by Megan Johnson, intern

We’ve talked before about the importance of learning coding in this day and age. But how do we begin to engage young students in such a seemingly complex field?

Open source programs offer a fun way for kids to discover a potential passion in coding. As Regina ten Bruggencate, senior Java developer for iPROFS, says, “Games can be a great way to get interested in programming,” including Minecraft and Arduino. These two programs are ones that we at The DAE teach our students in order to help them learn coding in a fun way!

According to Arduino’s website,

Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It’s intended for artists, designers, hobbyists and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments.

Arduino functions as an inexpensive microcontroller module that can be as easy or as advanced as users need it to be.  For those who don’t know, an open-source program, like Arduino, has codes that are openly available to the public for use or modification at no cost. The point of using programs like Arduino and Minecraft is to teach kids how to program games, meanwhile teaching them all about computer programming without any unnecessary computer jargon that goes over their heads.

As we mentioned in a recent post, computer programming jobs are steadily increasing. Oracle OpenWorld argues that it is incredibly relevant and important for kids to learn programming:

Who cares if kids don’t become involved in IT? Well, many people should. Data shows that well-paying careers will be sent overseas if qualified candidates can’t be found on home soil. As technology becomes increasingly integrated in daily life, the number of opportunities is likely to continue to rise.

What a concept. Having kids play games and design their own is a way to give them a secure future, not to mention some pretty awesome new skills.


Interested in having YOUR children learn Arduino or Minecraft?
Check out our upcoming events and class offerings!

Minecraft Tournament (Ages 9-13) Sat, Nov 16th 11AM – 12PM

Intro to Arduino  (Ages 13-17) Tues 4:00PM – 7:00PM starting Dec. 3rd

Physical Computing Project Lab: Arduino (Ages 13-17) Wed 6PM – 8PM starting Dec 4th

Check out our other programs being offered here.