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Creative Computing 

Technology: Teaching kids computer programming

Isaac Mandell-Seaver and Bridger Ellms

Sarah Williamson

Isaac Mandell-Seaver and Bridger Ellms

Many summer camps ask kids to leave digital devices behind, but not the Young Hacks Academy. Fifty-eight campers ages 10 to 12 learned computer programming basics during Young Hacks' first two weeklong summer sessions at Colchester High School. The second session closed with a public showcase on July 19, where campers presented interactive games they'd made using kid-friendly programming software called Scratch. The topics they chose to address in their games varied — from demonstrating tornado safety to delivering vaccines in the Congo. One game about genetically modified food challenged players to stab an ear of corn with a syringe. "It is pretty obvious that kids are hungry for this type of stuff," says camp director Thomas Bacon. "It seems like a really good program that could be replicated in other places."

Young Hacks Academy: For more information about 2014 camp sessions, visit younghacksacademy.com.

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