A new kind of extracurricular activity for children and teens is catching on in Belmont and beyond - Coding. Inspired by her nine-year-old son, Alex, who loves playing Minecraft, Belmont resident Rachelle Reinhart caught on to the trend before anyone else in town and founded Codemakers, offering introductory to advanced programming courses for ages 9 to 18. She is currently located at 26 Trapelo Road but will be moving to a larger location in September at 375 Concord Ave. to accommodate more students.
The Belmont Citizen-Herald recently had the opportunity to learn more about Codemakers from Reinhart.
How do you hope students will benefit from your classes? Our approach is innovative and fun, and most importantly we want kids to actually code – not just apply coding principles to technology projects to make interesting things happen. From day one, our students are coding, and correcting their mistakes, and making new attempts, and building their knowledge slowly. Code writing is precise and the terms exact, so any errors mean the code simply will not execute the command - a good lesson in discipline, patience, logic and problem solving when things go wrong.
Why do you think students should learn coding? Computer programming and basic programming literacy will, I believe, be a valuable asset for this younger generation. We aren’t trying to teach all kids to become computer programmers. But we are teaching them a valuable core skill that can be used to deepen skills and knowledge and opportunities across fields and occupations.
What are your long-term future hopes for Codemakers? Over the long-term, I would like to see Codemakers continue to expand its reach – our classes are taught by highly energetic computer science undergraduate and graduate students. I think this model of good teaching and innovative, intuitively designed computer programming curriculum can be replicated in other communities, and especially (and eventually I hope) in underserved neighborhoods.
Adapted from original article: http://belmont.wickedlocal.com/news/20160909/codemakers-teaches-kids-computer-programming