The world as we know it is changing rapidly and we need to not only move with the times but prepare accordingly. We often speak of how children are the future and they will be its leaders, but what are we doing to ensure that they are well prepared?

With this question in mind, RLabs in partnership with Media24 set out to prototype a boot camp aiming to shift the mindsets of kids everywhere. The team aimed to teach kids the fundamentals of coding and get them excited about its possibilities and boy were they hyped.

Anxious children entered the RLabs Café Strandfontein hub, captivated by its colors, eager to have the boot camp exceed their expectations. As the day went on the Young Coders we’re taught coding logic through two games namely: Tangibl and 10 Steps forward. These games allowed the kids to understand what it means to both convey and follow instructions, with every successful challenge strengthening their resolve to code.

The next day saw the Young Coders getting to grips with Design Thinking, a relatively new concept especially for 10 – 15-year-olds. They mastered it with an understanding seemingly beyond their years and it became evident that they could handle anything thrown at them. The kids began visualizing their games and throwing around ideas of how it would work.

By day 3 they began paper prototyping how they would use Scratch; A platform that allows for drag and drop game development. With nothing, but a few cutouts and their imagination, they became developers.

Day 4 allowed the Young Coders to get their hands on some laptops. They began taking their prototypes to the digital world. It was both fun and stressful. The Young Coders found it difficult to stick with their original concepts and quite possibly created three different games each, in the time they were there. The facilitation team urged them to stick it out and kept their spirits high.

Day 5 was demo day. The Young Coders got a chance to refine their games and present to their parents. Some were understandably shy while others took the opportunity to pridefully showcase their creations. This was truly a special moment. The Young Coders then graduated, receiving certificates to show their family and military tags to show their peers.

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