Robots going round in mad circles, blinking and beeping while almost twenty young people sit at their computers in the Stylight Atrium. Solving code.org puzzles in Minecraft or Star Wars or building their own computer with a Kano kit, all those kids were taking part at the first CoderDojo in 2016 hosted at our Stylight HQ. A CoderDojo is a series of events where young people learn how to code and explore technology in an informal and creative environment.
The young people hardly couldn’t wait till they were able to start coding. Belá from CoderDojoMunich managed to bring together a vivid bunch of technology enthusiasts between seven and seventeen years old. But even the seven year olds weren’t the youngest ones. Some families brought their younger children to enjoy the funny robots and the swings mounted in our atrium.
The two Dash robots from Wonder Workshop were a hit for the younger folks. Using an iPad they could remote control the robots and program them easily. Just drawing a line on the iPad screen was enough to make the Dash robot driving off following the defined route. Adding special effects like a victory dance or recording their own voice messages which the robot played back at certain locations of the track delighted the kids.
Having three hours of uninterrupted time to learn how to code was the greatest thing for some of the kids. Not only did they solve a lot of puzzles provided by code.org but they used the remaining hours to get creative: programming a character to move around in a Minecraft mini-world, making it cut trees, seed plants and build houses conjured up a big smile on the kids faces.
CoderDojoMunich plans to organize a coding session for young technology enthusiasts on every first Saturday each month. That cycle should enable young people to work on even bigger projects spanning multiple days. The tutors are more than ready to guide them.