Kitchener, ON (10 October 2014) – Hackademy Canada is running four Intro to JavaScript courses for children and youth across Waterloo Region this November.

Waterloo Region’s tech literacy organization, which offered courses to adults last year, will begin its youth offering this fall with three-hour interactive workshops teaching kids how to build dynamic websites. Courses will be held at IDEA|EXCHANGE in Cambridge on Nov. 1, ThreeFortyNine in Guelph on Nov. 2, THEMUSEUM in Kitchener on Nov. 8, and the REAP Felt Lab in St. Jacobs on Nov. 9. The cost for the half-day workshops is $75, with part of ticket pricing going to subsidize tickets for those in need. Interested attendees can register through hackademycanada.eventbrite.ca. The workshops will be taught by professional instructors from the region, including software developers, computer engineering students and other tech industry professionals.

“Over the past year, we focused mainly on teaching adults, but received a lot of feedback that people were looking for spaces for their kids to learn about technology,” Stephanie Rozek, Hackademy’s CEO and co-founder said. “They’ve been called ‘digital natives,’ but the truth is that often our children are simply elegant consumers of technology, like smartphones, and we want them to understand they can open things up and change them and make them their own.”

“We don’t want this to be the iPad generation – we want this to be the Maker generation,” Hackademy’s CTO and co-Founder Sean Yo said. “Hackademy wants to help everyone, especially kids, learn to code. Learning that code is a tool of empowerment to understand the digital world and solve problems for ourselves.”

Code is becoming the new literacy

With the introduction of programming for children and teens, Hackademy’s goal is to create opportunities, foster creativity and ignite excitement about technology within the region, particularly for girls and other youth who traditionally have encountered barriers to STEM learning (science, technology, engineering and math). Hackademy is part of a worldwide movement to provide alternative learning opportunities to Canadian communities.

“Through our membership in the local Hive Waterloo youth tech education network, we’ve been involved with events that encourage youth to explore the world of STEM,” adds Yo, who also leads Hive Waterloo. “We believe the best way to develop excitement and nurture STEM-based skills is through an engaging and interactive learning atmosphere.”

Hackademy’s introductory fall workshops will be followed up with a six-month weekly program for children, beginning in January. Participants in the November workshops will be eligible for a 10 per cent discount on fees for this programming. Courses will be led by experienced and knowledgeable instructors who will lead students through curriculum covering software programming, website design, hardware and electronics and other engaging topics. A regularly updated course calendar can be found at hackademy.ca/events.

About Hackademy Canada

Hackademy is a social innovation venture teaching coding and technology literacy through face-to-face learning and community mentorship. The Hackademy team is committed to providing an open and welcoming environment for all, particularly those groups who have traditionally faced barriers in entering technical fields. For more information visit hackademy.ca, call (519) 716-1976 or find us on Facebook and Twitter.

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