learn / 2014

We Teach Kids Code

We Teach Kids Code

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Maker Challenge by Mushroom Learning

We teach HTML, CSS and JavaScript to students in Middle School and up.


Please describe yourself.

Collaboration (partners are signed up and ready to hit the ground running!)

In one sentence, please describe your idea or project.

We teach HTML, CSS and JavaScript to students in Middle School and up.

Which area(s) of LA does your project benefit?

  • Central LA
  • East LA
  • South LA
  • San Gabriel Valley
  • San Fernando Valley
  • South Bay
  • Westside

What is your idea/project in more detail?

Mushroom Learning started with vision of making coding fun and accessible to all students, regardless of socioeconomic status. Our summer camps, classes and workshops not only teach coding, but also teach students how to think logically and in a critical manner. Our goal is to foster an early interest in computer science, while nurturing each students inner creative energy.

What will you do to implement this idea/project?

Currently we partner with schools and organizations offering bootcamps, classes, workshops and private tutoring, which benefits students all over Los Angeles County. Furthermore, we offer scholarships to students that can’t afford our classes. Due to difficulty of finding individuals that excel both in coding and teaching, the next goal of our project is to develop a web based application that will give us access to a greater instructor pool and allow us to teach students all across Los Angeles County.

How will your idea/project help make LA the best place to LEARN today? In 2050?

Coding is the single most in-demand and marketable skill in the world today. We are teaching kids to code using the same tools and best practices used by industry professionals. Our program will not only teach students this very useful skill, but helps teach students to think logically and critically about any aspect of their life.

Our goal is to continue to encourage a whole new group of students that may not have had the resources to pursue this endeavor in the past.

Programming will soon be a required literacy of students all over the country and students that start now will put LA among the earliest adopters of this trend.

Whom will your project benefit?

Our project will benefit any student middle school age and up that has a desire to learn more about computer science and the field of computer programming.

Computer science is America’s untapped opportunity. According to code.org, there will be 1,000,000 more jobs than students by 2020, amounting to a $500 billion need. Educating LA’s future workforce would ensure LA’s place as a global tech hub.

Please identify any partners or collaborators who will work with you on this project.

The City Charter School:

  • Confirmed
  • Direct access to students for implementation. A location for summer and fall programs. An association with a tech charter school.
  • Yes, we have held summer programs in the past and will be holding a fall course in the upcoming term.
  • Quality of instruction, student engagement, and administrative/parental support.

DevPoint Labs

  • Confirmed
  • DevPoint Labs is an adult coding bootcamp. They have extensive experience in teaching code, creating industry relevant code curriculum, and a network of developers and large tech companies.
  • Yes, they have provided insight and guidance for the current iteration of our curriculum
  • Consistent feedback loop on the curriculum, quality of instructor training, maintaining connections in the tech world.

How will your project impact the LA2050 “Learn” metrics?

  • Percentage of community college students completing a certificate, degree, or transfer-related program in six years
  • Youth unemployment and underemployment
  • District-wide graduation rates
  • HS student proficiency in English & Language Arts and Math
  • Academic Performance Index scores
  • College matriculation rates
  • Student education pipeline (an integrated network of pre-schools, K-12 institutions, and higher education systems that prepares students for seamless transitions between high school, higher education institutions, and the workforce) (Dream Metric)
  • Suspension and expulsion rates (Dream Metric)
  • Truancy rates in elementary and middle school (Dream Metric)

Please elaborate on how your project will impact the above metrics.

We are teaching a skill that encourages students to take an active role in their own education.

Coding helps students foster their creativity and creates a sense of educational purpose. It also teaches a skill that students can immediately use to gain economic viability at an early age.

Students that are actively involved in their education and have a concrete goal are much less likely to be suspended or expelled.

Please explain how you will evaluate your project.

The number of students graduating from our program.

The number of students that continue this endeavor beyond the classroom.

The number of lines of code written.

The number of scholarships given.

What two lessons have informed your solution or project?

  1. The ability of kids middle school age to learn and excel at coding.

  2. The importance of giving all people an opportunity to learn and get excited about a new skill or ability.

Explain how implementing your project within the next twelve months is an achievable goal.

We have held classes, workshops, private tutoring and currently a summer program in Los Angeles County. We are scheduled to run continuing programs in the fall at several schools and will continue to provide tutoring to all students.

Please list at least two major barriers/challenges you anticipate. What is your strategy for ensuring a successful implementation?

  1. Lack of talented developers that are also great teachers. Our goal is to use our web application to attract teachers from any location.

  2. Continually teaching the current and most useful coding languages, frameworks and techniques. We have current industry professionals doing code reviews for all the students and providing feedback on our curriculum.

What resources does your project need?

  • Network/relationship support
  • Money (financial capital)
  • Volunteers/staff (human capital)
  • Publicity/awareness (social capital)
  • Community outreach