BCO CoderDojo kids taking flight to San Francisco


BCO’s CoderDojo Kids take flight to sister city San Francisco

Following from the massive success of San Francisco Mayor Lee’s visit in 2013, BCO’s bright sparks stayed in his mind. He was so impressed by BCO’s CoderDojo that he has invited five of the young people to visit San Francisco to exchange with students from the San Francisco Unified School District, run CoderDojo sessions at the California Academy of Sciences and GitHub as well as visit up-and-coming tech and gaming company, TinyCo and the world famous Exploratorium.

Mayor Lee is known as the ‘Tech and Innovation’ Mayor and one of his priorities is to foster STEM in schools so that the companies that call SF home can draw from local talent in the years ahead. Mayor Lee personally came up with the plan to invite BCO’s CoderDojo kids to San Francisco as part of the inaugural AerLingus flight from Dublin to San Francisco celebrations. It is his hope that the visit of BCO’s CoderDojo young people will encourage other mentors to set up Dojos in the city, and get even more kids excited about learning to code.

Michael Delaney, Vice President for Development CIT, San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee and  Niall Smith, Head of Research CIT at the announcement

Michael Delaney, Vice President for Development CIT, San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee and Niall Smith, Head of Research CIT at the announcement

While they are on the flight, the CoderDojo young people will connect up with the Tara telescope, take a photograph of the San Francisco night sky while they are flying and present it to Mayor Lee on arrival.

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 young people and their chaperones making this whole project a unique first. Dept Lord Mayor Lorraine Kingston and CEO Cork Chamber Conor Healy will travel with the young people, emphasising that 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 coding, 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’.

Meeting the young people at his offices before the trip, the Lord Mayor of Cork said “I am delighted to receive these 5 young bright sparks to my office before they head out to our twinned city of San Francisco. These young people 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!”


Our BCO CoderDojo BrightSparks setting off for San Francisco

Our BCO CoderDojo BrightSparks setting off for San Francisco

Clair McSweeney of 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”


We hope they have a fantastic time!!!!




  • Maggie Cunningham says:

    Congratulations, Andrew, to you and the other lucky young people too, for having been chosen to go to San Francisco and to represent the young people of Ireland. What a wonderful importunity. Well done, indeed. Enjoy it all!
    Margaret/Maggie Cunningham

Leave a Reply

Privacy |

© CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory T/A Cosmos Education Ltd.  Registered in Ireland: Company No. 451645. Registered Charity #CHY 18134. Registered Address: CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory, Castle Road, Blackrock, Cork, Ireland T12 YW52