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.


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.


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


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:


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 [email protected]

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

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