We usually meet every other Sunday afternoon. The CoderDojoDC Meetup Page lists our meeting times and locations. Please RSVP yourself and your children to help us plan and avoid overcrowding our locations.
Our meetings are free and open to all children. Children 12 and under must bring a parent, but we strongly encourage all parents to stay and help out. If you have a laptop, please bring it, but it is not required. In the past we have worked with Codestarter to help every child who’s interested in programming to have their own computer, but unfortunately the Codestarter program has ended. We are currently investigating some options to create a similar program that would allow us to facilitate getting good starter laptops for programming into the hands of kids who need them. If you are able to help us in this effort (for example, by helping us to spec a good, inexpensive laptop, or to develop an installation image including Linux and some free software useful for programming – along the lines of Codestarter’s Chromebook installer), please get in touch!
The most important things to bring, though, are your creativity, energy and a desire to share what you know and learn what you don’t. If you’re already working on a programming project, feel free to bring it too and present it at the end.
If you are able to bring a laptop for your child to use during the meetings, it is helpful if you can install some of the free software we use for our activities in advance of the meeting. Brief descriptions of our core technologies and links to installation pages are available on our installation guide page.
Our meetings are 2 hours long, and we follow a similar format for each one. We start with a full group presentation or activity and then break up into sections based on programming interests. (Don’t know where to go? Don’t worry, we’ll help if it’s your first time.) If the full group presentation involves an activity some children will continue working on that activity for the next hour. Other children will continue work on Scratch, Arduino, HTML or other projects of their own or by the recommendation of mentors. Children are welcome to look at the projects being worked on and also encourage to help out others. At the end, we come back together and everyone is encouraged to present their work to the group. This is one of the most fun and rewarding parts of the meeting, so don’t leave early.
If our meeting times and locations aren’t convenient or you just want to attend more CoderDojo meetings, check out the following area dojos: