Blog - Page 2

EU Code Week – 15-23 October 2016


EU Code Week is a grass-root movement run by volunteers who promote coding in their countries as Code Week Ambassadors. Anyone – schools, teachers, libraries, code clubs, businesses, public authorities – can organise a #CodeEU event and add it to the map. To make organising and running coding events easier, CodeWeek have prepared different toolkits and selected some of the best lesson plans, guides and other resources.


CoderDojo Scotland Events during EU Code Week

Monday 17th

  • CoderDojo Inverness (Intro to Coding special for new coders)
  • CoderDojo Paisley YMCA

Tuesday 18th

  • CoderDojo Inverness (Animation)

Wednesday 19th

  • CoderDojo Bridgeton
  • CoderDojo Inverness (Data Encryption & Hacking)
  • CoderDojo Edinburgh @ Prewired

Thursday 20th

  • CoderDojo Inverness (LEGO Mindstorms Challenge – Day 1)
  • CoderDojo Renfrewshire Libraries @ Linwood

Friday 21st

  • CoderDojo Inverness (LEGO Mindstorms Challenge – Day 2)

Saturday 22nd

  • CoderDojo Edinburgh @ Drumbrae Library
  • CoderDojo GoMA Library
  • CoderDojo Glasgow Science Centre
  • CoderDojo Mitchell Library
  • CoderDojo Pollokshaws Library (Launch of the new dojo)

For more information or to book events click here.

Contact with any queries.


Extra fun at CoderDojo Inverness for October Break

Thanks for supporting Coderdojo Inverness!

Wow!  How time flies, we are fast approaching the October break and I am very pleased to say we will be offering classes over the holidays.  All the events will take place in the second week of the holidays 17th – 21st October, each day has a different focus so each event will have to be booked separately.  The first day (17th) will be for children who have never been to a Coderdojo previously, the rest of the week is completely open.

Here’s what’s on over the week:

Introduction to Coderdojo – Monday 17th October (only open to young people who haven’t attended the previous dojos)

Coderdojo: Animation – Tuesday 18th October

Data Encryption & Hacking – Wednesday 19th October

LEGO Mindstorms Challenge  Thursday & Friday, 20th and 21st October (each date is booked separately so advised to book both)

Each session will start at 1000 and finish at 1300, we recommend that your child brings a bottle of water and a snack, we will have a short break between activities.

To read more about each session and to book click here.

We also would really appreciate it if you could take the time to give us some feedback  on your child’s experiences at Coderodjo Inverness by answering these few questions.


CoderDojo Bridgeton Opens to More Young People More Often

Everyone likes a good news story and here at CoderDojo Bridgeton we’ve got a double-scoop of good news to share. (Readers are advised to read slowly to avoid brain-freeze).

The first scoop – we’re opening up to children of 8+ living in the east end of Glasgow. Yay! Now comes the second scoop (choc-chip scoop with sprinkles on top) – we are doubling (yes, you heard right people) the number of sessions we run to two a month!

As from October the dojo will be open to young people from 8-17 who live in the east end of Glasgow. Our sessions will run fortnightly.

Book a place by going to

Oooh, brainfreeze… too much sweet goodness!

National Coding Week – 19-24 September 2016



For National Coding Week, CoderDojo Scotland will be running intergenerational sessions and coding taster sessions for young people. The intergenerational sessions will take place in established clubs and will take the format of teach your parent / grandparent / guardian to code. Our taster sessions will be for 8-17 year olds and will be to get more young people interested in coding.


Supporting Young People with Autism

On Monday 8th August in Glasgow, The National Autistic Society (NAS) hosted a talk for Coder Dojo Mentors with an aim to further understanding of the condition. The speaker was Callum McCrosson.

Callum first took us through the history of Autism and the society. We were then led through the most common difficulties faced by those with Autism. Finally we were provided tips on how best we can support neurodiversity.

Callum was warm and funny throughout and really gave us a unique opportunity to speak with someone, extremely candidly, about what it’s like to have Autism, and to try and gain a better understanding of the daily challenges a neurodiverse person may face.

Autism is a grossly misunderstood and complex condition that, thanks to Callum and NAS, we now have a greater appreciation and respect for. The more we can understand about the challenges faced, the better we can help support those with Autism.


David Anderson, CoderDojo mentor

Find out more about autism and the work that the National Autistic Society do.



Raspberry Pi-way code

The following is an excerpt from the Ileach – the independent newspaper for Islay and Jura. Issue 43/20 published 23 July 2016.

Joseph Hughes writes:

A group of young people on an SQA certificated course run by Islay and Jura Youth Action & Argyll College, wanted to learn more about computer coding when their course finished. Argyll College’s Mairi McCuaig was directed to CoderDojo Scotland by Lisa from Argyll Arts Hub who were delighted to hear the group were keen to set up on Islay and offered some training. A successful bid submitted to Fourteen enabled the trip to go ahead.

The CoderDojo Foundation is a volunteer led movement which started in Ireland, but is now reaching out globally. The movement centres around creating and providing spaces for young people between the ages of 7-17 to learn about technology and coding in an environment that encourages learning with peers.

On our trip we met Craig Steele, the founder of the CoderDojo Scotland movement. He introduced us to some of the technology, such as computers like the Raspberry Pi and various programs that are often used at their clubs. We were also taught how we can use them to teach other young people about writing code or using the technology to make games, create music, or even for use in aiding everyday life. Craig also showed us some of the projects CoderDojo had worked on with the BBC to give us ideas for our own club.

Islay and Jura coders visit to CoderDojo Scotland

Islay and Jura coders’ visit to CoderDojo Scotland

Now back home, armed with knowledge and a small amount of kit provided by IJYA, we plan to setup our own CoderDojo clubs back here on Islay and Jura. We plan to have our launch/sign-up day starting at 4:30pm on Thursday 8 September at IDEAs Cabin in Bowmore. More information will follow through newspapers, posters and via the Islay and Jura Youth Action and Islay/Jura Community pages on Facebook. Hope to see you there!

This project was funded from the Fourteen Islay & Jura Programme through the Fourteen Islay & Jura Panel. The Fund is administered by Foundation Scotland

We’re looking forward to seeing the start up and development of the new CoderDojos in Islay and Jura.

Natalie, CoderDojo Scotland

CoderDojo Inverness returns with summer fun!

Thank you to all the children (and parents) who came along to our first summer camp.

They all worked really hard and even taught us a thing or two! Shout out to Jasper’s amazing Micro:bit skills and Ashleigh’s Gizmo website! Inverness CoderDojo now have a new website to make it easier for people to find out what’s happening, book tickets and ask questions. Please have a look and let us know what you think on twitter @HighlandCoder.

Robert Fraser
CoderDojo Inverness

Micro:bit Makers
Micro:bit Makers

“I really enjoyed programming the robots and making my Micro:bit do cool stuff. I hope to come back again.”


Learning with Minecraft
Learning with Minecraft

“I liked it because Scratch is cool and I love Minecraft.” Olivia

Introduction to Coding with Scratch
Introduction to Coding with Scratch

“It’s really fun and I love using Scratch at home and the Minecraft day was my favourite. I liked making Alex move a building on my Minecraft account.” Iona

Building for the Web
Building for the Web

“I loved being here, my favourite was making my own website. I hope to see you sometime else this year or maybe more. I enjoyed everything we did.” Ashleigh

CoderDojo Inverness is one of our newest Dojos and has brought CoderDojo back to Inverness after nearly 3 years without a club. Well done for all the hard work to bring it together and for the success of the summer camp!

Inverness will be running a weekly coding club for under 16s every Tuesday at the UHI Stem Hub, starting 23rd August. Book a space now via Eventbrite.

CoderDojo Inverness is run by volunteers. If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer mentor with CoderDojo get in touch here.

CoderDojo Inverness

CoderDojo Inverness

All images via @UHISTEM

Understanding Autism

At our dojos we mentor a variety of young people between 7-17 years old, with a wide range of aptitudes and requirements. Some of these young people are on the autism spectrum (including Asperger Syndrome).

To better support them, we’ve teamed up with our friends at the National Autistic Society (Scotland) who will run ‘Understanding Autism’ training for our mentors on the 8th August. The purpose of the training is to provide mentors with a better understanding of the condition, with practical advice on communication, social interaction, and how to create a space that is welcoming for those with autism, .

Find out more about autism and the work that NAS do.

John Bell, CoderDojo Mentor

Meet the Mentors – Meet Amandine

Amandine is one of our newest mentors. A full-stack web developer, she loves coding, fixing problems and is hugely enthusiastic about what CoderDojo does. Amandine will shortly be setting up a new Dojo in Edinburgh – look out for it!



If you only had three words to describe you, what would they be?

Adventurous – I am always on the lookout for a new adventure, whether that be travels or new challenges to take on!

Curious – I love to learn about different cultures and meet all sorts of people.

Troubleshooter – I always find myself trying (and usually succeeding) to fix things… mechanical things… difficult situations… coding problems…


Do you work with technology? What do you do?

I do! I am a full-stack web developer, so I work both with front-end and back-end technologies (mainly within a LAMP environment) for a web design and development company based in Leith, Edinburgh, by the Shore.

What made you start coding?

I must have started when I was about maybe 14 years old at the time… it was early ages of the internet back then in the 2000s and I was just drawn to it and started building all kinds of websites with the help of the web and a couple of geek friends when stuck. I was using HTML, CSS, PHP scripts such as PHPBB and Flash for banners and animations mostly.


What do you like about coding?

I love that since technology constantly evolves there is always something new to learn. Fixing bugs or making something work that you had no clue about can be exciting and I also find it really rewarding when a site goes live and you see the results of your work out in the open for the world to see!


Coding’s a boys’ thing, isn’t it?

I’ve never actually seen it that way… but then I was always more drawn to men than women in both my friendships and work environments, which have always been boy-centred within my previous careers.

I guess it is somehow but I am not sure why and girls should definitely not be afraid to try their hands at it and see how well they can do themselves! Go girls!


What’s the one tech you couldn’t live without?

I would probably have to say the internet in general? Or if you are materialistic speaking, then my laptop! I am almost 24/7 online on my laptop, whether that is for work, just browsing sites or streaming TV shows!


Are there enough cat videos on Youtube?

Definitely! I am more of a dog person myself you see… 🙂


A little bird has told us you’re starting a new CoderDojo in Edinburgh. Can you tell us about it?

Yes! I am currently on the lookout for the right venue to hold a regular Dojo and once all the technological, mentoring and general hosting obstacles are overcome it will be announced so keep an eye on here!

Also, if you are interested in becoming a mentor at it, do get in touch.

To read about Amadine’s adventures with the BBC micro:bit at the Popup Family CoderDojo click here.

Getting our Hands Dirty with the BBC micro:bit

By Amandine Eap


Earlier this year, the micro:bit was released by the BBC and their partners which included Microsoft. This pocket-sized code-able computer was released to over 1 million pupils in S1 or equivalent across the UK for free.

On Saturday 25th June 2016, a Popup Family CoderDojo was run in partnership with CodeClan within their Edinburgh headquarters.

The session involved over 35 people (20 young people and 15 adults) and was based around the micro:bit.


A series of activities was developed which included extra challenges for those wanting to go the extra mile. This setup allowed for young people with different levels of programming knowledge to participate, from the novice to the advanced coder. This helped facilitate a wide age range as well. The participants were from 6 years old to 15 years old and included adults.

The session was kick-started by a small computing quiz in order to get some interactivity going between the attendees and took the form of an ice-breaker, introducing some new knowledge along the way.

The first activity was to build a pedometer and program it so that it would count steps and reset itself to 0 upon the press of a button. Everyone was asked to split into groups of 2 or 3 and get a set consisting of the micro:bit and a laptop to get started. With the help of both adults and mentors (or none at all), the pedometers were built and tried out, which involved some fervent running around the room by some of the young people!


The second activity was building a ‘Frustration’ wire-loop game which involved a few new bits of equipment such as Play-Doh, wires and crocodile clips. Again, a few different levels of challenges were offered, which allowed for more brain power to be released.


All the activities seemed to have been welcomed with a great deal of enthusiasm and all the feedback collected was very positive. It was great to see both adults and young people trying to come up with solutions and working together.

Another great session, which shows again how much interest there is from young people towards computing and science in general. Keep your eyes peeled on our events page, our facebook page and twitter for any similar upcoming Edinburgh events.


We look forward to seeing more from the Edinburgh CoderDojo in the coming weeks.

If you are interested in checking out the micro:bit for yourself, Glasgow Science Centre and Digital Scotland are running a series of micro:bit workshops this summer!

The workshops are for adults accompanied by young people aged between 11 and 17.

Click here to register now.