A few months back I mentioned Coder Dojo which now covers the country and has recently gone international. It’s a free programming club where kids go with their parents and learn about things like web development, mobile development, games programming or other types of coding. The Cork City one is jammers every week from what I hear.
I was thrilled to see that Kinsale has kicked one off too and they had 103 kids at their first one. Well done!
Annnd I’ve just spotted that they now have one on Sundays in Blackrock Observatory.
If you are anywhere even vaguely close to either club I would encourage you to go with your children. I am absolutely convinced that early exposure to “computers” in a creative setting (not as consumers reading web pages or playing games) gives children a swathe of new opportunities in life that they would otherwise miss out on. They may never be programmers but they may become designers, engineers, scientists or artists.
This is also absolutely not a thing only for middle class, technical parents. The clubs have plenty of spare computers and people there who can help/guide the kids. You just have to be there to mind them :-)
The contact details for the City one are here. It is on every Saturday morning in the NSC in Mahon.
Kinsale details here.
The Kinsale one is on this evening at 7pm in The Trident Hotel. Please contact them if you are intending to go so they have an idea of numbers. They use an SMS system to gauge numbers each week where you just send Y/N in reply to a text message.
Blackrock details here.
Munster Programming Training
I should also mention the granddaddy of them all, the brilliant Munster Programming Training course which has been going for many years in UCC. Coder Dojo founder James Whelton attended it himself so it must be good! It is targeted at Transition Year students as preparation for participation in the “All Irish Schools Programming Competition”. Full details here.