Chicago kids tackle computer coding early

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The next generation of computer whizzes has an early start- very early.

At Codeverse in Lincoln Park, kids as young as six are learning the basics of computer coding during summer camps and after school programs.

"Every single child that is growing up in this digital age should learn this vital skill," says Codeverse Co-Founder Katy Lynch.

Her team developed a proprietary coding language called KidScript. It draws on popular languages like JavaScript and Python, but narrows the focus to make learning simpler.

"With Kidscript there's only one way to perform one action. So it's a very easy to read, easy to write language."

Inside the studio-which resembles a tech start up-curiosity guides learning.

"You've gotta get the ball to hit the diamond," explains 10-year-old Cash Graves as he runs a lesson program on an iPad.

"That speed was too high," he points out, as KidScript suggests a change.

KidScript's lessons help build muscle memory so these young programmers can tweak anything from light intensity to a computer game's color scheme.

And after kids master the basics, they can try a project from scratch-while still getting pop up hints from KidScript to keep them on track.

"Kind of fun but it's also kind of tricky," says 12-year-old Eliot Mougette as he and his brother attempt to trigger some overhead lights.

Lynch hopes to teach one billion kids to code starting right here in Chicago.
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