Bay Area Coding Programs for Kids

Black Girls Code: Based in Oakland, Black Girls Code holds one-day workshops, hackathons and after school programs throughout the year, aimed primarily at underrepresented girls of color, ages 7 to 17.

Breakout Mentors: Through Breakout Mentors, students ages 8 to 17 are paired with tutors for weekly 1.5-hour, one-on-one instruction in programming. Tutors are computer science and engineering students recruited from UC Berkeley and Stanford. 

CodeNow: CodeNow offers weekend coding courses at local tech companies for high school students in the Bay Area, with a mission to reach underrepresented groups. Wondering if your school or community offers computer programming courses? Search’s comprehensive database for local resources. 

CoderDojo: Still expanding in the Bay Area, CoderDojo organizes free, volunteer-led programming clubs for kids ages 7 to 17. 

Code Fu: Day/After school program located at schools in San Francisco in the East Bay for students ages 5-11.

Digital Media Academy: From 3D game design to programming with Java, Digital Media Academy runs a series of summer tech camps for students ages 6 to 17 on the UC Berkeley and Stanford campuses.

Girls Who Code: Girls Who Code partners with Bay Area schools and other local organizations to form coding clubs for female middle school and high school students. Clubs are led by volunteers, who follow a set curriculum with monthly projects and 40 hours of instruction per school year. It also offers a seven-week summer immersion program in computer science for high school juniors and seniors. 

iD Tech Camps: Campbell-based iD Tech Camps are held online and over the summer at multiple Bay Area locations, with courses such as developing smartphone apps. This year, it also introduced an all-girls program in Palo Alto, which will be expanded next summer to additional locations.

MV Code ClubWeekly classes where students can build video games, apps, websites, robots and more at mulitiple Bay Area locations. Girls-only sessions available. Ages 6-16. 

Tech Academy of Silicon Valley: Offers summer programs for middle and high school students with courses including robotics and digital electronics.

TechKnowHow: Though much of its focus is on robotics and LEGOs, TechKnowHow also offers programming and game design summer camps throughout the Bay Area. 

VisionTech Education: Love Minecraft? VisionTech Education offers after-school programming classes at Bay Area schools, as well as summer camps in Danville and Saratoga. 


Want more? Check out these Apps and Online Tutorials


Cargo-Bot: Solve puzzles with this free iPad app to learn the basics of programming.

Codeacademy: Learn how to build a website or to code with different programming languages through free online courses.

Daisy the Dinosaur: Aimed at children as young as 4, this free iPad app teaches basic programming concepts by making Daisy the Dinosaur run, jump, spin and dance.

Hopscotch: This free iPad app teaches kids the basics of programming by having them drag and drop blocks of code to create games, animations and stories.

Khan Academy: Khan Academy offers free online computer science lessons, walking students through the fundamentals of programming and allowing them to create and share their programs online.

Kodable: This iPad app teaches kids about programming through 45 levels of games and interactive tutorials. For an additional cost ($1.99 to $6.99), parents and teachers can purchase another 15 levels and other features.

Learn to Mod: Kids who are already addicted to the game Minecraft can now use it to learn how to program – and even earn college credit – through Learn to Mod’s online courses and tutorials.

Lightbot Jr. and Lightbot: Lightbot Jr., for children ages 4 to 8, and Lightbot, for children ages 9 and up, uses puzzle games to teach basic programming.

Move the Turtle: With the help of a friendly turtle, children complete tasks and learn programming concepts such as loops and variables on this app, available for iPad and iPhone.

Scratch: Launched by MIT, Scratch is a programming language developed for children, which they can use to create stories, games and animations. There is also an active online community where kids can share their creations. 

TynkerTynker offers a comprehensive guide to programming. Younger kids can start with the free iPad app (in-app purchases for additional features cost $1.99 to $4.99). Students in third grade and above can take its online programming courses ($50 per course), where they complete projects such as designing an animated avatar. 

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