Press Release 15 Oct 2012

Sean Kelly, MEP who is a keen supporter of CoderDoJo, today announced,  at the annual CoderDojo conference in Limerick, that he will be hosting  the first ever CoderDoJo  event, in the European Parliament,  January 29th,2013, to focus the attention of MEPs throughout Europe on the school children's coding movement.  CoderDoJo chapters across Europe are expected to attend, led by CoderDojo founders, James Whelton and Bill Liao.

CoderDojo is just over a year old which has thousands of kids around Ireland taking part and learning how to code in a fun and creative way. The free global movement aims to teach children between the ages of 7 to 17 in cities from Dublin, Cork to Florence and Tokyo.  There is roughly 6,000 kids learning and teaching each other how to write code every Saturday.  The aim of the conference is to raise awareness for CoderDojo; to bring mentors, parents and children together to identify what’s working and what can be improved on to make CoderDojo work better for all involved. At the Dojos the kids learn everything from Scratch to Javascript and Node.js.  Harry Moran became the world’s youngest Mac app developers with the game PizzaBot which surpassed Angry Birds in the charts last December.

The conference will look at how to manage the increase in kids wanting to attend, those on waiting lists and getting more mentors and volunteers involved in setting up dojos, finding free venues and encouraging more people to get involved.  While programmers and developers are key in CoderDojo we are also looking for volunteers who want to get involved with marketing skills, graphic design and helping run administration side of dojos.

The conference will be opened by Dr. Maria Hinfelaar introducing the founders of CoderDojo James Whelton and Bill Liao will cover the last year of CoderDojo and their vision for the future.

“The movement has really taken on a life of its own and I found the fact that 150 mentors along with mentor Rebecca Garcia from New York came along to our conference was not only reassuring but made me swell up with pride,” Whelton said.

“It was a really good time to discuss the future of the CoderDojo movement and talk about the organisation’s core ethos. We shared experiences and discussed matters like insurance to child protection policies, the technologies we will be focusing on and we had demos, including one kid who did a live demo from San Francisco via Google Hangouts.”

Also speaking on the day will be: Clare McInerney, Chris Exton (LERO/UL) and Maureen Lynch (Hays Recruitment) and Ireland South MEP, Sean Kelly. Several VIP's will also be present on the day; Minister of State Ciaran Cannon, Kieran O'Donnell TD,  Patrick O'Donovan TD, Limerick County Council Cathaoirleach Jerome Scanlan and Senator Tony Mulcahy.

John Kilmartin, Emerging Companies Division, IDA Ireland said, “We are pleased to provide support to such a fun and innovative event which will aid in the development and education of so many children across Ireland. Events such as CoderDoJo, is a great way to inform children of the opportunities available to them which can only serve Ireland well into the future.”

For more information on the list of Dojos around Ireland and how to get involved please visit www.coderdojo.com
For more information please contact Eugene McDonough on conference@coderdojo.com, @CoderDojo (twitter) or check out #DojoCon on twitter. Mobile No: 087 653 7694

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