The club celebrated with a Star Wars theme with a few of the children winning tickets in a prize draw to see the newly released movie, kindly donated by the Odeon cinema in Ayr.
In partnership with CoderDojo Scotland at the Glasgow Science Centre, the College launched CoderDojo in November 2014. Twenty clubs have been held in Ayrshire since then with 350 young people attending, making CoderDojo Ayrshire the most active in Scotland.
The club is hosted by Ayrshire College and is run by dedicated staff from the Business and IT department. The club promotes computer science and technology in a fun, thought-provoking and inspiring way, and encourages seven to seventeen year olds to consider studying computing at school, college or university. The clubs raise awareness of the rewarding opportunities available in the rapidly expanding ICT and digital technologies sector.
CoderDojo champion, Loraine Johnston, Curriculum Manager for Business and IT at Ayrshire College has led the initiative. Loraine said “I first heard about the club at an event in Edinburgh and thought it was a great way to help get young people interested in coding and bridge the skills gap in the computing industry in Scotland, the UK and Europe.”
Since then, Loraine and the curriculum team have gone on to win a College Excellence award for their hard work and dedication, volunteering at the clubs, all in their own free time.
Loraine was a guest speaker at the recent ‘Creating the Future’ event at University of the West of Scotland, which was inspired by the achievements of Ada Lovelace – who is regarded as the world’s first computer programmer.
Loraine said “The event aimed to inspire girls to think about their future careers and study opportunities in STEM. As one of the fastest growing industries, there aren’t enough people in the UK to fill current jobs in ICT, let alone the predicated increase in jobs in the next 5 years. It’s also a brilliant sector for women to work in and progress, yet we are very much in the minority. At Ayrshire College, we want to encourage more women into this exciting area, to develop their skills and maximise the contribution to Scotland’s economy.”
The College is looking forward to the club helping more young people across Ayrshire fulfil their aspirations of developing apps, writing programmes or building a website through the free computer coding clubs in 2016.
The next Ayrshire CoderDojo is Tuesday 19th January at Kilwinning campus.