Portlaoise may not be a high tech hub but a new club launched last week is set to send local kids on the computing superhighway.
CoderDojo Portlaoise was officially launched last Wednesday April 9 by Sen John Whelan at Portlaoise Youth Café. CoderDojo is volunteer-led movement orientated around rfree not-for-profit computer coding clubs for young people. At Dojos, young people between 5 and 17 learn how to code, develop websites, apps, programs, games and more.
CoderDojo Portlaoise started trial classes in March with 32 children attending. However, more than 100 children are already signed up for classes in September at a larger venue - the Old School building in Ballyfin.
Even though last week marked its official launch, CoderDojo Portlaoise already has a waiting list and parents are encouraged to put their children’s names down.
Classes will be likely to be offered on Wednesday and Saturdays. A summer camp is also to be offered in Robotics.
Mentor Darren Bayliss spoke to the Leinster Express at last week’s launch.
“We have some immensely talented children,” he said. “They all keep coming back and they all love it.
“It is all about their development,” he said.
Launching the club Senator John Whelan he had high hopes for children and teenagers CoderDojo Portlaoise who attended the launch.
“Maybe a number of poeple in this room are going to invent things that are going to be really important to us and change how we lives,” he said.
The Labour Party politician said he would recommend to the Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn that CoderDojos be introduced to Irish schools.
Portlaoise Coderdojo is grateful to the following for their help in setting up: Enterprise Ireland’s Denis Duggan; Evelyn Reddin of Laois County Enterprise Board; Nicola Coss form Youth Work Ireland; Portlaoise Heritage Hotel; Darren Bayliss, of Almora Consultants; Nick Anton from Dunamaise Arts Centre Eamon Donovan of Modus IT Ltd.
There will be an open evening on Wednesday, April 15 in the Portlaoise Heritage Hotel at 7pm for anybody interested to register.
It is free to join and the classes are free.
To become a mentor or volunteer email info@CoderDojoPortlaoise.com or www.CoderDojoPortlaoise.com See also facebook.com/coderdojoportlaoise and twitter.com/CoderDojoLaois