'Coder Dojo' Develops Future Computer Programmers

Posted at: 10/22/2013 11:05 PM
By: Steph Crock

(ABC 6 News) -- Writing code to create a computer game? It sounds pretty complicated, but kids as young as seven were doing just that in Rochester..

Organizers saw "Coder Dojo" classes like this in the cities geared toward kids ages eight to eleven and they felt Rochester kids could benefit from this too. "We have a couple of classes being offered right now, one of them is scratch which is very introductory programing ideas, so they learn the  conditionals and the logic of programming but they’re having a fun time doing it as well," said community volunteer Mark Schleusner.

Mentors help them figure out the basics first. "It has these different tabs so there's like a hide tab, show tab, and then go to X-coordinate something, Y-coordinate something, stuff like that," said 12-year-old student Kaushik Kancharla

Besides guiding them in the right direction, mentors hand over the reins. “The mentors just help you do what you want to do," said 7-year-old student Chaitnya Ghatty.

You can just see each imagination soar as they create their own computer games. That's been what drives these kids, getting to show off and even play with their virtual masterpieces. “You get to create the background and like move stuff," said 9-year-old student Anushka Kollengode.

"You can create anything you want with any characters and you can make them move any direction you want," said Akhil Kollengode.

Plus, the reward goes beyond the final product. "When you're older these computer research projects can be handy, and it’s fun to learn," said Akhil.

We were very impressed with how confident these programmers have become. “It’s easy and it’s fun," said Chaitnya.

"Some of the scripts are really complex and so I’m really proud of them games I've made," said Kaushik.

If you'd like your kids to get involved or want to become a mentor, information can be found on the Rochester Family YMCA’s website. That is where you can register and where the classes are held.