How to Start Coding for FREE? Check these Four EASY STEPS

CODING CODING CODING! It’s all the rage and it’s great for kids! But how do you start coding? Believe it or not, you don’t need to be a L33t code monkey to turn your kids into white hat hackers! Read on to peep four ways to get your kids started with coding no matter what semester it is!

Step 1: Keep it simple silly! 

Coding may sound scary, but kids as young as 3 are able to grasp the base concepts behind it. If a toddler can do it, so can you. You’re an educator, you know the most effective ways to drive instruction are engagement and real-world context. Lean into those basic principles by finding challenges that put your students in the chairs of real engineers with a problem to solve. Sounds like the CoderZ Amazon Cyber Robotics Challenge to me!

Step 2: Find a platform with a GREAT REPUTATION

Scroll through a list of recommended coding apps and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. How do you pick the best platform with so many out there? How do you tell which one is right for your kids? Stick with reputation. The right platforms aren’t afraid to put their product out there and are vetted by other companies with plenty to lose.

CoderZ couldn’t have been MORE thrilled when Amazon approached us to create the Amazon Cyber Robotics Challenge. Not only did they love our platform, we cared about the same things: Innovation, robotics, and supporting educators.

They brought the problem to solve, we brought the platform and the robust teacher materials to make sure ANYONE can hit the ground running on day one. There’s a reason we’re a state-level vendor for Iowa Computer Science and a 2021 Codie Award Winner. We’re what’s up yo. 

Step 3: Make it FUN. 

Kids love field day. Why? Because it’s fun! Who doesn’t want to run around and challenge their friends to tug of war, and other fun games?

You know that, and you build your classroom around it. Introduce your students to the world of coding and robotics through an authentic fun and engaging experience on an award-winning platform, with a real problem to solve. In no time they’ll be coding their way past obstacles you never dreamed of to accomplish the mission and celebrate with their friends. 

Step 4: Bring in the CHALLENGE

Why is field day so fun? The CHALLENGE. The Institue of Competition Sciences notes the value that competition brings to an educational setting. Improving teamwork, collaboration, increasing intrinsic motivation, facilitating growth mindsets, and developing mental grit, are all hugely beneficial outcomes of bringing competition and challenges into the classroom.

According to the research, competition is a great way to bring people together! Pitting classrooms against each other is a great way to inspire everyone to do better and dominate the challenge! Get creative, and have the whole building start the challenge at the same time with a great prize at the end for the classroom that triumphs.

In this scenario, everyone wins! Students learn and have fun, teachers learn how to start coding in their classroom, and we all have a chance at a better future with the inspiration of innovation. 

Now- How Do You Start Coding?

 All you need is a little help from us, and Amazon. If you trust them to deliver the emergency gluten-free tortillas you ordered for your sister-in-law’s surprise visit, then you can trust us to deliver a world-class experience in your classroom. 

The CoderZ Amazon Cyber Robotics Challenge shares Amazon’s values of innovation by introducing teachers and students to the world of coding and robotics through an authentic fun and engaging experience. Participants will be introduced to how robots and associates work together at an Amazon Fulfillment Center to process orders safely and efficiently.

The course is powered by CoderZ’s Online Robotics Learning Environment which provides online simulations, a visual code editor, and embedded content. With approximately three hours of curriculum, activities, and assignments designed for a novice user with no coding experience, CoderZ brings real industry challenges to the nimble minds of any student worldwide.

How it Works

The Amazon Cyber Robotics Challenge has been divided into three environments and broken down into four-packs for easy chunking and scaffolding of formative skills.

Pack 1 is set in the training center where students learn to code the ‘drive units’ in an area in which obstacles and scenarios have been specifically designed to provide an appropriately enhanced and effective learning environment.

Packs 2 and 3 are set in a digitally replicated Amazon Fulfillment Center to provide coders a more authentic experience of the interaction among the pods, ‘drive units’ and associates.

Pack 4 challenges the students in a fast pace skills-based gaming environment.

How to Get Started Coding

The 23 gamified missions (complete with easy-to-follow walkthroughs and tips) make up approximately three hours of curriculum, activities, and assignments designed for a novice user with no coding experience. And the included bonus activities (like a free virtual field trip to an Amazon fulfillment center???) can extend it to a full week of engagement for your classroom. This is a seriously robust Teacher’s Guide. 

Once the Challenge is over, that’s no reason to stop. Amazon believes in the transformative power of STEM so much, any Title 1 district is able to receive CoderZ’s robust curriculum and online platform for six months as sponsored by Amazon Future Engineer. Throughout the year, Amazon Future Engineer is committed to providing access to high-quality computer science education for hundreds of thousands of students from underserved and underrepresented communities.

The last real question: What are you waiting for!?! Create a teacher account, register students using your class code, and complete the challenge today!