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STEM learning with video games: Code Ninjas debuts in Columbia

Code Ninjas, one of the fastest-growing kids coding franchises, opened their newest location at 10 W. Nifong Blvd. on Nov. 2. Code Ninjas will serve the local area by offering computer coding courses for kids. The courses will allow kids to problem-solve while they build video games and collaborate with other children their age. This new learning center will establish an environment where children can learn about technology while having fun.

The Columbia location is owned and operated by local entrepreneurs and married couple Bill Rowe and Shelley Bush Rowe. Bill has spent the last 23 years in the telecommunications industry while Shelley has spent the majority of her career working for the University of Missouri. Neither had given much thought about coding until their then 7-year-old daughter approached them asking for help on making modifications in Minecraft. With little knowledge about the topic, they did some research and came across Code Ninjas.

“We saw how Code Ninjas makes learning fun while teaching an essential skill,” said Bill. “Code Ninjas turns STEM education into something kids thoroughly enjoying and are excited about, while learning something so valuable in the process.”

When deciding to open a Code Ninjas, Bill and Shelley had an opportunity to take over the Wildwood location in Missouri and agreed. There they saw the rewarding benefits of Code Ninjas first hand.

“Code Ninjas is one of the first of its kind to provide a space for kids to learn something that interests them in an environment that encourages them to come out of their shell,” said Bill. “We’re able to offer kids the opportunity to explore their interests in technology, and develop not just coding skills but social skills as well.”

Columbia children (ages 5-14) can look forward to the new Code Ninjas center where they can learn how to code in a fun, safe, and social environment. At Code Ninjas, gaming is celebrated, and STEM is cool. Everything about their centers — or Dojos — is built around fun, which keeps kids coming back. The center also provides the results that parents are looking for, as their children gain coding and problem-solving skills they’ll need in the evolving job market.

Code Ninjas offers a robust, game-based curriculum made up of nine belts, just like martial arts. The courses are self-paced, but not self-taught; kids get immediate help and encouragement from Code Senseis (teachers) and fellow students as they advance from white to black belt. The program keeps kids motivated with little wins along the way, and “Belt-Up” celebrations where they receive color-coded wristbands to mark their graduation to the next level. By the time a child finishes the program, they will publish their own app, available to the public on an app store.

Code Ninjas also offers a variety of opportunities for children to get involved, including a flexible weeknight drop-in program, camps and Parents Night Out events on weekends.

For more information about the Columbia Code Ninjas location, please visit www.codeninjas.com/mo-columbia or call 573-754-7007.

 

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