Summer Camps Are Teaching Kids How to Code

CLIVE, Iowa  --  Summer break has already begun, or is right around the corner and summer camps are filling up fast.

On Monday, Code Ninjas opens in Clive. It is a center with programs and camps that teach kids how to code. The center is designed for kids ages 7 to 14 who want to learn more about coding and computers, but it’s also for the kids who already know a lot about S.T.E.M. and just want to hang out with like-minded people.

“While some of these kids may grow up to be developers, many of them may grow up to be technology adjacent and some of them may have jobs that we didn’t even know exist today,” Code Ninjas franchise owner Richard Marion said.

This is the first Code Ninja center in Iowa and there are plans of opening three more in the metro in the next couple years. The primary program is the drop-in program, parents can bring their kids twice a week for one hour between 3 and 7 Monday through Friday. The kids work on a curriculum based on nine belts. The white belt stage teaches basic problem-solving concepts all the way up to black belt where kids will be able to write their own application and put it in the app store.

“The biggest part of what we do is about the kids have fun and the parents see results. So, the kids don’t know that they’re learning, they come here and play, this is playtime for them and incidentally they learn all these things that the parents want them to learn,” Marion said.

Marion said centers like this that teach kids basic STEM curriculum are more important now than ever before, “Our parents’ generation or my parents’ generation, they would have jokes about not being able to program the VCR, right? Which is not something we would expect a 24-year-old today to struggle with. So that’s the difference between growing up with the internet in the world and growing up with not really having a computer. this generation right now, the 7 to 14-year-olds that we teach are the first generation that’s grown up with a computer in their hand their whole life.”

The drop-in program is a monthly subscription of $225 but there is a discount this weekend for $200 if you stop by the open house on Saturday. They also have week-long camps this summer that are $250 for a half day and $400 for a full day. Those will also be discounted if you attend the open house.