UPC Celebrates EU Code Week with Nationwide Launch of 10 New Dojos
David Kerr

To celebrate EU Code Week 2014, UPC in partnership with CoderDojo, has announced that they will create ten new CoderDojos across Ireland over the next twelve months.

What is Coder Dojo?

CoderDojo is a volunteer led gobal movement oriented around running free computer coding clubs and regular coding sessions for young people aged 7-17. The movement was started in 2011 by Irishman James Whelton who was 18 at the time. James received some publicity after hacking the iPod Nano and was contacted by other students who expressed an interest in learning how to code. Whelton set up a computer club in his school PBC Cork and started teaching students basic HTML and CSS. The movement was later joined by entrepreneur Bill Liao. The first Dojo was set up in June 2011 in the National Software Centre in Cork and has seen huge growth since then - currently there are over 480 Dojos in 48 countries worldwide.

UPC D4 CoderDojo

UPC launched its first coding club, D4 CoderDojo in June 2014, with children as young as six learning how to embrace coding using the learning resources and guidelines of scratch. To mark the beginning of EU Code Week, UPC will host a special session in D4 Dojo on October 11th, ably assisted by a number of their younger coders such as Noah Scolard aged 10 who will help mentor 60 children through his bespoke scratch programme.

Introducing Noah Scolard who said; "I started coding in June this year and I’ve been involved in coding since I was in third class when my teacher did Class Dojo with our class. My brother had done Scratch before and had really liked it, so I decided to give it a try. My expectations were totally exceeded. Now, as a mentor, I am helping other children try it out, so that they can be scratch geniuses when they’re older!"

Mary Moloney, Global CEO of CoderDojo commented; "Coding knowhow and experience is becoming an important skill for young people, whether for future jobs or as a basic literacy and problem solving tool, which they use in life. Being able to code is almost like having a superpower and EU Code Week offers us the opportunity to makecoding more visible not only amongst the children themselves, but also among parents, teachers, people in technology and the general public."

Grainne McLaughlin, VP Legal Services at UPC Ireland added; “UPC is extremely proud to be expanding our partnership with CoderDojo. Our goal is to enable CoderDojo to reach more and more young people, giving them the opportunity to learn vital coding skills that will help them become the next generation of creators. Peer mentoring is also key to the success of Dojos as young mentors are best placed to show other children their age the value and fun of coding!”

This announcement is part of UPC’s involvement with the Davos Declaration on the Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs, an initiative launched by the European Commission to respond to the shortage of workers in the digital sector for almost 900,000 ICT positions, including 7,000 Irish opportunities. 

To register for special D4 CoderDojo on Saturday October 11th, please visit eventbrite.ie/D4CoderDojoStaroftheSea

To find out what events are happening for EU Code Week in your area, please  visit www.codeweek.eu