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September 22, 2018
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230 children between 6 and 17 years enrolled in the CoderDojo Bucharest North programming and robotics workshops supported by Telekom Romania and Telekom Romania Foundation. The workshops, which will be held monthly during the 2017-2018 school year, are divided, based on their types, in: Algorithm, Arduino, Java Minecraft, Khan and Scratch, the last two of them targeting beginners and advanced.

This year, the number of children almost doubled compared to the one in the school year 2016-2017, when about 130 children attended these workshops.

Students will be co-ordinated throughout the sessions by 22 volunteer mentors – programming experts, parents who have knowledge in this area or former students of the first workshops of CoderDojo Bucharest North.

“CoderDojo Bucharest North is a community that has had a spectacular growth, as is the case with the cutting edge technology. For the children and for the mentors that we have been supporting for over 5 years, enthusiasm and creative solutions in programming are the only rules that guide them. We hope this Dojo will become a model for others created countrywide and we hope that the projects to be developed by these children will take concrete forms and turn into viable business solutions”, said Ruxandra Voda, Communications Director at Telekom Romania.

This year, 100 children are enrolled in the beginner programming workshops, where Khan Academy and Scratch platforms are used. At the same time, 60 children were enrolled in Khan and Scratch workshops for advanced students, classes where children will work in teams and will develop projects with themes chosen by themselves or proposed by mentors. Within these workshops, children develop soft skills like teamwork, communication skills and learn the stages of a project. They will design games, will learn how to program them, how to test them, and how to pitch them in front of an audience.

Another workshop is Arduino, where children learn the secrets of computer assisted electronics and where a microcontroller plate is designed to interact with the environment via sensors and drive systems. In order to write the programs running on the microcontroller, it is used the programming language C. Within this workshop, mentors are preparing the children for a future career in the Internet of Things technologies. Students will be initiated in the using of hardware components – base electronics, LEDs, speakers – all controlled by Arduino’s microcontroller.

At the Java Minecraft workshop, 33 young people will be guided and assisted in understanding the programming mechanisms involved in the very popular Minecraft game, which has over 100 million players around the world. Children will make changes to this game using the Java programming language.

This year, an Algorithmic Workshop was also introduced. Within this framework, 11 young people will enter the secrets of algorithms in mathematics and computer science, the two sciences being simultaneously involved in the understanding of the whole process. There, those enrolled will go through basic notions, learning specific algorithms and programming in C language.

CoderDojo is an international movement initiated in Ireland in 2011, which aims to give learners a context in which to understand programming in an open, informal environment through regular sessions, all being extracurricular activities. Dojos are initiated, coordinated and conducted by volunteers. In Romania, currently exist more than 40 Dojos. CoderDojo North Bucharest is supported by Telekom Romania and the Telekom Romania Foundation.

Additional information can be found at www.coderdojo.ro. People interested in becoming CoderDojo volunteer mentors can find out more here.

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