South Florida Ramps Up Efforts to Teach Kids How to Code

July 21, 2014

8:42 pm

Miami’s entrepreneurial community recognizes the value that coding creates to individuals by creating more opportunities professionally. This summer a wave of summer coding programs became accessible for young people of all ages. These organizations aim at helping young people build the skills required to learn how to code.

Coding camps are unique because it allows kids to create projects that are effectively teaching them about coding to learn. Meaning, as they learn to code, they also learn many skills not typically taught in their year long school curriculum.

I understand many parents believe that summer should be a time for kids to go outside, explore and share what they experience outside the classroom. I get it, but think about it this way: there are so many different ways people can create and share ideas, and technology is just one way to express themselves. Learning how to code can help kids express and interact with the physical world too, it really doesn’t have to stay on the computer screen.

Kids are introduced to projects where they learn important concepts applicable in any field they decide to focus in the future. They learn about what it takes to implement a new ideas, how to collaborate with others and how to deal with an issue when the project is wrong. For many kids, it’s their first introduction to entrepreneurship.

Perhaps the idea of teaching kids how to code will catch on beyond the summer.

Venture Hive Prep Camp at the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science

Venture Hive’s summer camp was divided into two sections, first for second and third graders and later for fourth- and fifth-graders. During the camp kids were exposed to the basic of technology entrepreneurship by working in small teams to develop ideas for games or apps. They created even created and tested MVPs (yes, M-V-P…kids!).

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Wynwood Maker Camp

Wynwood Maker Camp summer program will run for 10 weeks in five two-week sessions at The LAB Miami.  This camp is in partnership with the Maker Education Initiative and it included classes in soldering, CAD design and prototyping, 3D printing, hardware hacking, microcontroller programming, robotics and craft-making.

“One of the things we wanted to emphasize was exposure to technology. We asked, ‘What happens if we gave the kids everything we have?’ We have the knowledge and resources, and we wanted to teach them about technology. There’s no reason to have boundaries.” said Camp’s co-founder Willie Avendano in a recent Knight Blog post.

Girls Who Code

The Girls Who Summer Immersion Program is an intensive 7-week opportunity that pairs project-based computer science education with real-world tech industry exposure. The program has recently launched in Miami, the young girls from mobile app development to programming robots in Python to front-end web design.

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Camila has been heavily active in South Florida’s tech startup community, where she is a co-host of a local radio show called pFunkcast. Camila previously worked at Greenpeace International and the Organization of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in various communication roles. A proud Brazilian who spent most of he life in Peru, she is passionate about traveling and documentaries.

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