‘We help our members grow through a variety of networking opportunities.’

Searching for the next net generation

Newry could be on the cusp of finding the next Mark Zuckerberg thanks to a free initiative that’s teaching children how to create the codes behind the internet. CoderDojo is an Irish led network of computer clubs in which young people learn to code and develop websites, apps, games and more. The global movement recently opened its first Northern Irish group in Newry. Now the Newry branch is set to offer a world-first girls-only group this Thursday. The programme sees like-minded youngsters to interact with each other-something the clubs creators feel is particularly beneficial for children who can feel left out as they are more interested in technology than sports or music. Open to children from the age of eight up CoderDojo is mentored by volunteers who want to pass on their knowledge and skills to the next generation. One such woman is Julie Collins a founding member of CoderDojo inn Newry. She has seen first hand the boost the club has given its young members but is keen to redress an imbalance she’s seen too. “We have a significant interest from boys in attending the clubs but we are also really passionate about getting more girls to attend the clubs,” she said. “We have witnessed what these young girls are capable of producing and we want to encourage this further. That’s why we are organising the girls only group, we’re hoping that being exclusively female might mean that some girls who otherwise might not have joined will come along. We have only one rule – above all be cool. What comes under uncool for us is bullying time wasting any lying. So basically the rule means treat the club its members and mentors with respect.” CoderDojo Newry is hosted by EmeraldValley II in Carnbane Business Park from 4pm to 7pm on Thursday. Food is provided. The normal Newry group is held is held on the last Saturday of every month from 12pm – 3pm. Interested children must register before attending coderdojonewry.eventbrite.co.uk. The club is free to attned. All that is required is enthusiasm, a laptop and for those aged under 16, an accompanying adult. For further information contact Julie Collins on 07402848282 or Nichola Bates on 07961433310 or visit http://coderedojo.com


Newry Democrat

13th June 2012