“Jobs in the computing field are expected to grow by 13 percent between 2016 and 2026, a rate that’s faster than the average growth rate for all occupations“, according to Maggie Johnson, VP of Education and University Programs for Google. Gallup found only 46 percent of Black students and Hispanic students indicate that they have classes dedicated to computer science at their high school, compared to 52 percent of white students. However, there are organizations and individuals trying to address the challenge on their own.
The C3 Initiative’s mission is to prepare 1 million minority youth coders, makers and designers for the tech jobs of the future.. The non-profit develops programs that builds and improves programming and robotics skills in minority youth aged 8-18. The program design is based on scenario based learning.
The C3 Expo on Sunday, Oct. 3rd, 2021 is a coding camp for kids ages 8-18 and registration for the event is open. it will take place in Riverside Youth Innovation Center from 9:00 AM 5:30 PM.
Story Behind the C3 Coding Program
“What if the cure for cancer is trapped inside the mind of a kid who can’t afford education‘, a quote that inspired
Kevin Carrington, founder of the C3 Initiative to start a coding program for minority kids.
Kevin says the program is a way to get underserved American kids excited about technology from a developer angle. Starting out four years ago with just 3 kids was the humble beginning of the initiative. However, it has now expanded to have 70+ kids with much more exciting and detailed projects.
Not Just Consuming Technology, but Creating it as Well
No doubt, coding is the new literacy for the digital world. Providing underserved and minority kids with the chance to code enhances their problem solving skills and sets them up for future success.
A key differentiator of C3 program is that it encourages kids to become creators of technology rather than being passive consumers. Older kids become instructors to the younger ones and the way C3 program is designed, the goal is to build a thriving community of young learners willing to teach others as well.
The Rise of Kids Coding Programs
While there is still a dearth of user friendly kids-only coding platforms, a few larger and more popular code-instruction platforms like Codecademy, Code Avengers, Code Combat, Khan Academy, Scratch by MIT students, and Code Monkey have released kids friendly coding classes. One dedicated platform that gained a lot of traction is Tynker. a leading K-12 creative coding platform.
This validates the need to have dedicated coding programs for kids, the need cannot be emphasized enough for kids from minority groups.
The European Union is also emphasizing the need to have such camps for young learners. One such example of a dedicated kids coding camp is “Europe Coding Bootcamp for Kids“.
Byju’s Buys Tynker, a leading coding platform for K-12 students
The push for dedicated platforms, forums, and programs is so big that Byju’s, an Indian multinational educational technology company recently bought California-headquartered Tynker for $200 million. As of now, Tynker reported to have 60 million kids on its platform.
San Bernardino’s Kids Coding Platforms
Kevin Carrington’s C3 Initiative also incorporates robots into the coding programs showing that the kids coding camp is ahead of its time in the region and a step in the right direction to help for the local youth.
Apart from C3, there are a couple of kids coding and robotics platforms that you may check out to get your kids inspired and take on a coding challenge of their own. One is ‘Kids That Code‘ and the other is ‘Tinker The Robot‘.
Form online and in-person workshops to virtual workshops and robotics kits, the two are playing their part in making the Inland Empire smart one kid at a time.
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