Dundalk Institute of Technology will tomorrow (Saturday 13th October) host “MegaDojo Dundalk”, the region’s first ever major coding event for school children between the ages of 7 to 17.
The event will take place in the PJ Carroll Building with a variety of interactive coding workshops, demos and tech talks taking place throughout the day from 10am to 4pm. Young people and their families are invited to attend for some or all of the day and can still book their place by visiting http://megadojo.ie/dundalk/.
MegaDojo Dundalk is aiming to attract 512 young people from across the North Leinster-South Ulster region. This initiative is coordinated by the School of Informatics & Creative Arts at DkIT in conjunction with Coderdojo Ireland and is supported by the Higher Education Authority (HEA). Special guest at the event include the Irish Coastguard who will be on campus with their rescue boat to showcase how they use technology during rescue operations.
Megadojo is a national voluntary initiative which brings together approximately 5,000 young people at six Institutes of Technology across Ireland for a day of free workshops, demos and tech talks aimed at introducing young people to coding, technology and digital literacy skills. A fundraiser for Bumbleance, the Children’s National Ambulance Service, will also take place on the day.
The initiative is part of CodeWeekEU and was launched by the Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD in Dublin on 14 September 2018. DkIT President, Dr Michael Mulvey attended the launch along with members of staff from the School of Informatics & Creative Arts.
Speaking about the launch, Brendan Ryder, Head of Department of Visual Human Centred Computing at DkIT said: “Megadojo is the largest coordinated coding event in the world in 2018 and we are delighted to bring it to our region for the first time. We are aiming for approximately 512 young people to take part in the event and we welcome anyone aged 7 to 17 to come along on the day and test out their coding skills.”
Also speaking after the launch, Fiona Lawless, Head of Department of Computing Science and Mathematics said: “Our Megadojo aims to reach a wider audience and give young people, who might not normally have exposure to coding, an opportunity to create their own content. We have also invited a number of local technology companies to exhibit on the day and to showcase some innovative ways they use technologies in their businesses. Exposure to industry is so important for young people as they consider their career options because it allows them to make more informed choices for their futures.”
Peter Gosling, computing lecturer at DkIT and lead organiser of MegaDojo Dundalk manages the DkIT CoderDojo which meets one Saturday per month for regular coding sessions. Speaking today “Coding is for everyone and the great thing about CoderDojo is that no previous programming experience is required to take part. Young people, or ‘ninjas’ as we call them, get so much out of taking part from problem-solving skills to enhanced IT skills and they are also encouraged to explore their creativity with their ideas. And of course, the benefits of meeting other young people in a fun, social environment cannot be underestimated. It is fantastic to take CoderDojo to the next level with MegaDojo Dundalk.”
No prior coding experience is required to take part in the day. Children under the ages of 12 years old must be accompanied by an adult.