Happy Birthday CoderDojo Galway​

The first meeting of Coderdojo Galway city, January 2012
In January 2012, a small group of enthusiastic volunteers got together in the Computer and Communications Museum at the DERI Building NUI Galway under the auspices of Ado Bannon​ to discuss setting up a weekly coding club for children. The people present were inspired by the ‘Coderdojo’ model established by student James Whelton and entrepreneur Bill Liao in Cork six months previous.
Around the same time, the growing popularity of a free downloadable easy-to-use graphic block-based computer coding language from MIT in the United States known as Scratch made the dream of teaching every kid in the world how to programme achievable.
Attending that first pioneering meeting was Michael Madden​ Rob Stocker, Lisa Corcoran, Steve Holmes, ​Patrick Denny, Adrian Bannon and myself (Brendan Smith).
The rest as they say is history.

From day one, there has been enthusiastic support from parents, children and schools. Coderdojo Galway city now provides seven different sessions on Saturdays ranging from Arduino electronics, 3D printing to Scratch Beginners. It has spawned Coderdojos in Mayo, Roscommon and in many towns and villages across the length and breath of county Galway.
The club has endeavoured to promote social inclusion message and includes asylum seekers and travellers amongst its learners (ninjas). It has broadened its membership base to include teenagers and teen-centric sessions.
With its volunteer ethos, its local community structure and commitment towards upskilling the youth of Ireland, it is the 21st century technology version of that reputable and legendary Irish institution – the GAA. No higher praise could be given to a  movement that has captured the imagination of a whole country.
Thank you Ado Bannon for planting the seed that has grown into a giant entity with many branches that is in 2016 firmly rooted in Galway soil.

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