Coding at SteamChamps
We’re a coding school for kids that teaches our students using a customized curriculum in a semi-private setting. We don’t believe in one-size-fits-all curriculums, and we don’t believe in software programs doing the teaching. Instead, our core program pairs each student with an expert coder called a Code Coach in a 2:1 lesson to guide them on a custom journey, unique to the student. As any real developer will tell you, there’s no better way to learn a new language or platform than by coding something with it. That’s how we teach too – learn by doing, but with expert guidance.
Well THAT’s a weird question to ask a school! But we do have a personality! Founded and run by a couple of down to earth guys, we’re a down to earth school. We’re not all about the profits, we’re all about helping our communities and kids learn to code. We’re parents ourselves and we’re here to do you right. We’ve been at this for over 6 years, with over 50 locations, over 4500 students, over 750 staff, and lots of happy parents and kids. We’re internationally published authors with 2 books on kids coding, and we even have a video teaching series we call our AppStream. That’s a lot of fluff, so what’s REALLY our personality? It’s Code Coaching – so read on!
Our coaches! Think about how you would want to learn a new skill. Would you want to take a static online course? Listen to the same lecture class as hundreds of others? Or, would you rather sit down next to an expert mentor who can guide you on your own personal journey? Setting up thousands of 2:1 lessons across the country with hundreds of coaches is a challenging process and might take a little more effort than just sitting your child in front of a computer and letting them find their own way. But in our opinion, it’s all worth the quality learning experience!
We don’t believe in a one-size fits all curriculum, but rather use a dynamic way of teaching with many curriculums. Our philosophy is that the best way to learn to code is to do it the same way real developers do it – code something! Rather than mindless exercises or memorizing syntax, kids build custom apps with guidance from their Code Coach. From websites to games, from data utilities to network applications, what our kids code differs from student to student. Instead of a one-size fits all curriculum, our students code apps that are meant to engage them specifically, based on their interests and skill levels. After all, if kids don’t want to learn, they’re not going to learn!
Each week, our coaches write structured notes in our proprietary Notes+ system. This system tracks language(s), concepts, homework, and other important session information to track everything learned while building their own custom app. Parents are emailed the notes after each session with a link to our Coder Progress page. Our proprietary Coder Progress page shows a complete summary of progress over time, giving parents an easy way to track progression, concepts learned, and languages used.In addition to weekly Notes+ progress, students also receive App Reviews every 3-5 months. While Notes+ represents cumulative progress at theCoderSchool, an App Review is a point in time assessment of the student’s skill level. Each App Review combines assessments of a student’s levels in over 30 skill areas, a general freeform assessment, and the uploading of their latest app to our App Gallery. App Reviews also come with a graphical representation of their skillset in the form of a Coder Tree! Take a look at a sample App Review screenshot to the right. Many locations also time App Reviews with Coder Fairs, a chance for students to show and discuss their app in front of an audience and get it judged in a science-fair style competition!
Yep, they sure do! Once an hour per week isn’t a lot of practice, so we encourage our kids, especially intermediate to advanced kids, to code in between. Most of our platforms are online, and can be accessed from anywhere with internet. Advanced coders will be asked to bring and use their own laptop which they can bring home to continue coding.