Your kid is obsessed with Minecraft, LEGOs cover your living room floor (as the dents on the bottom of your feet prove) and your phone password has been changed for you far too often. If that sounds at all familiar, then it’s time to look into robotics classes for your little programmer. That love of computers and building is just the spark needed to take the leap into a world of junior engineering offered in these superb classes for tech heads of all ages.

Rolling Robots

photo credit: Jenn Fujikawa

Rolling Robots
Rolling Robots offers classes for every level: circuits, basic programming, even Minecraft hacks. Did you hear angels sing at the M-word? You must be a Minecraft parent, and if you are, you’re ready to let someone else hear all about wraiths and TNT. Once young roboteers are ready, they get to take their newly acquired skills and head straight to the Robot Battle Arena located right in the middle of the classroom.  Rolling Robots offers classes, camps and birthday parties.

Are You Experienced:
No previous robotics experience required, kids can go from learning basic keyboard skills all the way up to Java programming.  Bots for Tots starts off 4-6 year-olds with introductory mechanical, electrical and engineering concepts, and classes like Bots With Brains and Video Game Design keep kids programming through age 14.

Rolling Robots has locations in Glendale, Palos Verdes and West LA.  Check the website for locations and class schedules.
Online: rollingrobots.com

Digital Dragon

photo credit: Digital Dragon

Digital Dragon
At Digital Dragon, kids will move on from just consuming technology to actually creating it. Your little gamers will get to experience what they love most, but instead of just buying a game, they get to figure out how to design and create their own in a fun and empowering way.  You’ll feel much better about their screen time: it’s educational!  Classes are offered during the year and camps are available all summer plus every school holidays.

Are You Experienced:
Digital Dragon offers the widest age range for little techies.  Classes on simple coding and robotics start as young as 4 years old and go all the way up to 12th grade for more advanced concept to completion game programming.

Digital Dragon
3026 Nebraska Ave.
Santa Monica
Phone: 424-280-4654
Online: digitaldragon.com

great minds robotics

photo credit: Great Minds Robotics

Great Minds Robotics
If your kid loves robot movies, this place is for you. Here little engineers of all ages can discover the concepts of real-world robotics, programming and mechanical engineering all while learning on their very own robots.  Here’s a quick test.  If your child has ever asked: “Mom, how does a robot build a car?” or  “Daddy, can machines see?”  and you’ve been stumped, you need to hightail it to classes here.

Are You Experienced:
Classes are taught after school and are tailored for grades K-12. Dedicated kids can even move on to competitions like First Lego League.

Great Minds Robotics
18801 Ventura Blvd.
Tarzana
Phone: 818-292-8008
Online: buildcoolrobots.com

ucode

photo credit: UCode

UCode
Working alongside an instructor, kids get to develop their own custom games, apps, websites, and robots. Future programmers, this is where it all begins.  Ucode offers classes and summer camps, including a Girls Coding Camp, where young girls can make like-minded friends and be inspired by other female coders.

Are You Experienced:
Students are taught to code games in Scratch, a visual scripting language. The courses are heavy on typing and precision. A bit challenging, many of the serious classes are recommended for ages 10 and up, but an Introduction to Scratch Coding class is perfect for future programmers starting at age 7.

UCode has locations in Beverly Hills, Hermosa Beach and Torrance. Check the website for locations and class schedules.
Online: ucode.com

Planet Bravo

photo credit: Planet Bravo

Planet Bravo
Planet Bravo uses education and technology to build confidence in multimedia platforms. By using video cameras and green screens, your mini-gamers can make their dreams a reality by building apps, creating games and seeing their gaming ideas come to life in 3D.  Future Oscar winners for special effects and soon-to-be billionaire video game creators can get an early start here!  Planet Bravo offers summer camps with workshops like Kodu Game Design, Minecraft Modding and Code Like A Girl.

Are You Experienced:
There are multimedia classes for younger kids entering grades 2-3 and more advanced video game design for grades 4-9.

Camps are located in Beverly Hills, Encino, Irvine, Manhattan Beach, Pasadena, Playa Vista, Ross and Santa Monica. Check the website for locations and class schedules.
Online: planetbravo.com

Code Rev

photo credit: Code Rev

Code Rev
Code Rev’s classes are a great way for kids who are interested in programming and developing to take their interests to the next level. STEM based courses teach kids the beginnings of C++, web development, and robotics. Here future designers get to learn basic skills all while having a blast.  Options include individual workshops or classes, memberships for visiting 2-5 times a week, or Summer Camps for week long full or half day sessions where kids learn to create robots, apps, websites or games.

Are You Experienced:
Classes and camps are tailored for kids from grades 1-8.

Code Rev
1639 16th St.
Santa Monica
Phone: 310-450-4984
Online: coderevkids.com

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Have we missed a great place where kids can learn to code, make robots, or take other space age S.T.E.M. classes?  We’d love to know!

—Jenn Fujikawa