This months theme is Indigenous Peoples day. The Indigenous peoples of Canada were the original inhabitants of Canada before European settlers came. There are many indigenous groups (or tribes) and all have very vibrant and distinct cultures and languages. The indigenous peoples of Canada are often referred to general as First Nations. You may also here other terms such as Inuit (which are those tribes that live in the icier arctic regions of Canada) or Métis. However there are many tribes of Indigenous peoples, some of which you may also see as part of indigenous groups in the United States as well. We will take a look at some of the indigenous languages so you can hear what they sound like, and then there will be a short demonstration of how to use the translate extension in Scratch to translate displayed text and the Text to speech extension to hear what was translated.

Programming languages work a little bit differently to human languages. Often there is a word to describe exactly an idea in a human language or sometimes we just make a new one if we need to. But in computer languages (like JavaScript and Python), this is a lot harder to do as the ‘words’ in computer programming languages are less easily changed. So to try and make it easier for people to develop programs that need these complex ideas, people develop libraries and frameworks in order to do a lot of the basic work to so that you don’t have to.

This can be really helpful because often this is where you make errors if you aren’t doing this type of programming all the time. When many people use a library or framework, then any problems in that library can get detected quicker. JavaScript can be used to build large web applications, and to make it easier many UI libraries and frameworks have been developed. A lot of these are developed by the large internet companies like Facebook and Google, among others. In this months workshop we will be looking at ReactJS (or just React) which was initially created at Facebook. React is a library to build the user interfaces of web applications using HTML & CSS. If your HTML and CSS are feeling a bit rusty, take a look at the workshop in April.


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 React for JavaScript.

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

React for JavaScript

This workshop will be run by CoderDojo TO Chapter Champion Tyler. Participants will be building a Metronome web application using React. React is a library for building web applications that was developed at Facebook. Although this is a fairly simple program with a slider bar, button and an output, it shows the basics of setting up inputs and outputs and building parts of your web applications (often called components) using React. Once the basics are built, everybody will be encouraged to be as creative as possible and tweak their applications 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

Michael West

About Michael West

Michael is a CoderDojo Mentor with 10 years of teaching experience in IT. He has worked in Asia for several years teaching English to kids, and loves to program and tinker with electronics in his spare time. He currently works as a Technical Trainer at SuMO IT Solutions delivering ServiceNow Training