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.


And we have lift off! ….

The first Turing House CoderDojo took place on Saturday November 5th 2016, with 46 young people, from 14 local schools getting stuck into some creative coding.  There were activities on offer for beginners, as well as more experienced coders. 

The Arduino group were making battery testers, the Intermediate Python group built a Wall Ball game, and our Scratch coders were creating everything from Rock Band animations to Beat the Goalie competitions.  This was all made possible by an enthusiastic group of volunteer mentors, many of whom are professional software engineers.

Thanks to Joskos Solutions, who provided technical support for the event, and also to the Turing House Friends who served up some very welcome refreshments.  We’re looking forward to many more Dojos in the future!


Calling all Coders!

We’re a new CoderDojo group in Teddington, currently recruiting technical volunteers who can spare a Saturday afternoon to encourage young people to experiment with technology.

About CoderDojo:

CoderDojo is a worldwide community of non-profit, volunteer-led, free computer programming clubs.

At a Dojo, young people between 7 and 17, learn how to code, develop websites, apps, programs, games and explore technology using freely available tools such as Scratch, HTML, Javascript, Python, Rasberry Pi and more.

There is a focus on community, peer-to-peer, self-led and family learning, with an emphasis on helping others.

There are over 850 Dojos in 64 countries worldwide with over 30,000 kids learning to code regularly.

Locally the demand for CoderDojo places far exceeds supply, so with support from the organisers of CoderDojo Ham we are aiming to create a new venue in Teddington at Turing House School.

The Turing House Dojo will run once per term, on a Saturday afternoon, starting in the Autumn of 2016. It will be open to the whole community and be suitable for young people who are new to coding, as well as those with more experience who would like to pick up new skills and help others to learn.

About Mentoring:

We are building our team of volunteer mentors, so if you have some coding knowledge and would like to help, please get in touch. Our colleagues at the Ham Dojo will be able to provide some training and support for new mentors.

Mentoring could mean leading a coding activity at the Dojo, or supporting another mentor to lead an activity. Each activity is focussed on a small group of young people, accompanied by their parents or carers (many of whom will be learning to code alongside their children).

Suitable activity plans and resources, for a broad range of technologies, are freely available on the CoderDojo Kata website, and experienced mentors are welcome to develop and contribute their own material if they wish to do so.

For potential mentors who don’t already have a DBS certificate then CoderDojo has an arrangement with STEMNET for arranging vetting through their School Ambassador scheme.

If you would like to find out more about volunteering for the Turing House Dojo team, please get in touch using the contact form below: