Local technology firm teaches middle schoolers how to code

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Javascript, HTML, Python. They're the foundation for the language of computer coding.

Now, more than ever, companies are looking for people who know how to read and write with these programs, and some kids are learning early.

"We have so many students who are very interested in learning more about technical skills and things they can do that might ultimately lead into a career field," said Audrey Bland Hampton, Ryan Banks Academy head of school. "So, it was kind of a no-brainer to find a company that could help teach that to our students."

The company Hampton is referring to is Saggezza, a technology consulting firm. One of its programs, 0Gravity, has a mission dedicated to making coding accessible for kids all around the world.

0Gravity has established programs in India, England and throughout the United States. The program's first Chicago partnership is at Ryan Banks Academy.

"We have consultants at Saggezza that are software developers, data analysts, data scientists, security automation engineers," said Amy Little, Saggezza's human resource generalist and marketing specialist. "They come from all different backgrounds and they're passionate about coding."

Most students are excited to start the classes, but few are as excited as eighth-grader Malyk Hopkins.

"When I found out it was like a mind explosion," Hopkins said.

Hopkins is no stranger to coding. He's already created a game through Roblox, an online game creation software that helps teach kids how to code.

"I like coding because anything that you can think of you can actually just put in any type of number and viola, it's there," Hopkins said. "It may seem a little nerdy to all you other kids but it's really fun."

Saggezza employees are teaching students with the help of Roblox, Roblox Studio and Code Kingdoms. By using all three online tools, they hope to keep the kids engaged while they learn.

"We wanted to make sure that it was fun for them but they were also learning so we try to find a way to incorporate a game and also teaching," Little said.
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