By Jacqueline Quynh

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS4) – As technology advances, more students are learning to speak the language of computers. It’s called coding and the Coder School, a new school in Centennial, hopes to help students master it.

(credit: CBS)

“So what we do is try to use the cause and effect of different things, suggesting the computer do different things, what we call sprites move differently,” Andrew Pedersen said.

Pedersen is the school’s owner. He demonstrated how to use the Scratch application. It’s a learning program that looks more like a game than a way to learn coding.

“From Facebook to Instagram to our iPhones, to our Android devices that all run on all different types of code.”

While many people are familiar with new tech gadgets, few actually know how they’re programmed or built on the inside. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor says there’s a computer science engineering shortage. It projects in 2020 that 1 million jobs will go unfilled and part of the reason is because it takes time to learn. Ideally, students have to start early.

“Maybe at the end of high school they can go into some CS classes and learn what’s happening.”

(credit: CBS)

The Coder School aims to help kids pick up more. As part of the program instructors with computer science backgrounds coach students ages 7-18 about developing various applications. The setup and design was mirrored on incubators in Silicon Valley, California. Now, because there are various coding languages, the youngest students usually start with Scratch before moving on to Python or Java which are common coding languages used by commercial businesses such as banks.

“If the coder is interested in gaming, we will teach them how to build games, if the kiddo is interested in building a social media application, we’ll teach them how to build a social media application.”

Each child gets to choose the path they want. And while there’s no guarantee students will become great talents like Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, or the late Steve Jobs from Apple, the goal is simply to help students interested in computer science become successful.

“The best case scenario is that you have a child prepared for the future,” Pedersen said.

This is the first Coder School in Colorado. There are currently there are 40 other locations across the U.S. Prices vary on how often parents want to send their children. Hours run from 3 p.m. – 8 p.m. Monday – Friday. To learn more, visit

Jacqueline Quynh


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