CoderDojo to hold ‘Coolest Project Award’ at Intel campus in Leixlip

3 Oct 2012

A CoderDojo taking place in Los Angeles last week

CoderDojo is piloting a new ‘Coolest Project Awards’ that will kick off at a dojo event at Intel’s multi-billion euro manufacturing campus in Leixlip, Co Kildare, on 3 November. The awards are being piloted in conjunction with CoderDojo Cork and Athlone.

The idea for the award stemmed from a brainstorming session with Intel recently, Noel King from the DCU dojo told

“None of us then could have imagined the impact this idea was going to have on the fortunate kids who are involved,” King explained.

“After 14 weeks teaching the basics (HTML, CSS and JavaScript) in DCU, we turned to project-based learning to encourage the kids to be creative and come up with cool and fun projects to work on in July, August and September under the support of the mentors.

“These kids, after only starting to learn web design, have written some amazing projects; from a musical website on which you can play piano or guitar, to games, to their own websites.

“It has been amazing to see when you give kids the platform to be great so many will inspire and take the learning and knowledge to a level you could never have imagined.

“The reason we are calling it ‘Coolest Project Award’ is that we always want to promote creativity and innovation, we’re not about the best but the coolest,” he added.

The CoderDojo revolution

Just over a year ago, teenage coder James Whelton and entrepreneur and investor Bill Liao co-founded CoderDojo with the intention of providing an outlet for kids to learn how to write software.

There are now 104 dojos happening every Saturday afternoon (41 in Ireland) in cities from Dublin to Florence, and Tokyo, LA, New York, London and Chicago. New ones are sprouting up in Jamaica and Africa. On any given Saturday, an average of 6,000 kids between the ages of seven and 17 in Ireland and around the world are teaching each other how to write code.

Last week, a Silicon Valley CoderDojo was held at Microsoft’s offices in Mountain View, California, and the first CoderDojo at a Hollywood studio took place during the ITLG’s Innovation in Entertainment event at Sony Pictures Studios.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years