To so many of us, computers are arcane devices that other people program for us so that we can read our email, tweet our support for the Pirates, and watch Pittsburgh Dad videos. In reality though, anybody can learn to code once you realize that, at its core, programming is simply a process of communicating with the computer, giving it instructions to perform tasks for you. Our June winner, The First Bytes Society, understands this and wants to engage young students in the magic of coding in a fun, hands-on way.
“What makes the First Bytes Society approach a little different than traditional computer science education is that it will focus on creating tangible results that students can easily share with their peers,” said Nathan Good, creator of The First Bytes Society. The curriculum and schedule for the class are being finalized, and Mr. Good says that he has several offers for space and volunteers on board to staff the program. The program will be designed for students between 5th and 9th grade and will encourage diversity, targeting groups often underrepresented in computer science.
“First and foremost, the First Bytes Society is about exciting young students–especially those who might otherwise not have easy access to computing–about the world of programming and debunking the myth that it is only intended for ‘the nerdy kids,’” says Mr. Good.
If you are interested in the program as it develops, follow The First Bytes Society on Twitter (@firstbytes).
UPDATE 7/25/12 – Nate’s project received some love from Pop City this week at http://www.popcitymedia.com/forgood/awesomefirstbytes072512.aspx