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Cork CoderDojo Kids take flight to sister city San Francisco


The Lord Mayor Cllr Catherine Clancy welcomed 5 young people aged 12-13 from CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory’s CoderDojo to City Hall on Friday 28th March before they set off for San Francisco on the Inaugural Aer Lingus Dublin - San Francisco flight on 02 April.

Earlier this year Edwin Lee, Mayor of San Francisco invited the 5 Coder Dojo students from Cork to come to San Francisco to share their skills with their transatlantic peers and encourage CoderDojo classes in San Francisco.

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This invitation came about when Mayor Lee travelled to Cork in March 2013 to act as Grand Marshall in the St Patrick’s Day parade. During this visit Mayor Lee visited CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory and was highly impressed with their CoderDojo group of ‘bright sparks’.  He was eager to make the connection with CoderDojo in Cork, given the vital role the tech industry plays in both our economies.

A fantastic programme of events has been put together by Mayor Lee’s office with assistance from the twinning committees in both Cork and San Francisco, staff at CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory and Aer Lingus who kindly sponsored the flights for the children and their chaperones making this whole project a unique first. The 3 day programme is packed and includes exchanges with students from the San Francisco Unified School District, CoderDojo sessions at the California Academy of Sciences and GitHub as well as a visit to up-and-coming tech company TinyCo.  The trip encourages global thinking, collaboration and sharing of knowledge and experiences in technology.

At the California Academy of Sciences, the young bright sparks will teach Mayor Lee steps in code using data from Project Tara, an exciting CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory sister city astronomy programme engaging students of all ages with Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) through enquiry based learning. The young sister city coders will create a game called ‘Save the Galaxy’.

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The Lord Mayor said ”I am delighted to receive these 5 bright young people to my office before they head out to our twinned city of San Francisco. These boys & girls are a glimpse into the tech talent future. Who knows I could be meeting a future CEO of a high Tech company with offices in both Cork and San Francisco.!”

Clair McSweeney, CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory added “Our CoderDojo bright sparks are delighted to be on this adventure as tech ambassadors for Ireland; the trip is directly linked to their enthusiasm for learning through technology and is ultimately about skill and confidence building. There is a strong focus in Cork on delivering the necessary skills base for attracting ICT companies to the region through an integrated, collaborative approach across industry, public sector, government and academia. Mayor Lee’s invitation to San Francisco is testament to the investment Cork makes in its future”

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