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Coding Camps For Kids Rise in Popularity


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An instructor cheers on a camper at coding camp.

Instructor Melissa Andrews, left, cheers on camper Roger McKee, 9, for finishing a video game while at an iD Tech Camp at the Emory University campus in Atlanta. Coding camps for kids are becoming more popular amid a growing effort to expand access to computer programming and inspire more youths to seek computer science degrees and later careers in technology.

Credit: Jaime Henry-White/AP

Coding camps for children are becoming increasingly popular amid an expanding initiative to widen access to computer programming and inspire more youths to seek computer science degrees.

For example, the iD Tech Camps have grown from 200 students in 1999 to 28,000 students this year.

The camps use interest in gaming to build bridges to computer programming and other science, technology, engineering, and math careers. Beginning courses use photo, illustration, and gaming software to create simple arcade-style games.

"We get it down to the basics so they can make their own game," says iD Tech Camps instructor Melissa Andrews.

Courses for older children include designing apps and learning programming languages such as Java and C++.

The goal is to build self-confidence and spark interest in learning how computers work.

Earlier this year, President Barack Obama said programming should be a required course in high school. "Given how pervasive computers and the Internet is now and how integral it is into our economy and how fascinated kids are with it, I want to make sure they know how to actually produce stuff using computers and not just simply consume stuff," he said.

From Associated Press
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