Do you want your kids to learn to code? More and more students are getting some exposure to computer programming before they head to college, whether it’s in the classroom or in an out-of-school program. Getting an introduction to computer programming and learning to code will benefit today’s generation of kids, regardless if they pursue a STEM career or not.
If you are looking for coding classes for kids, we are fortunate to have a tremendous number of opportunities in the Boston area and throughout Massachusetts. There is a wide range of courses, programs, and clubs that teach students to code using creative, instructive, and fun approaches to learning.
Depending on your child’s interests, there are numerous pathways to learn to code and many programming languages to explore. Here are a few examples:
- For kids who love to play computer games like Minecraft, they might want to try game design.
- If your child loves to build things, they might want to learn to code by programming robots.
- Dive into the mobile world and learn how to develop an app for iOS or Android.
- Explore career paths and learn about popular tech industries like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning and Cybersecurity.
Types of classes
Coding classes are offered throughout the year in Massachusetts. In my experience, some kids like to learn to code in the summer and will attend a summer camp while other students participate in afterschool programs. Some kids even choose to take classes year-round. Preference and timing are up to you, your child, and your family’s schedule.
If you are searching for a coding class, here is a list of over 25 organizations that offer coding classes and camps in Massachusetts. While the organizations listed here are primarily focused on teaching kids to code through programming classes and camps, it is possible to find additional organizations that offer coding as a component in STEM-related classes.
The following list is broken out by organizations that offer:
AFTER SCHOOL AND SUMMER PROGRAMS
Brandeis University (Waltham) offers a 3D Game Design program for high school students. Classes are conducted on Sundays in February and March. This program is taught by Jade Garisch, a graduate student in the Brandeis computer science program, and managed by Brandeis professor of computer science Timothy Hickey. (Grades: high school)
Code & Circuit (Amesbury) is a nonprofit discovery lab for students to explore technology and computer programming. Using state-of-the-art equipment, classes encourage creativity, innovation, and self-expression. Code & Circuit offers coding clubs and introduction to computer science and introduction to programming classes. (Grades K-12)
CODEMAKERS (Belmont) offers Intro, Intermediate, and Advanced Python programming courses. CODEMAKERS teaches programming much the same way colleges do – by using Python to develop conceptual and technical skills that are easily transferable to other programming languages. (Grades 3-12)
Code Ninjas (Burlington, Canton, Medfield, Northborough, Sudbury, Tyngsborough + Wellesley) teaches kids to code in a fun, safe, and inspiring learning environment, with a game-based curriculum that they love. Kids see real progress and achievement that encourages them to continually learn, grow, with different belt levels just like a real dojo. The program allows flexibility for busy family schedules; no classes and no scheduling. Simply drop-off at the center during student hours. (Ages 7-14)
Coding Butterfly (Brighton, Newton + Norwood) offers computer classes for kids. Instructor-led classes with 4:1 student to teacher ratio offered with a variety of classes including Game Design, 3D Design and Print, Web Design, Engineering classes with microprocessors and minicomputers. Languages and products used are Python, Scratch, Lua (Roblox), C# (Arduino), Tinker Cad, and HTML & CSS. (Ages 8-14)
CS Recitations (Natick) was founded by experienced MIT Alumni and believes that computer science is a core competency. CS Recitations offers a year-round after-school program offering a comprehensive curriculum for grades 3 through 12 designed to meet and exceed Massachusetts DESE standards for computer science, including an accredited AP Computer Science class, a challenging MIT edX Python programming recitation, and international competitions. In-person, small classes offer an ideal social learning environment. (Grades 3-12)
Einstein’s Workshop (Burlington + Newton) is a makerspace and learning center that offers a variety of coding classes. Learn basic concepts of programming using the popular program Scratch, developed by MIT, along with other programming languages. (Grades 1-8)
Empow Studios (Lexington, Newton + other summer camp locations) brings technology, arts, and play together to help young learners discover and build on their creative talents. Empow Studios offers a Coding Club for kids who want to try their hand at creating games, animations, and applications by writing code. They also offer coding opportunities through their Tech & Design, Minecraft and Java Coding camps. (Ages 7-13)
Girls Who Code (various MA locations) is a nonprofit organization which aims to support and increase the number of women in computer science. The organization is working to close the gender gap in technology and change the image of what a programmer looks like and does. Girls Who Code offers free coding clubs during the school year and the Summer Immersion Program, a free 7-week summer program for current 10th-11th-grade girls to learn coding and get exposure to tech jobs. (Girls, middle and high school)
iCode (Wellesley) engages children in a STEAM learning experience using AGILE on a dynamic technology curriculum. iCode of Wellesley empowers children’s innovations in new technology such as VR (Virtual Reality), AI (Artificial Intelligence), Drones, Digital Arts, Mobile Apps, Coding, Game Development, and Electronics. Their mission is to empower future innovators through unique learning experiences in a variety of exciting and fun topics. iCode is passionate and driven to help children collaborate, think critically, build transferrable skills, emotional awareness and intelligence through a series of team projects and individual practice. (Ages 6-17)
Ivy Seed Academy (Downtown Boston, Cambridge + online) offers after-school Python and Scratch programming classes for students from grade 1 to 12. Ivy Seed Academy teaches programming languages from basic to advanced level. Through the program, instructors use project-based learning methods, interactive learning methods, and a coaching model to help students to love the world of coding. All of the classes are taught by instructors from top universities, like MIT, Harvard, and Boston University. (Grades 1-12)
Juni Learning (online) provides online coding classes with a private instructor. Each student meets with their instructor once or twice a week, privately or in a small group setting (up to 3 students). Developed by Stanford graduates and Google alumni, their program teaches students how to build games, apps, and websites. (Ages 5-18)
KTBYTE (Lexington, Newton+ online) teaches computer science in a progressive curriculum to students. Courses are offered in either in-person and web-conference formats, allowing students to work with live instructors wherever they may be. Entry level classes, such as the fundamentals (“FUN”) curricula, use drag and drop programming frameworks such as MIT Scratch or KTBYTE’s “Java Blocks”. As students take higher level classes, they are required to type their code, learn advanced problem-solving skills, and eventually unlock college-level content. KTBYTE’s mission is to stimulate young students’ interests in computer science and help advanced students achieve their goals before college. (Ages 8-18)
Microsoft Store (Boston, Burlington + Natick) offers free summer coding camps at their stores through YouthSpark, an initiative to connect hundreds of millions of youth with opportunities for education, employment, and entrepreneurship. (Ages 8+)
Nobel Explorers (online) is an online global STEM camp designed for students to explore and acquire career-ready skills through challenging projects and a true team experience. Students join a project to solve complex and engaging challenges, immerse themselves in the task at hand, and “learn by doing” in a true team environment. Nobel Explorers enables anyone anywhere to collaborate and thrive in global teams and develop invaluable hard and soft skills to thrive in the 21st century’s ever-evolving job market. (Ages 8-18)
theCoderSchool (Sudbury + multiple US locations) is a place where kids learn to code all year round. Founded in 2014 and headquartered in Silicon Valley, theCoderSchool combines a super-small teaching ratio with an individualized immersion-style to get kids learning to code in no time. theCoderSchool focuses on a mentor relationship with experienced coders, Code Coaches®, who guide students through their technical journey. (Ages 7-18)
AI4ALL (Boston University) is a program promoting greater diversity and inclusion in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Young women currently in their sophomore or junior year of high school in the Boston area are welcome to apply. During the 3-week program, participants will explore the field of AI through team projects, industry field trips, and presentations from guest speakers. The program will conclude with a small group research project and a presentation for friends and family. (Girls, Grades 10-11)
Boston University Summer Term (Boston University) offers an introduction to Computer Science courses for high school students. The first course is for computer science majors and anyone seeking a rigorous introduction. Students develop computational problem-solving skills by programming in the Python language and get exposure to a variety of other topics from computer science and its applications. The second course covers advanced programming techniques and data structures. (Grades 11-12)
Codebreakers (Boston University) is a program for young women who are currently either freshmen or sophomores in high school and who are interested in learning about computer security. Graduate and undergraduate coordinators will teach participants how to apply basic security concepts through gaming, modeling, and simulation development. Students also will learn to program in Python, as well as about robotics, digital forensics, cryptography, system vulnerability and cyberethics. (Girls, Grades 9-10)
DevTech Summer Programs (Tufts University, Medford) offers a coding program using ScratchJr, a free graphical programming app designed to teach foundational programming skills to young children. ScratchJr was designed by the DevTech Research Group at Tufts University and MIT’s Lifelong Kindergarten Group. In ScratchJr, children can program their own stories and games by generating code for their characters. (Grades K-3)
Digital Media Academy (Harvard University, Cambridge) offers courses in Game Design, Programming, Filmmaking & Photography, 3D Modeling & Design, Robotics & Engineering, & Music Production. Launched by tech educators at Stanford University, Digital Media Academy camps are where students get their start as designers, developers, engineers, animators, musicians, and filmmakers. Learn basic and advanced techniques for creating code for computers, iPhone®, iPad®, Android™, robots, video games and more. (Ages: 6-17)
Emagination Tech Camps (Bentley University, Waltham) offer two-week summer camp programs that encourage children to express creativity, advance technology skills, enjoy exercise, make friends, learn independence and develop self-confidence. Emagination offers two academically oriented STEM programs for teens: Emagination Programming Camp where teens learn to program in Java and create applications for Windows and Emagination Game Design Camp where teens learn the video game design and development process as it is practiced in the industry. (Ages 8-17)
Girls Make Games (Cambridge) is a series of international summer camps, workshops and game jams designed to inspire the next generation of designers, creators, and engineers. Learn how to design and program your own video game. Students learn the fundamentals of game development while working in teams to create fully functional game prototypes. (Ages 8-17)
Green Apple Campus (Olin College, Needham) is an educational not-for-profit organization. Their mission is to inspire the innovators of the future through creative, challenging STEM, innovation and entrepreneurial programs for kids. Green Apple Campus teaches coding, computational thinking & computer science in a variety of coding classes. (Grades K-9)
iD Tech (multiple MA locations) has something for every student. From coding and game development to robotics and design, kids and teens learn in-demand skills and ignite lifelong passions. The unique blend of summer camp activities, cutting-edge education, and small class sizes creates the perfect environment for students to thrive and build skills that last long after summer. Each week, students receive one-on-one instruction, make new friends, and complete a project they showcase at the Friday diploma event. (Ages 7-18)
Kids 4 Coding (Bentley University, Waltham + Lesley University, Cambridge) offers one week half- and full-day programs designed to develop new media literacy, computational and creative thinking, adaptability and problem solving, and coding proficiency. Kids 4 Coding’s interactive modules are new each summer, created in collaboration with tech industry professionals and educators. Boston area students can learn to code games, robots, drones, musical compositions and even build their own laptops. Sessions are supervised by certified teachers and taught by experienced instructors who are passionate about technology. (Ages 7-16)
Launch Program (Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester) gives participants the opportunity to explore multiple areas of computer science, and select their own path by completing several self-paced tutorial modules. Course staff provides education on programming basics, which participants apply to a project such as a creating a cloud platform based personal webpage. (Grades 9-10)
SummerTech (Regis College, Weston) features college-level coding, animation, web development, and 3D modeling courses, gaming events, social activities, and more. It is the only summer STEM program that teaches to the individual with a 3:1 student-to-teacher ratio, enabling children to move at their own pace. SummerTech features a living, evolving curriculum that features the foundations and building blocks to becoming a developer. The typical day features classes in a main focus of study, an elective, sports and rec, gaming, social activities as well as lunch and dinner. (Ages 10-17)
The Artemis Project (Boston University) is a five-week summer program for rising 9th-grade girls focused on computer science. Participants learn computer languages such as Scratch, AppInventor, HTML, CSS, and Python. Students are also introduced to robotics, cryptography, artificial intelligence, and circuits. In addition, they learn how computer science is applied in the real world by hearing from guest speakers and going on field trips. (Girls, Grade 9)