Covid Update – CoderDojoTo move to online model

By | classes, News, Volunteers

While we are not currently running in person workshops we still strive to provide young learners with mentorship so they can continue enjoy a love of computing.

CoderDojo is now offering online office hours where your child can have a 1:1 video chat with a CoderDojo mentor.
The mentor can guide your child through some online coding lessons or give advice about coding projects.

– Is your child interested in coding, but doesn’t know where to start?
– Does your child have a personal coding project that they need some guidance with?
– Or do you think your child might benefit from a chat with real coders?

Email us with suggested times and the ares of coding interest that your child has.
We’ll arrange a video office hour with you – please note, that 1:1 mentorship requires that the parent is in the room.

Additionally, we will be resuming regular monthly events in Spring 2021.

Are you a mentor who is interesting in joining our team to support office hours?
Let us know and we will be in touch with more details.

Thank you for your interest,

The CoderDojo Toronto team

Canada Coding Week event: Canadarm2

By | blog, classes
Thank you for volunteering your time for code education.
Our event is on Saturday, June 3rd 217 from 2 – 4pm and we are holding a mentor/volunteer training session beforehand at 1:30 – to ensure that mentors are somewhat prepared for the 2 hour coding session to follow.
Lesson of the day – CANADARM2:
In this activity, students will imagine that they are Chris Hadfield remotely controlling the Canadarm 2 from on board the International Space Station. Students will use computational thinking processes (breaking down a problem, looking for patterns, developing algorithms) and their prior coding experience with Scratch to create a simulation in which they become the controller of Canadarm2 to put a new module on the International Space Station.
Video lesson here:

Printable teachers guide:
Starter Scratch:
Final Scratch:
Lesson plan found here:

CoderDojoTo & STEMCA’s robotics event (part of Toronto Maker Festival)

By | blog, classes


On Sunday, June 19th 2016 at Bitmaker in Toronto, CoderDojoTo will be partnering with STEMCA to provide a fun introduction to robotics. This event is a Maker Festival Toronto satellite event.

Easy Robotics Essentials

The main requirement to use STEMCA Inventor is a laptop with Firefox or Chrome (OS doesn’t matter) and Android tablet/phone (Bluetooth is also required on the Android device, for controlling the robots).

Extra fun

We will have robots for participants that choose to do the robotics projects can try them on the spot. There would be also voice and image recognition based projects that will not require a robot, so the participants can continue to work on them at home after the event.

We will also have robotics demos to inspire future projects, and an Oculus VR for VR applications (which is growing very fast in popularity).


STEMCA Inventor platform combines open source + commercial hardware components based on Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Lego Mindstorms EV3/NXT, Neato, MBot, etc (more coming) with powerful Android mobile development in an advanced and easy to use form with affordable components to empower anyone age 8+ to become inventors and/or teachers and contribute to the advance of science, technology and engineering for a brighter future.

ABOUT CoderDojo Toronto

CoderDojo is a free computer club for kids, which started in Ireland in 2011 and grew quickly into a global community of over 875 clubs operating in 65 countries. Starting 2013, CoderDojoTo remains the only consistently active CoderDojo group in Canada. We work within communities to provide free computer workshops in fun learning environments – breaking down barriers, challenging social and economic stereotypes, and empowering youth to shape their world through code.

Why is this important?
Computing is an increasingly important form of literacy. Code is part of a booming industry, with a growing skills gap. There are more tech jobs in Canada than there are qualified candidates to fill them. Code will be used to help solve global problems. Unforeseen employment opportunities will continue to be created with code. Code is good for your brain – whether it’s solving a problem for a personal indie game or building the next big industry.

90% of Canadian firms surveyed said they have some form of IT skills gap. (CompTIA survey)

55% of Canadian Chief Information Officers (CIOs) say it’s difficult to find skilled tech professionals today. (Robert Half Technology)

2%-3% The unemployment rate in the Information and Communications Technology and Digital Media industries, statistically viewed as full employment. (Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC) and Entertainment Software Association of Canada (ESAC) White Paper)

2.7 million Canadians are self-employed entrepreneurs or 8% of the total population. (Statistics Canada)

How can we fix this gap?
It is our vision that every young Canadian has the opportunity to learn to code. We hear from teachers, students, and community organizations who want to start a code program but lack resources and training. To combat this, we have packaged our full-colour paper lesson plans into curriculum kits and are working with schools and libraries across the GTA to support their goals of starting their own computer literacy programs.



This special event is part of Toronto’s Maker Festival. We will be working with STEMCA to bring students a guided robotics workshop. YOU MUST REGISTER AT EVENTBRITE TO BE GUARANTEED A TICKET TO THIS EVENT.

CoderDojoTo’s mission is to introduce young people to the joy of computing. We provide a fun learning environment for students and parents alike, breaking down barriers, challenging social and economic stereotypes, and empowering youth to shape their world through code.

Not technical? You can still help out! Get in touch to see where you can lend your talents to join the community supporting the CoderDojo initiative!

See you at the Dojo!

*CoderDojoTo is held at Bitmaker Labs, a code academy for adults. It is located up a small flight of stairs. Wheelchair access is unfortunately not available at this time.

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CoderDojo Programming Track Hack-Night @ Bento Miso & Google+ Hangout

By | classes

CoderDojoTo is hosting our first Programming Track Hack-Night on February 5th. The evening runs from 7pm – 11pm EST (come and go as you must). We will follow a loose structure to allow for ideation and creation of objective based learning packages. The goal is to build up curriculum by producing a wide range of info card packages to share with the global Coder Dojo community.

Who should attend?

This event is open to parents, mentors, coders, educators, librarians, press, and everyone else who would like to contribute to build out learning resources for all CoderDojo groups to use.

All are invited, please RSVP in advance. Register at Eventbrite or on Meetup. Or join the Google+ Hangout if you’re out of town!

What is CoderDojo Sushi?

Dojo Sushi is a method of communicating programming concepts which is suited to the CoderDojo environment. Concepts are communicated in easy-to-digest, bite-sited chunks (hence Sushi). Dojo Sushi is delivered on double-sided laminated cards known as Sushi Cards. One card = one concept.

See an example My First Website package

CoderDojo SurveySession Input Feedback:

Coders, caretakers & mentors are encouraged to fill out this feedback survey to help us better understand what our student community needs & wants to learn.

January 2015 – Build your first website (Ages 8-17)

By | classes

Starting in 2015, CoderDojo Toronto is moving to an objective based session format, aiming to welcome and challenge students across multiple sessions. Students will work through a set of activity cards to the creation of ‘My First Website’.

To prepare for this event, you might want to consider what type of website you want to make. Some ideas to get the ball rolling:

  • About your family
  • An issue that you care about (your community, environment, culture and society, music)
  • Highlight a collection or hobby (Embed videos or Scratch programs, archive your rare stamps)
  • Your small business
  • A website about sealife, horses, or dinosaurs 

If you know what you want to build a site about, what will it do? 

  • What pages will it have?
  • Who do you want to see this site?
  • Do you want people to be able to contact you from the site?
  • How should visitors of the site feel?
  • Do you want the visitors to complete an action on the site?

We are looking forward to mentoring you as you create your first website.

*Bitmaker Labs is a code academy for adults. It is located up a small flight of stairs. Wheelchair access is unfortunately not available at this time. Visit to download supplementary resources for use at home. Contact [email protected] with any questions about accessibility or if you have any questions about our session resources.

CoderDojo Toronto – Scratch Games – 11/14 (Ages 8-17)

By | classes, tutorial

In this session, we will have a variety of exercises to teach Scratch, a great educational tool for teaching simple programming concepts to young learners.

Beginners can start out with an activity that teaches how to program some simple mini-games in Scratch. The first game includes step-by-step instructions on how to make a simple game and tries to familiarize you with how Scratch works.

The other games are designed as exercises with just a general description of what you need to program in order to make the game work. In the exercise handouts, the circles above each section show how hard the material is. The “Try It” sections are optional. If a “Try It” section is too hard, you can skip it and still end up with a working game at the end.


See you at the Dojo!

*Bitmaker Labs is a code academy for adults. It is located up a small flight of stairs. Wheelchair access is unfortunately not available at this time. Visit to download supplementary resources for use at home. Contact [email protected] with any questions about accessibility or if you have any questions about our session resources.

Photo Editing and Halloween (Kids 8 – 17)

By | classes

On Sunday, October 26th is photo editing and halloween at CoderDojoTo.

Get ready for ghoulish halloween graphics, and we’ll have a prize for the best code related costume! ☠

MENTORS – Sign up at the mentor registration here.

For this session we will be using the free multi-platform, open-source, photo editing software GIMP.

monGIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed program for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring.

It has many capabilities. It can be used as a simple paint program, an expert quality photo retouching program, an online batch processing system, a mass production image renderer, an image format converter, etc.

GIMP is expandable and extensible. It is designed to be augmented with plug-ins and extensions to do just about anything. The advanced scripting interface allows everything from the simplest task to the most complex image manipulation procedures to be easily scripted.



Event Sponsor - Financeit

Event Sponsor – Financeit

Venue Sponsor - Bitmaker Labs

Venue Sponsor – Bitmaker Labs

Autism Ontario

Pilot workshop with Autism Ontario Toronto

By | classes

Next Session: September 21st, 10AM

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About the session:

Does your child have an interest in computers and the internet? Do you think they’d like to learn to create websites, web apps, or just play around with languages like JavaScript and Ruby? Is your child on the Autism spectrum?

On Sunday, September 21th, CoderDojoTO, Autism Ontario Toronto, and Bitmaker Labs will be joining forces for a kickoff coding session, and we’d like to extend the invitation to you.

CoderDojoTo: a volunteer run group that enables kids to learn code for free

Autism Ontario Toronto Chapter: The leading source of information and referral on autism and one of the largest collective voices representing the autism community!

Bitmaker Labs: a coding bootcamp for software design and development.


To give children an opportunity to learn the fundamentals of web development, in a safe and supportive environment.

If your child would like to participate, you must:

1. Go to Codecademy and create a free profile for your child;

2. Go to Code School and create a free profile for your child;

3. Fill out the Student Profile at this link and email it to [email protected];

This is a free event. Lunch will also be provided. Spots are limited, so RSVP today!

Where: Bitmaker Labs, 220 King St. W., 3rd floor, Toronto
When: 10AM – 1PM

Agenda for the coding session:

9:30 – Reception and check-in
10AM – Introductions & kickoff
10:10 – 10:30 – Mentor pairing and introductions
10:30AM – Coding kickoff
12PM – Lunch break
12:30 – Back to coding
1PM – Thank yous & wrap up

The deadline for student signups is September 8th.

If you have any further questions you can direct them to Lidia Sienkowska: [email protected].

Mentor registration  –
Autism Ontario mentor support document –

To prepare for the upcoming partnership event with Autism Ontario, we ask our mentors read the Austim Ontario training document to better understand what to expect. The session format has been posted on our website.

We hope you can make it!

How To Learn To Code – Resources for continuing coding

By | blog, classes, tips & tricks, tutorial

What is code?

Code, in computing, is program language.

There are many different types of program languages used by different software and hardware. Just like the many human languages, program languages have rules to follow and spelling to consider. They also allow you to get creative within those rules.

Unlike human languages, different program languages can work together to create more powerful programs. Sometimes, one program language can greatly enhance another.

Before we can write our poetry with code, we must first learn some of the rules.

Web program languages

In web development, there are 3 types of languages that all do different jobs:

  1. Markup
  2. Document Object Model (The DOM)
  3. Server-side

You guessed right if you guessed that these languages work together.


Markup is what gives a web page it’s structure. HTML (or, Hyper Text Markup Language) is the old reliable champion of web markup. Every web browser is built to read HTML, though different browsers can read things slightly differently.

Think of a web page as a human body, it has different parts that do different things. Markup is like the bones.



The DOM, in a nutshell, is an object. In code, you can picture an object like a family tree. There are parents and children and grandchildren nodes, and they all have names and are unique.

The only difference here is that there will only ever be one parent.

Let’s pause and look around with Mozilla’s X-Ray Goggles tool. This tool is similar to more advanced developer tools, and it is performing an action called traversing the DOM.


Just as web browsers use the HTML standard to read markup, browsers also use JavaScript (also known (to the very nerdiest) as ECMAScript). JavaScript does an excellent job at DOM traversal, telling us information about what a user is interacting with on a web page.

It can be used to perform interactive tasks like popping up a slideshow gallery when you click a thumbnail image, or switch tabs within a web page. It can also be used to send and receive data in the background, silently, as a user interacts with the program.

Keep in mind, all things in the browser run on your computer, relying on your resources to do the work. This is known as ‘client-side’, browsers are the client.

Server Side

Server-side code gives a web page access to web server resources – this can include datestamps, access to data sources, and can perform program logic. This is often similar logic to JavaScript language, except it runs on this code is run on the web server, relying on those services to do the work.

Some examples of server side code are PHP, and Ruby. Similar languages, different manufacturers.

There is a performance trade-off coding for server vs client, tip for all the future pros in the room.

Code Lessons



Server Side

Developer Tools

Additional Resources

Open-House (Continuing Coding)

By | classes

Sunday, August 24th
10am – 1pm @ Bitmaker Labs – 220 King Street West

In this special Open-House session we are inviting new and existing students to learn about web development code on free, fun and intuitive online platforms. For students who have already explored the basics, our mentors will be on hand to answer any questions about how code works together, provide instruction on how to continue working at your own pace, and show you tips and tools to make development easier. We strongly recommend to complete the first lesson of HTML & CSS basics at

Bring your laptop, or let us know if you need one.




*Bitmaker Labs is a code academy for adults. It is located up a small flight of stairs. Wheelchair access is unfortunately not available at this time. Visit to download supplementary resources for use at home. Contact [email protected] with any questions about accessibility or if you have any questions about our session resources.