More fun and games at the Turing House Dojo …

Dojo 7 Montage b

We’ve now been running our termly Turing House CoderDojo events for 2 years, with Dojo number 7 taking place last Saturday, 6th October.  The rain didn’t deter our coders from coming down to Teddington to take part.  We had around 50 young people working on Scratch, Python and Web Development projects. Many were working collaboratively with family and friends, and all were able to use our easy-to-follow worksheets to produce simple games and animations, picking up new coding skills along the way.

We’re extremely grateful to the volunteers that make these events possible, and we’re always on the lookout for new activities that we can include.  If you have some coding skills and would like to help inspire the next generation to prepare for a digital future, do get in touch via our Dojo website.  You can also sign up to our Mailing List to receive information about tickets for future events.  We’ll be back with our next Dojo in the Spring term!


A colourful start to the Summer…


Dojo6MontageOn Saturday May 12th, we hosted our 6th CoderDojo at Turing House School with more than 50 young people taking part.  The robotic claws were back in action, and several more zoo websites were built. Scratch was used to create ghost hunting games, boat races, dodgeball and more.  Our Python coders were making top trumps, encrypting secret messages and racing turtles!

New to the Dojo this time was Scratch Spirograph, a colourful activity run by Philip, a local puzzle book author and computing tutor.  He was showing our budding digital designers how, with just a little bit of maths, they can make gorgeous geometrical patterns.

We are very grateful to all the people who make our CoderDojo events possible.  A big shout out goes to Adrien, the Turing House caretaker, and Mohammed, our Joskos support engineer, who dealt with every minor glitch in true super-hero fashion.  Special thanks also goes to Jen, our friendly face on the door, and guardian of biscuits and drinks!

We are already looking forward to our next Dojo in the Autumn term. To find out how you can get involved, visit the Turing House CoderDojo website.

Traffic lights, squirrel operatics and robotic claws …

Traffic lights, squirrel operatics and robotic claws …

On Saturday February 4th we held our fifth Turing House CoderDojo, and it was our biggest yet, with 66 young people, and their adults, registered to take part.  It was also our noisiest Dojo to date – the Raspberry Pi crew were making traffic lights, complete with pedestrian crossing beeps!

Our regular Scratch and Python projects, courtesy of Code Club, were as popular as ever, with animated rock bands, dodgeball games, rock-paper-scissors, and turtle races being just some of the creations.  Special mention goes to the opera-singing squirrel, which we think could definitely start a trend, though it competed with some equally interesting looking specimens at the fictional zoos being showcased by participants in our Web Development activity.

Of course our Dojos are very dependent on a dedicated and enthusiastic team of volunteers.  This time we welcomed Llewelyn, who ran a new robotics activity, with our young coders manipulating and controlling an articulated arm and claw to pick up objects.  He was one of three mentors helping out on Saturday who are actively looking into setting up new Dojos in other parts of London, including Ealing and Wandsworth.  It’s great to see the CoderDojo model expanding, and if you are interested in getting involved let us know!

We’ve been selected for the Co-Op Local Community Fund!

We’re thrilled to hear that the Turing House CoderDojo has been chosen as a beneficiary of the Co-Op Local Community Fund!

Every time Co-Op Members buy selected own-brand products and services, 1% of whatever they spend goes into the Co-Op Local Community Fund, along with all money raised by Co-Op from sales of carrier bags.  The funds are then shared amongst chosen local charities, and Co-Op Members can decide which cause benefits from their own 1% contribution.

Turing House CoderDojo will be one of the selected local causes between 12th November 2017 and 28th October 2018.

We will be using any funds raised to buy new equipment for our community coding events, which run once each term at Turing House School in Teddington.  At CoderDojo, young people learn computer coding skills through fun projects, with the help of volunteer mentors. To find out how you can get involved, come and see us at the Turing House CoderDojo website.Print


Dojo 4 sends its code into orbit (literally)!

At the fourth Turing House CoderDojo event on Saturday October 7th, 59 young people, from more than 20 different schools,  got down to some intensive coding, across 6 different activities (and lots of biscuits were eaten too!).

Our new Micro:bit activity was very popular, and led to the creation of interactive badges, a guide-the-wand-along-the-wire buzzer game, a reaction timer, and more.

Our Raspberry Pi group took part in the new Astro Pi Mission Zero project, which means that their code is guaranteed to be run on the International Space Station (though their Dojo Mentor Richard wasn’t quite sure if everyone believed him).  Each student wrote some code to measure and display the Space Station’s air temperature using a Raspberry Pi Sense Hat, along with their own personal message to the Space Station crew.  They will each get a certificate to say that their code will be run in space for at least 30 seconds!

In the meantime, our younger coders were making games and animations in Scratch, several more young people learnt how to build their own website, and a record number of Python coders got to grips with projects such as Rock-Paper-Scissors, Turtle Races, Role Playing Games and Wall Ball.

Thank you to all the wonderful volunteers who make this all possible; we get so many appreciative comments from parents, many of whom join in the activities with their children, and are inspired to continue at home.

To find out more about future Turing House CoderDojo events and to register on our Mailing List, you can visit the Dojo website here.


Adding a pinch of robotics to the mix …

Our third Turing House Dojo took place on Saturday June 9th, and with our small army of enthusiastic mentors, two brand new activities, and perfectly tuned air-conditioning, we were well equipped to compete with the glorious summer sunshine outside.

We introduced robotics, using some of the Lego Mindstorms kit and exciting projects that Turing House recently used in the national finals of the EEP Robotics Challenge.  Special thanks go to the school’s facilities manager, Mr Jones, for clearing out a store room, to give our robots lots of space to play!

Pieter from Kode.Farm Computer School made his CoderDojo mentoring debut with an instantly popular JavaScript Platform Game activity. Participants learnt how to animate and control a game character, how to enable physics in game elements like gravity, velocity, bounce and friction, how to detect when elements in the game collide with one another, and more.

Our regular Scratch activity was as popular as ever with our younger Dojo participants, our website developers got creative with their fictional zoo activity, and last, but certainly not least, our Python coders got stuck into a whole raft of fun projects, from beginner to intermediate level.

Thank-you to everyone who helped to make the event successful, including Artis from Joskos (whose technical support included popping out for new microphone batteries) and, of course, the wonderful Turing House Friends who kept everyone supplied with beverages and biccies.

The next Turing House Dojo is Saturday October 7th.  Find out more here.


Dojo 2 and the online zoo …

On Saturday Feb 4th 2017 we welcomed 52 children to our second community Coder Dojo event. 

This time, as well as Scratch, Python and Raspberry Pi, we added a Web Development activity, with participants creating their very own website for a fictional zoo.  Thank you to everyone who helped to make the afternoon so successful. Our next event will be in the Summer Term, so please join our Mailing List if you would like to hear when tickets are available.