New coding centre for kids opening in Steveston

Video games and technology can have a bad reputation among parents, but Code Ninjas, a centre for learning to code, is opening with the goal to make video games educational.

Code Ninjas is a Houston-based franchise that teaches kids ages seven to 14 how to code by playing and building video games.

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 “(My wife and I) grew up in Richmond, and Steveston is a very family-oriented community; it’s a great representation of Richmond, so we want to introduce Code Ninjas to the community,” said Joey Tsao, one of the owners, adding that the coding centre can provide an “environment (where) kids can learn and not be intimidated by coding.”

“A lot of kids these days are consuming a lot of technology, but we want it (the experience) to be more productive.”

Kids go through a self-paced program guided by instructors, known as Code Senseis, who help them build confidence in their math, logic and problem-solving skills, as well as learning coding languages and programs.

A “belt system,” like martial arts, is used to determine each child’s skill and proficiency throughout the program. At the end of each belt level, they are required to prove their adeptness by building a game before they “belt-up” to the next colour.

“When (the kids) complete their black belt (in the program), they should have enough knowledge and proficiency to build and publish an app, and that’s our goal.”

The coding centre boasts a flexible drop-in curriculum that allows parents and kids to drop by for one to two hours a week with no scheduling.

It is estimated to open its location – on No. 1 Road and Bayview St. – before the end of the year.

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