How the Valley Is Helping Kids Learn to Code

How do we get more kids interested in careers in STEM? We introduce them to coding at a young age – in a way that’s fun, exciting, and slightly addicting.

CodaKid teaches kids ages six through fourteen to code via summer camps, after-school classes, and weekend courses all across the Valley. Founder David Dodge, a “veteran video game developer, game designer, and software architect,” built CodaKid to provide kids with skills that would last them a lifetime. By combining coding skills with games kids love (like Minecraft), CodaKid instructors are able to make even the most complex computer skills fun and rewarding – who wouldn’t want to play with a Minecraft mod they made themselves?

Founder David Dodge on turning kids into codakids

CodaKid divides their courses into four different skill levels: Beginner I, Beginner II, Intermediate I, and Intermediate II. Each level consists of two to five courses that can be taken in any order. Younger kids with beginning typing skills can take a Beginner I course in “Junior Modding with Crazy Castles and Auto-Turrets;” once they begin to master the art of Minecraft modding, they can move on to Beginner II or Intermediate I classes, where they can learn to mod with “Rare Monsters and Loot” or “Explosions and Special Effects.” Students don’t have to progress through the ranks, however – CodaKid’s website helps kids and their parents choose which classes are right for them based on age and existing skill level. For kids who can’t or don’t want to attend in-person classes or camps, parents can purchase a self-paced online Minecraft modding course that teaches Java programming.

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Courses and summer camps are currently available in Scottsdale (north and central), Paradise Valley, Phoenix, and Chandler. Many are held at local elementary schools and learning centers, but those courses are only open to current facility members – students who don’t attend the specified schools and learning centers must register for classes open to the entire community. Each community-wide CodaKid course is held at a real tech startup, which allows students to view firsthand the workings of small businesses involved in modern technology. Courses are approximately $200 per month, with varied pricing for students of local participating elementary schools.

CodaKid also offers regular Friday- and Saturday-night workshops in Old Town Scottsdale and Chandler, where instructors create entertaining coding challenges for young attendees. There, kids get a sneak-peek of what CodaKid is all about before committing to a longer course. These are great opportunities for kids to learn and have fun while parents enjoy a night out! The two-hour workshops are $36 apiece and must be registered for online several days early to reserve a spot.

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By combining popular computer games with coding lessons, CodaKid instructors are able to inspire a lifelong eagerness to learn in the children they teach. CodaKid is a brilliant way of introducing kids to technical computer skills in a way they can relate to and enjoy.

Video by David Dodge of CodaKid at www.codakid.com

Adrianna Nine

Author: Adrianna Nine

Adrianna is a journalist, fiction writer, and criminal justice student at ASU in bustling downtown Phoenix. When she isn’t tapping away at her keyboard or reading up on bad guys, Adrianna can be found soaking in the Arizona sun and testing out the coolest coffee shops in town.

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