FAQ for Parents

What is the difference between CCCoders and something like First Robotics/LegoLeague?

CCCoders is about each child learning in a positive group environment that's right for their interests and current skill level. Unlike First Robotics and Lego League, we are not focused on competition. Instead students will learn in a small group environment.

Why should my child learn to code?

Computing is ubiquitous in today's world, and many jobs require computing skills such as creating and managing websites, or writing macros. By learning to program, your child will be developing skills to help him/her navigate daily activities of the future. Often, knowing how to code will also increase a child's confidence in dealing with issues when technology inevitably has a hiccup.

What kinds of projects will my child be working on?

The projects you child works on will depend on the group they choose.  Beginner groups often work on simple games in a visual language to build computing skills quickly.  In previous years, more advanced groups have learned Java, Python, web programming, and raspberry pi robotics.  To see more of what groups are working on, take a look at the all classes page with descriptions of this year's groups.

How frequently does CCCoders meet?

CCCoders meets every Saturday from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. throughout the fall and spring semesters when Michigan Tech is in session.

What is the cost of attending CCCoders?

We request a minimum $60 donation per student per semester to support our Michigan Tech student tutors.  We understand that every household is different, so we ask you to donate what is affordable to you.

How do I sign up or learn more?

You can pre-register by clicking the sign up button in the top right corner of the page, or learn more by contacting us at coders@mtu.edu.

I completed the online pre-registration. Why do I also have to come for in-person registration with my child?

Both parents and children should come to the registration meeting.  We want you to have the chance to meet the people who will be teaching your child and see the environment in which they will be learning.  We also want to go over behavior expectations for the year.

My child is a really bright 4th grader. Can I register him/her?

At this time, we are not accepting registrations for anyone in elementary school.  Once your child enter's 6th grade, we'd be happy to have them join us.


FAQ for Kids

Why should I learn to code?

Computing is ubiquitous in today's world, and many jobs require computing skills such as creating and managing websites, or writing macros. By learning to program, you will be developing skills to navigate daily activities of the future. Often, knowing how to code will also increase your confidence in troubleshooting your next technology hiccup. You'll also have a chance to start designing things like your own video games.

Do I need to be good at math?

No.  You don't need to be a math whiz.  If you know your basic addition, multiplication, and division, we'll cover the other math along the way.  You don't even have to like math - a lot of coding has things in common with art and language classes.

But isn't coding for geeks?

The idea of the "coding geek" is waaay outdated.   Lots of normal people code all the time for different reasons.  Some people code websites to help people share what they're doing.  Others code games.  A lot of grownups have to learn some coding along with their main job.

I'm in 5th grade. Can I sign up?

Not yet.  We've found people have a much better experience once they're in grade 6.  If you're wanting to learn more on your own, try checking out what we're doing through the year in the All Classes page and check out our Resources page, too.  Then you can sign up next year.


FAQ for Tech Students

I'm a freshman and I don't really know much about programming, but I think I want to help teach. Am I allowed to join?

Freshmen are welcome to help out.  Some of our current group leaders started as assistants when they were freshmen and have continued.  If you're not sure about your coding skills and want to just help out, you can be a group assistant for a semester (or more).

CCCoders is about teaching kids to program. What do I get out of it?

Yes, we at CCCoders are all about sharing our love of computing with kids from the local area.  Aside from the joy of seeing their "lightbulb" moments, teachers get lots of experience with soft skills that are a great thing to talk about at Career Fair.  It's an opportunity to improve debugging skills, make sure your coding fundamentals are solid, and practice using English to talk about code.  A few of us also find it's a great way to learn something we've been wanting to dig into, since you have to learn it before you can teach it.  Because of the time commitment required, group leaders also receive a nominal pay funded by donations.

How much of a time commitment is required?

CCCoders meets for 2 hours each Saturday afternoon to actively teach middle and high school students.  Following that, we have another hour meeting of the student org where we share what we're up to in each group and give each other feedback and teaching tips.  If you're an assistant, that means you'll need a little more than three hours a week afternoon.  Leaders need to commit a little more time because they have to plan and prepare lessons as well as write a weekly update after the meeting (about another 2-3 hours a week, depending on how much you do).

If I become a leader, will I have to come up with my own lesson plans?

No.  You are welcome to do so, but you are free to also use variations on previous year's materials.  Sometimes we even use open-source curriculum shared by other universities.