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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Arduino Recap

By | News

Video of CoderDojoTo 8

Check out this lovely video of highlights from the session:

Our Arduino session this past Sunday was awesome! Led by young Artash and his father, Vikas (@wonrobot), participants got to try out robotic experiments using Arduino: they programmed lights to blink at various intervals, built a switch to turn lights on and off, and built a battery-powered motor that runs on a timer (which, by the way, they coded themselves)!

The Nath family’s Curiousbot:

The handout from the lesson is here: check it out for review; or, if you couldn’t attend the session, use it as a how-to guide! It’s great and clear – props to Vikas and Artash.

Shopping for Arduino

A number of parents/guardians were asking about buying their own Arduino kits. Here’s our advice:

  • Vikas said that the cheapest option is ebay. Look for well-reviewed Chinese vendors to get a good bargain.
  • You can buy directly from the Arduino website. The prices are not as cheap as what you can find on ebay; on the other hand, it may be easier to shop from a dedicated Arduino store such as this.
  • If you have a certain project in mind, you may have to buy parts individually (“6 LEDs; 1 Arduino UNO board; 10 jumper wires,” for example), so how you shop will depend on whether you want to start with a kit or with a project-based shopping list.

See you Next Time

If you couldn’t attend the Arduino session, well, don’t fret: come to our next session! We’ll be doing something very cool: making music with code! See you there! (Does this make anyone else think of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop?)