Kuttycoders 2.0: Inspiring childhood
Bringing children into the game of coding is a real game-changer.
Ever tried arguing with a kid?
Tried and failed :/
But one thing is for sure: the kind of insight you get when you talk to kids can only be gained by talking to them. Their view of the world is different; they’re ready to learn and know, unlike adults who often see themselves in teaching roles than learning roles.
That’s how a bunch of young people zeroed in on the idea of introducing kids as young as 10 years old to coding. I mean, why not? After all, they have been familiar with technology all their lives, unlike the 90s kids (that’s where I belong) who first saw a smartphone around 6-7 years ago.
Their age is the best for learning, and they don’t have to be introduced to new technology; it’s already a part of their lives.
Technology can act as the gateway to a world of endless possibilities and opportunities. To be able to grasp this or get exposed to it can at an early age certainly change the course of one’s life.
Kuttycoders 2.0 marked the second edition of this all-new initiative by TinkerHub. At Kuttycoders, children who have a passion for technology can meet people and immerse themselves in a community of doers. By making learning an interactive and tinkering process, students are motivated to think out of the box and explore topics that stimulate their grey cells.
This time around, we had about 32 kids pouring in from all over Kerala. Some were as young as 10. The oldest kid was 17 years old.
I was super-excited to watch kids coding, and I made it a point to be present on all 3 days! We were huddled around laptops from Sept 7th to 9th at CITTIC, Kochi, watching, experiencing and learning. Here are the snippets of events that I witnessed over the course of three days:
Dr. Sam Thomas, the director of CITTIC addressed the young crowd. Then the mic was handed over to Mr. Vinneth Nair, the project lead of Kuttycoders. Since it was a whole new environment for everyone, we decided to hold a little ice breaking session and add a little dose of technology in it. We decided to start off with something everyone was familiar with- web and mobile application so as to get things rolling. It was thrilling to see the effect on everyone.
After the session, questions and ideas began to pour in from all directions.
After getting everyone’s attention we set sail to explore more about technology. First off, Avinash S Kurup, an experienced data analyst at 10XDS took everyone for a fun ride through the basics of Python programming language. Through a series of games, we were able to learn to programme in about a day.
“Never did I imagine that coding can be this much fun and easy to learn. At the end of the day everyone was so into exploring more that they couldn’t wait for the next day.”
The second day, it was decided to explore the amazing world of the World Wide Web through the domains such as HTML, CSS and hosting web apps. Vishnu KO, a web development enthusiast from RIT, Kottayam broke everything down into simple modules that made it easy for everyone to comprehend. It was really astounding to see the children work and the different perspective they gift us. Their curiosity had no limits, and with a free environment, nothing was holding them back.
With giggles and laughter and lots of learning the second day ended so fast that no one wanted to go home.
On the third day Sreelal T S, a Google Developer, taught us on how to bag awesome t-shirts and swags from Google. His session on Actions on Google got everyone excited and by the end of it, almost everyone was one step closer to get the Google goodies.
The second half was dedicated for Kuttython where the knowledge gained through these 3 days was put to test. The event was focussed on giving the participants a real hackathon feel by dividing them into groups and presenting them with problem statements that they had to find solutions for. Soon everyone had put on their thinking caps and let their imagination soar.
It was mind-blowing to hear the many solutions they had come up and the depths to which they analysed each and every aspect of the problems. After creating a prototype, they pitched their ideas in front of the judges and audience. Even the pitching so professional that you realise that being a kid is no Child’s play.
Later, Yadev Jayachandran, a junior fellow at KSUM, spoke on the importance of communities and Mehar M.P, co-founder of TinkerHub shared his thoughts on Kuttycoders. The participants received certificates from Mr Saneem Perinkadakkat, CEO of ClusterDev.
With that, a three-day epic journey filled with fun and laughter and learning came to an end. Throughout these three days, I got to learn a lot and meet many inspiring souls. Most importantly I learnt that technology is for everyone, and that age is just a number.
Keep exploring and innovating and never stop learning.
P.S: I’m impatiently waiting for the next chapter.