Code play: Computer programming for kids made fun

By Michelle Valigursky | Emory Wire | Aug. 8, 2013

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MBA graduate Scott Blanck (center) founded Start Code to offer computer programming lessons for kids.

In less than an hour, kids learn how to create computerized ghost characters that chase fleeing yellow figures in an on-screen sequence. For 2012 MBA graduate Scott Blanck, teaching kids coding in languages like Scratch and Python is the first step to unlocking creative potential. “Knowing how to code and what the tools can do is a future differentiator,” he explains.

Blanck founded his company Start Code in April of 2012. The idea that would eventually become Start Code began with a simple question posed by Computerworld.com: “How are students learning programming in a post-BASIC world?” (BASIC is a family of general-purpose, high-level programming languages whose design philosophy emphasizes ease of use; the name is an acronym from Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code, according to Wikipedia.)

Blanck considered the question. “I grew up and first learned how to program in BASIC so I was curious how kids are starting today. Second, as a father this jumped out as a potentially fun project to do with my son who was entering middle school.”

A short time later, Blanck founded Start Code, Atlanta’s only year-round programming instruction lab for students in elementary, middle, and high school.

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