Thenue Housing Association
summary of project
Castlemilk CoderDojo is a partnership between Thenue Housing Association (Netherholm Area Association) and CoderDojo, an international movement supporting the development of coding skills in young people.
The project runs in Blaeloch Drive in Netherholm (Castlemilk) every second Saturday of the month.
CoderDojos are supported by volunteers and are loosely based on the original Japanese concept of Dojos (originally places of martial arts training attached to temples) in which learning is led as much my learners as by instructors, providing a flexible base for learning based on learner interests.
CoderDojos involve young people in the development of practical and coding skills in young people and bring to them the opportunity to use equipment such as the Raspberry Pi, which is a Linux-based computer costing very little and which enables problem solving and programming skills including game development, 3D design software which will support extended creative engagement in the Minecraft virtual world and other tools.
who is it aimed at?
Young people aged 8-14
how is it funded?
CoderDojos are funded externally and work in partnership with host organisations and venues to bring together young people and volunteer tutors
housing organisation resources provided
Staff time for support, volunteers from the Netherholm Area Association and space
what partners are involved?
Netherholm Area Association, CoderDojo, Thenue Housing Association
The venue used is small (6 PCs) so growth is limited.
CoderDojos run once a month to limit commitment from volunteers.
Schools are interested in promoting CoderDojos as a means of supporting wider and creative learning. While many young people, exposed to Japanese animation influences, are likely to know instinctively what is meant by a Dojo, parents are less likely to and the local school needed the support of a leaflet for parents to encourage attendance.
Bookings are required for small venues to avoid disappointment for participants. As with all youth projects, attendance can be difficult to predict and school holidays affect attendance (although still unpredictably).
A wide variety of marketing approaches are required for success, particularly for a project such as this which is specialist and requires explanation The Castlemilk CoderDojo has been promoted through local schools, the Area Association's Facebook page, reminders by text to parents of young people who have previously attended (once per month can be difficult for young people to turn into routine), through the local Jeely Piece Club, the local community Council and with an article in the Evening Times.
The age range of 8 - 14 supported by the CoderDojo movement does not sit well with the transition between primary and secondary school and the Castlemilk CoderDojo is attended by only primary school students.
The success of the Castlemilk CoderDojo has led to a decision to expand to other areas, but for secondary school students, and a new CoderDojo is being supported in Bridgeton (at the Bridgeton Community Learning Campus). This new initiative will also be supported by a youth worker from Glasgow Kelvin College's Youth Access programme and planning for it included, at the end of 2015, visits from CoderDojo to St Mungo's school to promote it.
Dawn McManus, Community Engagement Officer firstname.lastname@example.org
Shay Anderson, Digital Inclusion Worker Shayron.Anderson@thenuehousing.co.uk