I was inspired to found codeSpark when my 7 year old daughter took a LEGO robotics class and was the youngest kid and only girl out of 22 students. I started researching games and tools for teaching young kids to code. I found only a few and they were really boring or got too hard too quickly.
My co-founder Joe Shochet and I have created a “pick up and play” game that teachers children as young as 5 years old programming principles and computer science concepts. How? Through structured challenges and open-ended play, specifically crafted for young girls and low-income users, whose participation in computer science education is typically lower.
We are most proud of building the game 100% without words so non-English speakers can play and for our gender inclusive approach. Our first character in the game is a girl and all of our girl characters are powerful. The most popular character for both boys and girls is our girl ninja. We are also very proud of our gentle but effective curriculum scaffold. Kids really learn concepts like sequencing, loops, conditionals, etc.