Info for Mentors

Info for Mentors

So just what does being a ‘mentor’ involve?

During CoderDojos, mentors are on hand to help participants with technical questions and provide a few words of help and encouragement.

There is no curriculum at CoderDojo Brighton so participants choose what they want to work on, and what languages they use. Many begin with the Scratch programming environment and then move on to developing games or web applications. Mentors are there to provide help if a participant is looking for inspiration for a project, advice on the best programming language or library to use, or just have a general programming question.

I’ve never worked with young people before, is that going to be a problem?

Not at all: many of our mentors had no previous experience of working with young people, and were surprised at how enthusiastic our participants are – and how quickly their technical skills develop!

You won’t be expected to act as a childminder or to ‘teach’ at anyone – all children aged 12 and under must be accompanied by a parent or guardian, and all participants attend voluntarily because they’re interested in programming and computers. All we ask is that you’re happy to share your knowledge and experience.

All mentors also have the option to register as a STEM Ambassador with STEMNET: the Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics Network. If you choose to register as a STEM Ambassador, STEMNET can provide you with a free DBS check (previously known as the CRB check).

I’m not a programming guru, is my code-fu good enough to be a mentor?

There are no set requirements in order to mentor at CoderDojo Brighton: if you have a basic understanding of programming languages such as Java, HTML and CSS and, most importantly, are willing to encourage and learn with the Dojo attendees than you’ll be able to mentor!

We currently have two streams to suit the varying skill levels of our participants: one stream for newer coders who are just starting out using languages such as Scratch, and another for more experienced coders who’re ready for something a bit more challenging. Participants can work on whatever projects they like – many choose to make their own webapps in HTML, CSS and Javascript; others build games in C, C++, Java or game engines like Unity or Game Maker. Ruby, Python and visual programming languages like Processing are also popular. If you have any hardware hacking skills, feel free to bring along some of your projects for inspiration!

I’m not always free on Saturdays, will I have to come to every Dojo?

No, we have a wide pool of mentors and volunteers so people don’t need to attend every event: we appreciate that people are busy and are donating their time for free, so it’s entirely up to you how many sessions you help out at.

We usually check who’s free for a particular date a couple of weeks in advance, so all we ask is that you let us know if your plans change and you’re no longer able to attend an event.

Sounds interesting, how do I sign up?

Register your interest by filling out this form and we’ll get back to you with more details!

The University of Brighton has also offered to assist all mentors to register as a STEM Ambassador, which will provide you with a free DBS check (previously the CRB check) and extra security for working with young people.