Do you have a video game enthusiast at home? Have you found yourself wondering if he or she is gaining anything more than points in a game? Well, there’s good news: Kids who love gaming could be well on their way to learning programming, game design and more.
And they can start learning these skills in grade school, says Daniel Turvey, the regional manager of iD Tech, which specializes in providing computer technology education for kids ages 7-19.
“Seven or eight years old is a really good time to start introducing the logic of programming and the logic of game design, because at that age, they’ve mastered their keyboard and mouse typing skills – and they understand the structure of the English language,” Turvey says.
Through more than 50 courses, iD Tech – which has 150 locations worldwide, along with camps at Oakland University in Rochester and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor – gives students the opportunity to explore programming, code a mobile app, produce a viral video and much more.
“(Kids) play video games, and they understand what makes a game fun in terms of them playing it. So just adding one more piece and starting to teach them what makes a game fun for somebody in general and trying to teach them some of those basic game design concepts is totally appropriate” at this age.
If your child is into video games and you’re still wondering about the benefits, read on for three ways gaming can help enhance STEM education.
Building on their interests. “My kid loves playing video games. How do I turn this into a marketable skill?” This is a common question parents have, Turvey says.
Through iD Tech, that potential “waste of time” is turned into something productive. Your child can take his or her passions or interests a step further through enrolling in an iD Tech course related to Minecraft, Roblox and more. The folks at iD Tech use games kids love to play and teach some game design skills through those games.
As they reach age 10-12, they can get hands-on with coding, Turvey adds. “We actually give them some code to work with. We take something that they are super familiar with and kind of peel back the curtain.”
Training for the future. Coders, game developers, robotics engineers – these jobs are in demand and will continue to be in demand in the future. As kids are making their way through school, it’s an ideal time for them to get a better understanding of STEM concepts.
“Programming is already a huge part of everybody’s life, and it’s a skill that’s only going to be more in-demand,” Turvey says. “It’s going to be an essential skill by the time a lot of the kids that are now in that age grow up and enter the workforce.”
Staying busy this summer. iD Tech can help keep boys and girls occupied and learning this summer.
“All of our classes have a computer element to them,” Turvey says. In some classes, students can even build their own laptops and learn design and animation.
The all-girl Alexa Café, geared at ages 10-15, blends technology, entrepreneurship and social impact in a café-like setting. Teens ages 13-18 can dive deeper into the world of coding with iD Coding & AI Academy, a two-week overnight camp at the University of Michigan.
Kids who are interested in participating in day camps can register up until the Saturday before the week starts, but courses are selling out quickly.
So, whether you add this to a roster of day camps for your child or your kid wants to take a closer look of STEM concepts, iD Tech has something in store for your gamer this summer.
For more information on courses and offerings, visit the iD Tech website.