How Colorado kids and teens can get started coding

by Jess Ryan
February 23, 2016

As technology has become a more present force in our lives, conversations about how to get kids and teens involved in programming and engineering have increased. Programs like Hour of Code are leading the charge to engage kids and teens with technology, and similar resources are popping up here in Colorado, too. From toys to events and even formal classes, these Colorado companies and groups want to help kids and teens get more interested in technology.


Pixi Kits 

Teach kids about technology using Pixi Kits, an electronic construction toy currently raising funds on Kickstarter. They were invented by the Middlekauff family in Denver, who wanted to find entertaining building and technology games for their twins. The toys were designed to help kids learn about the basics of robotics and engineering by putting them together.  


Denver Public Library 

These days, public libraries provide more than just books to the community. The Denver Public Library has a number of programs for kids and teens to get involved in tech, including stocking its ideaLAB with a 3D printer. They also host a weekly Girls Who Code after school program for girls in middle and high school, a Saturday Code Club where they work with teens on specific tech projects and special competitions, like their “RPG Showdown” for teens interested in video game development.


Kids Develop It 

Similar to Girl Develop It, Meetup group Kids Develop It hosts weekly open code nights in Boulder, where mentors are available to help kids with various coding projects. They also host occasional workshops on subjects like 3D game design. The Kids Develop It website lists more resources for kids learning to code, and it features a gallery with projects members have already created.


Boulder’s Bitsbox is a monthly subscription service for kids who want to learn to code. Every month, they send a box that will walk kids through the steps it takes to build simple apps, which they can then share. The boxes also come with fun items like stickers and toys based on that month’s theme.


If you’re looking for a more formal coding program, check out Silicon STEM Academy in Denver. Their after school programs cover computer basics, Java, Python and mobile app development. Plus, they have courses in robotics and digital media, and workshops on subjects like “Minecraft Modding in Java.” They just kicked off their latest session, but you can join Silicon STEM on March 5th for an open house to learn more about their programs.


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