New coding initiative starting up for U.P. youth

MARQUETTE — Modern technology owes part of its ubiquity to armies of coders adept in various computer languages creating the multitude of applications we use every day. One group in Marquette is working to help expose students to computer programming at a younger age.

CoderDojo906 is a new upstart based on a global initiative dedicated to giving children access to information about programming. Organizers plan to create two dojos in Marquette – one at the U.P. Children’s Museum and another at the NMU Seaborg Center – where students can learn the basics and beyond in a self-guided manner.

“The age ranges from 5 to 17. It’s been quite proven that young children are very adept at taking on new languages, and coding is really a language,” CoderDojo906 champion Keith Glendon said. “It’s not about mathematics necessarily. It’s not about scary and intimidating algorithms. It’s fundamentally a language.”

The ultimate goal of the project is to fulfill a need for further technology education for Upper Peninsula youth.

“Everybody can benefit from this mode of thinking, and so ultimately what we’re trying to do is help to build ecosystems in this country that enable our kids to be successful in the world that they will lead in,” added Glendon.

The group is working now to establish a core set of mentors, and the operation is expected to launch at the end of September. You can follow CoderDojo906 on Facebook for more information.