back to my CoderDojo some good ideas. It was also interesting to hear of careers in technology and programming, networking and meeting new contacts," one participant says.
Another said "the coding was fun and tricky but I got through it", while another reported: "It was a challenge - that's what I liked."
CoderDojo will continue in Term 2.
The CoderDojo team is also calling for technical mentors, and parent volunteers.
Andrew said parents at the first session were already creating helpful automations for work and home using their phones and some fantastic software.
The CoderDojo pilot program is an initiative of the Scinapse thanks to funding from Inspiring Australia and Scitech. Local partners include Pollinators Inc and Durack Institute of Technology, with Fogarty Foundation and CoderDojo Foundation providing program support.
Parents can register children to attend online at http://pollinators.org.au/learning/coderdojo/
Scinapse is a voluntary network collaborating on science engagement activities. Scinapse' vision is to see a strong Midwest community purposefully engaged with science. Scinapse is coordinated by Pollinators Inc and funded by Inspiring Australia and Scitech.