CoderDojo is a global movement of free and fun coding clubs for kids 7-18, and we’re the Los Angeles version. At a CoderDojo, young people learn how to code, develop websites, apps, programs, games and more in a fun and social environment. We believe that coding is part of a new basic literacy and encourage kids to express themselves and make their ideas come to life with digital tools. Dojos teach kids to code, organize tours of technology companies, bring in guest speakers to talk about their careers and technologies they use, and organize technology events. In addition to learning to code, kids meet other like-minded members and show off what they’ve been working on. CoderDojo also puts a strong emphasis on open source software, and has a strong network of members and volunteers globally. We believe that STEM/STEAM can benefit all kids, whether they like math or science or art or writing, and provide real-world, practical skills that connect and empower kids of all socioeconomic classes, genders, and ethnicities.
History of CoderDojo
CoderDojo is a not-for-profit organization founded by James Whelton and Bill Liao. It was first started in James Whelton’s school in early 2011, when James received some publicity after hacking the iPod Nano and some younger students expressed an interest in learning how to code. He set up a computer club in his school, where he started teaching basic HTML and CSS. Later that year he met Bill Liao, a entrepreneur and philanthropist, who was interested in growing the project into something bigger than just an after-school computer club. In June 2011 the first CoderDojo was launched at the National Software Centre in Cork. Soon after, a Dublin Dojo was launched in Google’s Montevetro building. The great interest lead to setting up more Dojos around Ireland and subsequently around the world. Now there are 130 Dojos in 22 countries, with 10,000 kids learning to code for free each week.
CoderDojo Los Angeles was founded by Una Fox and Shara Karasic in June 2012 and as of May 2015 is a project of Community Partners (that means we can now receive grants and accept donations to grow our outreach and offerings). We are regularly hosted at Google LA, and we have also had CoderDojos at Disney Animation, Creative Artists Agency, Sony, General Assembly and Idealab. We partner with organizations such as Fulfillment Fund, Communities in Schools, UCLA Community School, LA’s Best and Incubator School to teach coding and STEM/STEAM skills to a diversity of LA kids. We are grateful to Google LA who hosted the first CoderDojo LA events, Women@Google, GoogleServe volunteers for helping us create fun CS curriculum, CAA, Idealab, Disney Animation, and all the wonderful volunteers. The entire CoderDojo LA community has made this all possible, including the parents, grandparents, guardians, and the kids, full of creativity and joy.