The YouthCode program provides computer science and related STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) learning and enrichment activities to help youth in elementary and middle school better understand the digital world they are inhabiting.

Coding is a 21st century life skill that enables youth to interact in new ways with the digital world as critical thinkers and problem solvers. Learning to code is also a fun way for students to develop creativity and boost confidence while practicing math, strengthening writing skills and learning basics of computer science.

  • Summer Coding and Robotics Camps

    No summer slide

    At YouthCode summer coding and robotics camps, students learn computer science basics while having loads of fun. All camps are instructor-led with hands-on project time for students to apply their new knowledge and skills. There will be plenty of unplugged activities to keep everyone active and give eyes time away from screens. All summer camp registrations include snacks and drinks, use of computers and accessories, all materials and camp souvenirs. The schedule is usually announced in March.

  • Workshops

    Short and sweet

    Typically held at libraries and community centers, our 60 to 120 minute workshops intend to inspire students through the introduction of coding or robotics. These sessions allow students to receive an introductory experience in a safe, supportive environment. Workshops are usually free and family-friendly, with targeted ages ranging from age 6 to high school, depending on the topic or subject matter. (Note parents may be asked to attend the workshop with younger children.)

    The Hour of Code is one of our most popular workshops. This global movement introduces youth to computer science and coding through short, video-based tutorials. Initiated by Computer Science Education Week and Code.org, Hour of Code has reached millions of students by making computer programming accessible. 

  • FIRST® LEGO® League

    For Inspiration and Recognition in Science and Technology

    The YouthCode program is privileged to include, organize and sponsor FIRST LEGO League (FLL) teams for students in central Iowa. Each FLL team consists of six to ten students in grades 4 through 8 and is guided by two or more adult volunteer coaches. Each year teams research a scoped problem such as food safety, recycling, energy, water or space travel and are challenged to develop and present a solution. They must also design, build and program a robot using LEGO MINDSTORMS® technology, then compete against other teams in tournaments on a table-top playing field.