2016 Christmas Party and Show & Tell at CoderDojo Athenry

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Here are photos from our Christmas party and Show & Tell day at CoderDojo Athenry on 10 December 2016.

It was really impressive to see the things that our young people had built and created. There was also a great Robot Duels session, organised by mentor Declan in the Bodgers group: Bodgers – Robot Duels At CoderDojo Athenry

We are very grateful to our supporters in the community around Athenry:

  • Clarin College and Principal Ciaran Folan, who are so generous with their space every week
  • Galway & Roscommon Education & Training Board, who provide us with an annual Youth Club Grant
  • Medtronic and Declan Fox, who have provided us with a grant linked to Declan’s volunteering
  • Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Mark Davis, who provide us with loaner laptops
  • Boston Scientific and Kevin Madden, who provided us with the loan of three 3D printers for the semester
  • Supermacs and Joyces, both of whom gave us generous deals on the food for the Christmas party

And of course we are eternally grateful to our wonderful mentors, and to the parents who come along with their children every week. Thank you!

We look forward to seeing you all in the New Year!


Bodgers – Robot Duels At CoderDojo Athenry

Hi Everyone

As part of the show and tell session the Bodgers group held a Robot Wars Style event. We used the two wheeled robots from last year controlled by Nintendo Wii Remotes.

If you want to build your own two wheeled robot you can check out my notes from last year here.

To control the robots using the Wiimote I followed Matt Hawkins Wiimote tutorial from here (If you have a Raspberry Pi 3 you can skip step 2 as Bluetooth is already working. Don’t forget step 3  install Python Cwiid). I then added the code to control the robot using GPIO Zero, you can get my code wii_robot.py here.

Happy Christmas everybody.

Dick Baldwin’s Little Sailboats


We had a great presentation by 3 people last Saturday in our first-ever transatlantic link-up, with 140 people in attendance at CoderDojo Athenry:

  • Dick Baldwin, live via Skype from Maine USA, telling us about his Little Sailboats project, Educational Passages, in which they have released about 70 5-foot-long sailboats onto the open seas, to get picked up across the world
  • Meabh who found one of the boats in Connemara, with her mom Neasa
  • Margaret Rae from the Marine Institute in Galway, who will be helping to re-launch the boat in the Spring.

Here are some more links that you might find interesting:

Thanks to Margaret from the Marine Institute and Ariadne from Educational Passages for the links!

Bodgers –Getting Started with Your Own Raspberry Pi or Arduino

Hi Everybody

This Saturday the Bodgers group looked at some of the tools available to set up and use the Raspberry Pi or Arduino at home. We looked software for formatting SD Cards, some of the SD card images available for the Raspberry Pi, putting images on SD cards, configuring the Raspberry Pi and connecting to the Raspberry Pi.

We also did a quick overview of the Arduino IDE. This software allows us to write and upload software to the Arduino.

You can find the links to the software we used short tutorials on how to use them in my slides from Saturday here pi-and-arduino-tools.

We also took a look at the MagPi Magazine which is the official Raspberry Pi magazine. there are a load of interesting articles in the Christmas issue which is in the shops now or is available for download for free from https://www.raspberrypi.org/magpi-issues/MagPi52.pdf . There are a few nice articles on basic stuff like breadboards and GPIO Zero and there are also some articles on robot sensors which anybody who wants to continue from where we left off with robots will find very interesting.

There is also news of a new programme from the Raspberry Pi Foundation which is aimed at kids that are around the same age as the Bodgers group. The Pioneers is a series of challenges that will roughly last the length of the school term and will be open-ended to allow you to come up with your own ideas. Unfortunately the competition is limited to the UK for now but it will be open to the rest of the world soon. Check out The MagPi for more information.

The MagPi needed to show some examples of what kids can make for the Pioneers article so obviously they looked to CoderDojo Athenry for inspiration :).    capture