Students partner with the Anvil on free coding club for youth

August 27, 2015  


WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A junior high student and a Purdue University student have partnered with the Anvil, a co-working space at Purdue University, to bring an international coding organization for young people to Greater Lafayette at no cost to parents.

Doonyah Alucozai, an eighth-grade student at West Lafayette Junior-Senior High School, and her sister, Farhat Alucozai, a junior in Purdue's College of Health and Human Sciences, saw a need for a fun environment where young people learn to code, or create apps, computer software and websites.

"For the past two years, I have been attending clubs at Purdue hosted by the Women in Engineering Program, in particular the Innovation to Code Club, which sparked my interest in learning how to code," Doonyah said. "A lot of these great programs run for very short periods of time, but I wanted something that was continuous, allowed for a broad area of skill growth and centered on having fun. Farhat and I decided to seek out an organization that did that."

They found CoderDojo, an organization whose mission aligned with theirs: to be an open-source community that provides young people with free tools and guidance they need to learn to code.

"CoderDojo has chapters throughout the world, and it shares in the vision of helping to provide a free, safe and fun environment for children aged 7 to 17 to learn to code," Farhat said. "The closest Dojo is in Indianapolis, but Doonyah and I reached out to the co-founder and received official approval to launch our chapter."

The West Lafayette CoderDojo chapter has partnered with the Anvil to establish CoderDojoAnvil. There will be an information session 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday (Aug. 29) at 320 North St., West Lafayette, to introduce attendees to the concept of CoderDojo. More information is available at http://www.coderdojoanvil.com/. RSVP at coderdojoanvil.eventbrite.com.

"The Anvil shares our mission of encouraging the next generation of coders, and even more broadly expose kids to STEM careers," Farhat said. "The Anvil will serve as our permanent home and will provide us with the logistical items we need to be successful."

Shane DeWael, director at the Anvil, and his colleagues are excited about supporting the next generation of STEM professionals.

"We see the importance of empowering the next generation of innovators and creators to build a better world," he said. "When young people of all ages learn to code, it helps them think about the impact of technology and begin to forge their own futures."

CoderDojoAnvil will meet twice a month, and the finalized fall class schedule will be available at the information session. Mentors will provide a maximum of 15-20 minutes of instruction, then attendees will complete tasks on the meeting's topic. The organization has recruited mentors and advisers, but is always seeking more.

About CoderDojoAnvil

CoderDojoAnvil is a volunteer organization that provides open and free access for developing and teaching Web, game, and app development skills to young people age 7 to 17. Our mission is to create a fun, enjoyable environment to explore STEM. In addition to learning to code, attendees meet like-minded people and are exposed to the possibilities of technology and making friends along the way.

About the Anvil

The Anvil is a co-working space at Purdue University that serves the unique needs of passionate students, acting as a center of creative culture in West Lafayette. The Anvil focuses on providing local and student run startups affordable office space. 

Purdue Research Foundation contact: Hillary Henry, 765-588-3586, hkhenry@prf.org 

Sources: Doonyah Alucozai, coderdojo.anvil@gmail.com

Shane DeWael, 317-667-7235, swdewael@gmail.com 

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