A basic knowledge of programming is essential for everyone. There are many free or low cost coding programs available to teach kids this skill. Learning how to build simple websites and games helps children develop their problem solving abilities and express their creativity in a new way.

Code Wizards HQ

CodeWizardsHQ announces The Dragon Quest, a free coding challenge for kids ages 8-18. The Dragon Quest is a 21-day virtual event in which aspiring coders complete 21 levels of Python and JavaScript challenges with one final "Boss Level" question where participants write code. The 21 levels are a staircase to both continue to spark a passion for coding and reinforce skills that young coders have already learned.

The winner will receive a cash prize of $100. Any participants who pass the 21 levels will receive a $100 gift card from CodeWizardsHQ.

photo: Disney

Imagineering in a Box

Khan Academy offers kids basic programming tutorials that teach them how to build graphics and animations. Their newest partnership with Pixar, Imagineering in a Box combines 32 videos of actual Imagineers, real-world case studies, and lots of interactive activities to give you the opportunity to dream and design your very own theme park experience.

photo: Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Code.org

Code.org is offering a set of resources to help students learn computer science at home. They are also working on resources to help teachers mid-course continue teaching remotely. For families without a home computer, Code.org offers smartphone options as well. 

photo: Drew Rae from Pexels

Codecademy

Codecademy teaches kids basic code through fun, simple exercises. To go beyond the basics you need to subscribe to Codecademy Pro. 

Due to school closures due to COVID-19, Codecademy is offering 10,000 scholarships to Codecademy Pro for free to high school and college students around the world for the rest of the school year. 

photo: Tynker

Tynker

Tynker is offering free access to premium coding courses during school closures. Parents can sign up until Apr. 30. Educators and students will have access to the complete Tynker School PreK-12 curriculum, including Tynker Junior for early learners, introductory and intermediate programming courses, and interest-based courses, such as micro:bit, LEGO WeDo, and drone programming. 

 

—Jennifer Swartvagher

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