The Fogarty Foundation initiated CoderDojo WA in 2013. Every year, our network of coding clubs has continued to grow both in size and spirit, and 2018 was no different. Our network now encompasses 127 dojos across Western Australia, made up of 2670 ninjas, 181 champions and 403 mentors.
In collaboration with our sponsors Woodside and South 32, CoderDojo WA extended even further throughout WA during 2018, with 30% of Dojos now in regional areas of the state.
During the year, the Fogarty Foundation delivered three project showcase opportunities to enable WA Ninjas to demonstrate their fantastic projects to the community: the Mid-Year Project Showcase, the Perth Games Festival and the End of Year Party. In total, over 700 CoderDojo WA community members participated in these project events.
We were also involved in a number of other great coding events including two all-girls CoderDojo days delivered by Bankwest, where teams of all-female technical staff helped girls create games, develop apps, code websites and program mindstorm robots.
CoderDojo WA continued its support for Curtin University’s Autism Academy for Software Quality Assurance (AASQA). AASQA helps young people on the autism spectrum who are interested in IT, to develop job-ready skills and access career pathways. In 2018 the AASQA program expanded to Kalgoorlie, published the Strength-Based Program for Adolescents with Autism report, andwon the award for an Outstanding Collaboration for National Benefit at the prestigious Business/Higher Education Round Table (BHERT) awards.
In order to continuously improve our program, we undertook a Mentor Experience Improvement Project that analysed the user experience of Mentors and recommended improvements, which we plan to implement in 2019.
We also commenced an evaluation of CoderDojo WA using the Most Significant Change methodology to help us continue to improve the initiative.
In 2019 we say goodbye to our wonderful long term Program Manager Karen Wellington and welcome Jess Silva in her place. Jess has an extensive background in science communication and STEM education with a passion for all things technology. She comes to us from Scitech where she has been developing and delivering STEM programs all over Western Australia for the past 8 years.
This year we will continue to focus on a number of program aspects including supporting more community and corporate Dojos; enabling more opportunities for Ninjas to share and showcase projects; and enabling online mentor training to help upskill our community.