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Youth Coding Leagues set up in USA compete in championships

Competitors are 5th and 6th graders.

Youth Coding Leagues set up in USA compete in championships
Photo: krcu.org

Students from 17 local schools have entered into the last rounds of the Youth Coding League’s spring season in Missouri, the USA.

Developed by the Marquette Tech District, the after-school programme teaches coding concepts to 5th and 6th graders through teachers in each school system and Google’s CS First curriculum. It was built by Marquette Technology Institute and Codefi, and it is provided at no cost to local schools by the Marquette Tech District Foundation's educational arm: the Marquette Technology Institute (MIT).

The programme is modeled like athletics in a school. During the regular season of the Youth Coding League, players are scored on different attributes with the CS First curriculum ranging from attendance to participation, and creativity to complexity of code. After the regular season wraps up, they shift away from CS First, and move toward working on group projects. This carries them into the postseason with the playoffs, and then the championships. Then, local industry professionals judge their projects based on technical complexity.

"We think group projects are very representative of what the workforce they will be entering one day really looks like," says community director Dohogne Lane. She says the Youth Coding League not only gives regional students a sense of belonging, but a background in what MIT calls "the digital literacy of the future".

"Even if kids do not go on to be computer programmers, knowing and speaking that language and understanding how all of those pieces will fit together is only going to benefit them," says Dohogne Lane. "And, knowing how to think logically: All the things that coding really teaches you how to do are going to impact positively any academic discipline."

By the way, Ukraine is also following the trend. At the moment, the working methodical group of Kyiv's Gymnasium A+ is engaged in developing the curriculum for teaching programming to schoolchildren with the support of the EVEREST group of companies.

"Western practices in this direction already have a tremendous result, and most importantly, they are well aware of the importance of programming not only for the comprehensive development of future generations of specialists, but also for the development of the country as a whole. Ukraine is only at the beginning of this difficult path, but today we have every chance to provide children with the opportunity to become no less advanced and competitive in the market. We are working hard to make this an accessible reality in our country," Yuriy Chubatyuk, president of the EVEREST group of companies, said.

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