The world of coding has expanded rapidly in the past few years. There are platforms that allow amateur coders to throw their hats in the ring and develop an app that could make an impact in tech innovation. Like the filmmakers of today versus the filmmakers of the 80’s, coding has become much more accessible to the average person and a much more viable avenue for innovation and experimentation than ever before.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says there will be more than one million tech jobs in the next three years that go untaken. And while coding has been brought to the forefront for a lot of adults, more opportunities for children have bubbled up around the country to generate enthusiasm for STEM and encourage kids to pursue a cool idea.
Chicago’s Codeverse is the first hackable classroom and vertically integrated technology platform that teaches children ages 6 to 12 how to code. With a kid-designed programming language, KidScript, and a high-tech coding studio, Codeverse gives kids the opportunity to learn how to code games, apps, and projects in a 3,600 square foot interactive and collaborative learning space.
Codeverse’s mission hasn’t gone unnoticed, either. They’ve raised substantial amounts of money from local and national investors and are in the works to open three more studios in Chicago, with the ultimate goal of teaching a billion children to code. They plan to open a studio in every major metropolitan area in the next five years and then expand internationally.
Katy Lynch, cofounder of Codeverse, says the exciting thing about Codeverse is the enthusiasm and freedom it gives to children to innovate:
“Simply put, we're building the best (and coolest!) coding studios and educational platform for kids! Using our technology, children can build games and apps (and submit them to the App Store.) The tech-enabled, state-of-the art studios amplifies the whole experience of learning to code – keeping kids engaged, curious, and excited.”
Lynch says educating children in coding at such a young age will do wonders for their future:
“Learning to code at a young age is an absolute necessity for all kids…Coding today is so much more than computer science; it’s a way of thinking that promotes intellectual curiosity, problem solving and creative expression. These are the real skills kids need for their future.”
The studio space adds a really unique component to the educational process. Children who are participating in the program use their iPad to navigate the space, which is filled with hackable objects like lasers, 3D printers, robotic arms, and fog machines. Children are learning how to bring coding into the real world by finding ways to control these objects through KidScript, the program that Codeverse uses to teach the kids.
KidScript is a proprietary coding language that is kid-friendly and simplified in order to give children the opportunity to craft code and bring their ideas and innovations to fruition as quickly as possible. As children are typing out code, they will see in real time the results of it, allowing them to start fusing connections between the code and what’s actually tangible. This type of cause and effect gives children the gratification that they are really creating something cool. KidScript also provides feedback as the children are coding, giving them an opportunity to be constantly learning from their mistakes and improving their skills.
The staff members at the studio are all certified K-12 teachers in Chicago, meaning they have thorough experience in working with adolescents and know how to help them grow. This ensures that the children in the Codeverse studio are developing organically with the help of experienced educators.
A Codeverse membership starts at $125 per month, and gives the children access to the studio space as well as the coding platform from home. Click here to register your child.
A lot of people like to say that children are the future, but Codeverse is taking that to heart by putting words into action and providing children with a viable skillset and a means by which to empower their innovation and talent.
Read more about Chicago-based startups at Tech.Co