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Thursday, 16 March 2017 14:39

Kids learn to code at Beloit Public Library event

Written by  CSI Media news staff
Sruthi Chandran of Comply365 helps Temperance Boggess with coding in Minecraft. Sruthi Chandran of Comply365 helps Temperance Boggess with coding in Minecraft. Beloit Public Library photo

BELOIT -- Beloit Public Library, School District of Beloit, Comply365 and Hendricks CareerTek collaborated March 9 as  part of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s computer coding initiative.

The project aims to increase awareness that coding concepts are for anyone and everyone.

Coding means coding and computer programming, but also coding as a literacy, as in the ability to apply computational thinking for problem solving and stimulating creativity. 

The event included a screening of the film  "CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap," provided through The Coding Initiative.

At the same time, kids and teens were invited to take part in a code camp to learn how to code.

Staff from Comply365 were on hand to get the kids started on coding games and then answer questions and give direction. "It's been fun working with them," said Sruthi Chandran, Data Analytics Engineer at Comply365, "the kids are enthusiastic and they're really enjoying themselves."

The kids interacted with the business professionals, asking questions and asking for help. Only four of the kids had previous coding experience, but by the end of the night most of them had earned their Hour of Code certification.

Today, the ability to code gives many opportunities in an increasingly digital society and teaches valuable problem solving and critical thinking skills. All over the country, libraries and schools are starting to teach code. Shaq Mughal, Director Of Software Development at Comply365, said it's easy to start learning to code by doing a search on the Internet.

"Technology has changed," he said, "currently there are plenty of free high quality coding curriculum available on the Internet." In addition, groups have sprung up to support this effort. In Wisconsin, WisCode Literati is a group that provides grants and resources for teaching code at wiscode.org

On April 26, there will be a follow-up event in Beloit for adults only: "Coding and Cocktails!" 

More information is at beloitlibrary.org and on the library’s Facebook page.

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