LOS ANGELES—CodeREV Kids tech camps will be expanding in the Los Angeles area this summer. The camps teach kids ages 6-15 about coding, programming, robotics, app design and game design. Canyon News interviewed founder and CEO, Evan Boorman, to find out more about why there is such a high demand for tech camps for kids.
Boorman said he started the company as a solution to the problem he found after working 14 years in supplemental education. The problem was a “big gap in terms of computer science education and engineering or fun ways of doing math or learning math. All of that was something schools were not addressing by and large in the greater LA area,” said Boorman. Kids who develop the skills that CodeRev Kids offers will be able to have a leg up in computer science classes at the college level, and be able to get a high paying job with their degree after college.
As a math teacher and after having his own tutoring company, Boorman saw that learning coding had practical applications. The video game Minecraft plays a big part in the CodeREV Kids program. The program teaches kids coding using Java programming to be able to create their own items in Minecraft. An example by Boorman was that kids could create a bow in the game, and then create a code that makes the bow have powers like shooting lightning or making ender dragons spawn.
This type of coding is usually not taught until the high school level AP computer classes. Minecraft is also used to teach kids math. “We have a math in Minecraft class called MathCraft which focuses on teaching common core math in a really fun engaging sort of experience based, project based format,” said Boorman.
Another type of technology that is taught in the summer camps is robotics, where students can build their own robots and program them. Boorman said after the robots are finished they hold their own “Battlebots” type competition. At the Malibu location, students are taught iPad game and app design by creating a gaming app that interacts with the touch and movement of the iPad.
Summer camps are not the only thing that CodeREV Kids offers. They also have afterschool classes and weekend classes that can be attended on a membership basis. Currently tech classes are in high demand, so CodeREV Kids has partnered with 28 schools in the Los Angeles area. Boorman said they are unsure if they will expand their programs on a national level yet, but they are looking to expand in Northern California.
The teachers of these programs are hard to come by, because CodeREV Kids requires a passion for working with kids, real tech teaching knowledge, and tech working experience, said Boorman. The teachers become more like mentors to the kids, because they love showing kids how to use computers in a way that they did not get to learn when they were kids.
Both kids and parents are responding to the program with enthusiasm. Boorman said the kids are ecstatic and proud of what they create, and excited about learning and advancing their knowledge. Parents love and are appreciative of the program and agree that it teaches their kids useful skills, even if they don’t really understand what the technology is all about.
Parents who battle with kids who they think spend too much time on the computer now have an outlet where kids can be on the computer and be learning something useful. Since the company’s start in 2014, Boorman has had to convince parents less frequently why these kinds of technological skills are important for kids to start developing at a young age.
“We’re thrilled to be launching a camp in Malibu. As far as we know it is the first tech camp that’s ever been in Malibu and I think we are really excited about being right in the canyon. The canyon is gorgeous and I am excited for outdoor camp games and activities which I think will have more of that traditional camp feel just from where it’s located,” said Boorman.
The expansion of CodeRev summer camps will include locations at Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Malibu/Palisades, Encino, Irvine and Fountain Valley/Huntington. For more information on the CodeREV Kids program visit www.coderevkids.com.