Category

Monthly Event

CoderDojo Toronto – May 26th, 2019

By | Monthly Event

This months theme is “Water a plant day”. Not as big a topic as International Women’s day, or Earth day, but really important nonetheless. Especially when you forget to water your wife’s (or mother’s) potted plants while she is away and they all die. So for this months workshop we’ll be building an electronic system to detect if a plant needs water.

This project will be using an Arduino and a water sensor, as well as a bit of Python to make it work. It’s a great introduction to some of the very inexpensive electronic and embedded computer kits you can get today. Arduinos and Raspberry Pis cost around the $30 mark. Kits with all sorts of sensors can be purchased for around $50-100. This makes it very easy to get into building connected devices, and ultimately (with maybe an Electronics Engineering degree) the Internet of Things (IoT) industry. It is a really exciting time to be an electronics enthusiast as these devices would have had prices in the $1000 mark 15 years ago.

There are lots of options to get into electronics and building little hardware projects, as well as lots of things to learn. All of it won’t fit into the time we have for the workshop, but we will get through the basics of Analogue and digital, sensors, as well as some intermediate Python. This workshop will be focused less on creative expression, but the skills that we cover will make all sorts of cool art exhibits possible.

Register

The event is free and being held at Bitmaker at 220 King Street West on the 2nd Floor, starting from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm. To attend, please register at Eventbrite.

What is happening?

This event will have a Drop-in Lab, and the workshop will focus on learning about the Arduino and some intermediate python.

Drop-in Lab

Bring your own ideas, or use our project guides that are available for all skill levels. Everybody works at their own pace with help from the Mentors. Available activities for our drop-in sessions are:

  • Scratch – creating interactive stories or games (beginner, ages 6-10, minimal typing)
  • Web Development – make your own website or application (intermediate, ages 10+, typing skills required)
  • Arduino – learn hardware program with this easy-to-program circuit board (intermediate, ages 10+, typing skills required)
  • Something else? – tell us what you’d like to learn! Let one of the mentors know what you have in mind, and they will assist you with finding resources

Arduino Workshop – Plant water sensor

This workshop will be run by CoderDojo TO Mentor Michael (Me!). Participants will build a prototype plant water sensor using an Arduino and a moisture sensor. You will only need to bring your laptop, but you are welcome to bring your Arduino (or sensor) if you have one. This will be a prototype which we will make on an electronics breadboard. The project will be a simplified version of the one found here. We’ll be replacing the relay and water pump section with an LED to keep things simple, but that doesn’t mean that you couldn’t follow those instructions later to have it actually water your plant. The programming will be done in Python and will make use of some of the intermediate Python that is covered in the Beginner python next steps article.

Things to Remember

  • Kids coding drop-in lab, ages 8 – 17 only
  • Bring Your Own Laptop or Android Device
  • All skill levels welcome
  • Bring your own ideas or use our kid-friendly resources
  • Adult accompaniment required at all times
  • Bring a snack, but remember that we are a Peanut-Free environment
  • Have Fun!

If you have any questions, please email toronto@coderdojo.ca

CoderDojo Toronto – April 14th, 2019

By | Monthly Event

Earth day, which is happening this month on April 22nd is a day action to raise awareness about protecting the environment. Earth Day 2018 was about ending plastic pollution. This year, Earth Day 2019 is about protecting the worlds threatened and endangered species. Normally, about 1-5 species go extinct each year. Now it is estimated that species are going extinct at least 1000 times this rate, with multiple species going extinct daily. 1 in 8 Bird species are threatened with extinction, and many of the big cat species will go extinct in the next decade. One of the biggest challenges with the environment is educating people about the many species that are threatened or endangered and this will be the theme of this Kids Coding club this month.

The workshop for this month will be a HTML & CSS workshop to learn how to build a basic website. HTML & CSS is the foundation of web pages. For those that don’t know much about web pages essentially HTML is the content, and CSS is the styling. Understanding how it all works together is needed if you want eventually build really cool dynamic web pages or web applications like Scratch or Trinket. For cool (complex) web pages and web apps, you would normally use a combination of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript together. But for basic (but still very cool and stylish) web page you don’t need JavaScript. So to keep things simple, the workshop is just going to focus on HTML and CSS.

Register

The event is free and being held at Bitmaker at 220 King Street West on the 2nd Floor, starting from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm. To attend, please register at Eventbrite.

What is happening?

This event will have a Drop-in Lab, and the workshop will focus on learning HTML and CSS.

Drop-in Lab

Bring your own ideas, or use our project guides that are available for all skill levels. Everybody works at their own pace with help from the Mentors. Available activities for our drop-in sessions are:

  • Scratch – creating interactive stories or games (beginner, ages 6-10, minimal typing)
  • Web Development – make your own website or application (intermediate, ages 10+, typing skills required)
  • Arduino – learn hardware program with this easy-to-program circuit board (intermediate, ages 10+, typing skills required)
  • Something else? – tell us what you’d like to learn! Let one of the mentors know what you have in mind, and they will assist you with finding resources

HTML/CSS

The workshop will be lead by Mentor Caitlin. In celebration of Earth Day, we will be building web pages to spread the word about endangered species. We will be building web pages using HTML and styling them with some CSS. You can preview the project here. The websites will be built using Trinket. Trinket.io is a website that allows you to build websites (as well as run Python). Everybody will be encouraged to be as creative as possible with their web pages and styling. There will also be plenty of examples that you can work from to make something that looks really amazing!

Things to Remember

  • Kids coding drop-in lab, ages 8 – 17 only
  • Bring Your Own Laptop or Android Device
  • All skill levels welcome
  • Bring your own ideas or use our kid-friendly resources
  • Adult accompaniment required at all times
  • Bring a snack, but remember that we are a Peanut-Free environment
  • Have Fun!

If you have any questions, please email toronto@coderdojo.ca

CoderDojo Toronto – March 10th, 2019: International Women’s Day

By | Monthly Event

The countdown is on! In 7 days we will be having a special CoderDojo Toronto Learn to Code event on March 10th in celebration of International Women’s Day 2019. The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is “Balance for Better” to work towards building a better gender balance in the world. This is a special CoderDojo Toronto event in March that is running in addition to the regular CoderDojo Toronto events that normally run on the 3rd Sunday of the month.

Hedy Lamarr in Come Live With Me trailer

Hedy Lamarr

Women have made significant contributions to technology which often go uncelebrated. Ada Lovelace, generally considered to be the first computer programmer during the 1840’s when the very first mechanical computers were being conceived. Or Hedy Lamarr, an Austrian/American movie star and inventor who developed frequency hopping radio transmissions, a technology still used today. More recent contributions by people like Dr. Lisa Su, an electrical engineer known for her work on Semi-conductor design, the building blocks of CPUs, who is the CEO and President of Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) a large CPU, Graphics and Semiconductor company.

These are just a few more well know contributions from individual women. There were many women who contributed just as much without anywhere near the recognition. For instance the women who made up the majority of the codebreakers at Bletchley Park trying to crack the Enigma code during WWII. Or the women who made up the human computers and programmers at NASA during the space race.
This special CoderDojo TO event will focus on the contributions of women to technology through creating a game, story, or webpage about a woman who inspires you.

Register

The event is free and being held at Bitmaker at 220 King Street West on the 2nd Floor, starting from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm. To attend, please register at Eventbrite.

What is happening?

At this event there are 3 technologies that will be focused on to build games and stories. Scratch, Twine, and HTML/CSS.

Scratch

Who uses ScratchIn the main area, we will be working on Scratch to build a story or game with material about a woman that inspires you.

There will be lots of ideas on what you can make and resources to get started. Mentors will be in the room to help out. Scratch is a great tool to get your feet wet in coding as it allows you to very easily create interactive stories games, and animations with all the code built with drag and drop blocks.

Scratch is web based, so all the Scratch projects you make will be available from anywhere to work on them or share them. Scratch is a great to get even for adults to get a basic understanding of programming. For more information on Scratch go to http://scratch.mit.edu

Twine

Twine LogoThere will be a special workshop run by CoderDojo TO mentor, Karen, doing storytelling with two main topics: women in STEM and women role models. Twine will be used to create interactive storytelling games. Twine is a great start to any coder’s journey into programming, as it teaches event-based logic and conditionals. Typing is required, but don’t worry, as we will pair learners up with mentors to help facilitate typing and idea generation for the stories.

Everybody will be encouraged to be as creative as possible in building their stories, whether they’re about a woman super hero, women they respect and admire, or about themselves make record-breaking achievements in the future! Guardians are welcome to participate as well.

For more information about Twine, please visit: http://twinery.org/

HTML/CSS

A second workshop will be run by CoderDojo TO Chapter Champion, Les, building a website around the theme of International Women’s day. HTML and CSS is a great place to start if you want to build anything web related. HTML and CSS form the basis of anything you want to display in a web browser. HTML provides the content, and CSS provides the styling. Once you have HTML and CSS under your belt, you can later move onto to building something interactive on your web page using JavaScript.

There are many ways you can go about building a web page, but a great resource to use is Mozilla Thimble. Which allows you to build and publish your webpage.

Things to Remember

  • Kids coding drop-in lab, ages 8 – 17 only
  • Bring Your Own Laptop or Android Device
  • All skill levels welcome
  • Bring your own ideas or use our kid-friendly resources
  • Adult accompaniment required at all times
  • Bring a snack, but remember that we are a Peanut-Free environment
  • Have Fun!

If you have any questions, please email toronto@coderdojo.ca

See you there and don’t forget to wear something purple!

CoderDojo Toronto – March 18th

By | Monthly Event, Project Showcase, Scratch, Showcase

It was an awesome month at the dojo this March with some exciting new faces and excellent returning learners. We covered a lot of ground with Scratch projects this month including using backdrops to add new levels to your game, using variables for making timers and switching sprite costumes for cool and colourful effects.

See event photos on Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/p/BZbcaJilCx8/?taken-by=coderdojoto

Project Showcase:

Game: “Donut Game” Creator: Adam

Game: “Capture the Cake (Part 2)” Creator: Brooke

Game: “Apple Dash” Creator: Debargha

Game: “Room Escape” Creator: Alex

Game: “Scratch Animation” Creator: Jayden

Game: “Speed Run Part 1” Creator: Kieran

Game: “The Acronik Leviathan” Creator: Jack

CoderDojo Toronto – January 21, 2018

By | Monthly Event, Project Showcase, Scratch

A big thank you to all of the learners and mentors who made it out to the event this month. We were very excited to get back into programming in 2018 with some new CSS resources for styling web pages.

Quote of the day, “You can save your Scratch projects and edit them later” -Adam

See event photos on Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/p/BZbcaJilCx8/?taken-by=coderdojoto

Project Showcase:

Game: “Bomb” Creator: Adam

Game: “Finster” Creator: Fin

Game: “The Thinker” Creator: David

Game: “Capture the Cake” Creator: Brooke