Nelson CoderDojo is a free, volunteer run, computer and technology club that is open to all young people from the ages of 7 to 17. We meet weekly on Wednesday evenings and guide the kids through computing and technological activities in a number of different topics. We cater for all levels, from complete beginner to advanced. We rely on volunteers to run the club and are very interested in having new volunteers join to help out with our existing programmes or start up new programmes in topics that interest them.

Our Current Volunteers

Aidan Curran
Aidan started the CoderDojo club in Nelson in 2015 and is the current club leader. Aidan works as a web developer and has his own web design business called Stellar Web Works. At CoderDojo, Aidan leads activities in Scratch, Web Development and sometimes introduces other topics.

John Paul Pochin
John Paul is a recipient of a Kiwibank local hero award for his work as a founder of Nelson’s biennial winter festival, Light Nelson. He is passionate about the link between science, technology and art. He is a photographer by profession and has previously worked as a software engineer. At CoderDojo John Paul guides kids in activities involving computing and electronics. He operates a ‘makerspace’ at his studio on Bridge St. from where he usually runs the CoderDojo sessions.

Nathalie Lacaze Campbell
Nathalie is passionate about making robotics and computing fun to learn. Nathalie delivers workshops on robotics in schools and libraries and Ministry Of Inspiration. In 2019 Nathalie is introducing an new online STEAM educational programme called Smartbots which aims to introduce young people to robotics and computer programming. At CoderDojo Nathalie runs a robotics programme using M-Bot kits (based on Arduino) and M-Block programming language (based on Scratch).

Polina Stucke
Polina is a data scientist/manager with a background in neuroscience and applied linguistics, who is enthusiastic about programming and building gadgets and tools. She owns and manages a machine learning/data analytics business called Aeye Technologies. Polina is our newest volunteer, joining in term 2 of 2019. She has experience in teaching kids and is enthusiastic about getting kids and teenagers excited about programming and technology.

Martin Love
Martin, formerly a teacher at Nelson College, has been involved with the club since the start as a parent and a helper. Martin is planning to introduce a new activity to the club in 2019 – 3D computer aided design with TinkerCAD.

Mark Christison
Mark is studying for a Bachelor of Technology at NMIT. He is helping out with Newcomers and Scratch groups.

Steve Copley
Steve is a teacher of digital technology at Waimea College. He is helping out with Newcomers and Scratch groups.

 

What is CoderDojo?

CoderDojo is a volunteer led, global movement of free computer coding clubs for young people.
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In 2015 CoderDojo Nelson joined CoderDojo Porirua and CoderDojo Invercargill as New Zealand’s third CoderDojo. We aim to give girls and boys from ages 7 upwards the opportunity to learn computer coding in a fun and friendly environment.

Find out more about the global movement at coderdojo.com

What is Code Club?

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Code Club is another network of free computer coding clubs for young people with similar objectives to CoderDojo but has a larger network of clubs in New Zealand than CoderDojo. Code Club is part of the Raspberry Pi Foundation. In 2016 CoderDojo Nelson also became affiliated with Code Club Aotearoa while retaining our affiliation with the CoderDojo Foundation.

CoderDojo and Code Club together

In May 2017 the CoderDojo Foundation announced that they will be joining forces with the Raspberry Pi Foundation, the parent organisation of Code Club, in a merger that will give many more young people the opportunity to learn how to code and create. This merger will support the Foundation in becoming a stronger, more sustainable and resilient organisation.

Who is it for?

As a global organisation, CoderDojo targets young people between the ages on 7 and 17. At the moment we have kids between the ages of 7 and 15 years attending but would also like to encourage older teenagers to attend. No previous experience with computers is required.

Are parents required to attend?

We recommend that younger children (10 and under) or those with special needs be accompanied by a parent or care-giver. Children that can self-manage may be left as long as you provide us with a phone number where you can be reached and a signed consent form.

When and where?

The club meets at NMIT in Nelson on Wednesday evenings from 6:30 to 8pm. Room location is provided once you have registered. John Paul’s group meet at his Bridge St. studio.

Do I need my own computer or equipment

For most activities we use NMIT computers so you do not need to bring your own. Some kids bring their own devices and/or equipment to the Robotics and Electronics groups but you do not need to bring anything when you are just starting.

What does it cost?

CoderDojo is free as it is run by volunteers and NMIT are providing the facilities free of charge. We do recommend a small donation of $10-$20 per term to cover cost of equipment and supplies.

What topics are covered at a CoderDojo session?

For absolute beginners we start with Code Studio where the kids learn some of the basic concepts by connecting blocks of code together to solve puzzles. Once the children have some basic coding concepts we have them work on Scratch which is a fun and easy to learn drag and drop programming language designed for teaching programming to kids. We have web design available as a topic and sometimes introduce other topics such as JavaScript and Python. For those that are interested in using programming to interact with the physical world we have introductory robotics using M-Bot kits and electronics/micro-controllers which introduces Arduino, Raspberry Pi, electronic components and various programming languages.

We may introduce other topics as we go along depending on the interests of the children and knowledge of our volunteer mentors. We are totally open and encouraging to new volunteers joining us and leading activities in their own fields of interests.

The basic idea at CoderDojo is that each child works at their own individual pace, guided by the mentors, and shares their achievements and enthusiasm with the other children.