Before we get into why Code Chef, let me explain as do we need to teach kids coding? Don’t they learn enough in schools?
Coding is not a superpower skill, which only a small set of smart kids could possess. Coding is engrained in our daily life from the time we get up to the time we go to bed or even when we are sleeping. It all starts with the need to make a decision, no matter how trivial it is. We have one of the most powerful computers in our body, our brain. When we are born, our brain had the computational power in terms of cells and neurons, but it lacked software aka code to function. As we grow, watch, listen and feel things around us, we started coding our brains. Our family helped us along the way to fix errors in the code ( “do not touch a flame”).
While some countries like England and Singapore got an early head start in introducing coding in school, many countries are falling behind due to a lack of facilities, teaching skills, or interest. It will take some time for coding to become an essential part of education like reading or writing.
What is Code Chef?
Code Chef is a learning center located in Massachusetts, with a humble goal of helping kids of age 8-16 learn basic skills to prepare them for the future. We focus on three key areas:
- Problem Solving
- Critical Thinking tought through logical puzzles and numerical problems.
- Math skills to validate assumptions and results quickly. This includes speed match tricks, geometry, money match and binary Math (used by computers).
- Computer Coding
- Learn about computers, internet and technology.
- Coding constructs (variable, condition, statement, loops, iterations, procedure and so on).
- Block programming such as Scratch.
- Coding using using python, HTML, CSS and Java Script.
- Mini fun projects such as calculators, games and apps.
- Working with data using excel spreadsheets. Understanding basics of queries.
- Interactive play using coding kits and robotics.
- Making art and music through computers.
- Idea workshops and presentation skills.
- Group activities and team challenges.
We teach a group of kids in one-hour sessions. A group-based learning atmosphere helps to challenge themselves and learn from watching others. Every kid has a different pace of learning. Our instructors also help each kid to complete the coding exercises. We also conduct coding tests and quizzes to measure the progress of each student.
There is a general misconception that coding is required only if you are looking to get into programming or IT jobs. In fact, coding is becoming more and more prevalent in each and every field, whether it is media, construction, healthcare, retail, city planning, agriculture, manufacturing, social service, fashion, sports, or even a handyman’s job. Listen to professor Bryson Payne, the founding Director of the Center for Cyber Operations Education at the University of North Georgia.