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The Kid's Computer Programming KCP: Building the Next Generation of Creators - Terry Karungi

Building the Next Generation of Creators one program at a time!

The Kids Computer Programming Initiative it focuses on teaching  children (7-11years) how to write computer programs. The program was launched in May and I did share my early leanings here in this article and now we will dive a little deeper.

The goal and objectives?

For us, teaching children to program computers isn't the end result, but making something ( while building on programming  skills in the process) is. Our goal is to use programming to guide children to

+think creatively

+work collaboratively

+reason systematically

What tools do the children use?

To teach programming, we use an application that uses drag-and-drop interfaces with coding blocks. Think LEGO, but with code. In these, the child can pull in code parts to manipulate more than one object (and access more commands, variables, and events) to create animations or games. The application is called Scratch.

Our achievements thus far:

Completion and graduation of our NOVICE class that is now heading on to the APPRENTICE level.  See graduation photos HERE

Some of the projects the kids did included programming a dance routine and programming their own maze game

What did we learn?

  • Don't underestimate the amount of complexity kids can handle.
  • Our method of delivery was very personal where we had 1 facilitator per 2 students. This worked very well for us but more so, for the students as they were more comfortable. No students were left behind and we moved together forward as a unit.
  • Encouraging the kids to take sometime off to think through the given assignment at hand yielded not only cleaner and more logically written code(program instructions) but also lead to faster completion of assignments.
  • Each kid has their own sense of creativity- their own style. Kids this age are very self expressive and it is very evident in their work.
  • It's a useful exercise in its own right to think about - and explain - difficult concepts in plain language
  • Teaching kids to code can be lots of fun!

Why this Initiative is good for your child:

One Parent, Paul Kaheru , put it this way “I want my daughters to be rounded individuals and as such I try and expose them to as many opportunities as I come across. Computer programming is something that they can do on their own once they get a hang of it and is a skill that can be used as an occupation or as a pass time. It is also a good way to develop one's brain as it works on both the logical and creative parts of the brain. I would like my daughters to be able to provide creative solutions for themselves and their communities as they grow. ”

he also added “ I advise parents who are interested in the creative development of their children to enrol them in this programme. For the price we pay, the value the children derive is immeasurable.

Here is a video of what the children and other parents have to say about the K.C.P  program: Video

How to be part of this Initiative:

We are enrolling for the next class:

The next  Novice Class is set to begin on August 1st. To qualify to join the class, children should be between 7 and 11years of ages and able to read and write basic English. Prior knowledge of working with computers is not a requirement. For more information, see and register HERE.

Volunteer with us:

If you are great with kids or you have experience with computer programming and you would like to be part of the Initiative, do send us an email at kcp@outbox.co.ug.

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