School children from the local area attended the first ever CoderDojo event to be held in Ayrshire yesterday. CoderDojo is part of a global network of free computer coding clubs for young people. At the sessions, 11-17 year olds learn how to code, develop websites, mobile phone apps, programmes and games in a fun and social environment.

There are many benefits to the club. Young people gain first hand exposure to what a career in ICT offers, while at the same time, providing them with the skills and confidence they need to become a great programmer in a safe, fun and sociable environment at the College. As well as staff mentors, the project involves college ICT students acting as mentors. Loraine Johnston, Curriculum Manager for Business & IT said: “We are really excited about running the first Ayrshire CoderDojo here at the Centre of Excellence for Computing at the Kilwinning Campus of Ayrshire College. I first heard about the club at an event in Edinburgh and thought it was a great idea to help get young people interested in coding and bridge the skills gap in computing jobs in Scotland and the UK.” The club aims to promote computer science and technology in a fun, thought-provoking and inspiring way, encouraging young people to consider studying computing and recognise the rewarding opportunities available in the rapidly expanding ICT industry.

Craig Steele, CoderDojo Scotland Project Manager at the Glasgow Science Centre said “We are very excited to bring CoderDojo to young people in Ayrshire. It doesn’t matter what your level of coding is. You may be a beginner wanting to learn the basics or you may have some experience and be looking to hone your skills! Young people at our dojos have coded their own games, apps and websites so we are eager to see what creativity and skill we can find in Ayrshire.” Glasgow Science Centre Chief Executive, Stephen Breslin said “The IT industry is growing rapidly, at a much faster rate than any other sector, but the uptake of studying computing science at school and college is on the decline. CoderDojo is an active learning opportunity where young people can equip themselves with knowledge and skills to pursue careers in the sector.” The driving force behind CoderDojo Scotland are the volunteers and mentors from technology and education backgrounds who wish to inspire the next generation of digital content makers. If you are a computing teacher or professional software developer living in Ayrshire and want to volunteer as a mentor, contact Loraine Johnston for more information on 01294 559000.