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  • 02/07/2019 11:16 AM | Tim Sieber (Administrator)

    We are very excited to announce that we have teamed up with Tech Journey, a non-profit organization and group of technology professionals in central Iowa to launch a new program for youth: CoderDojoDSM.

    CoderDojoDSM logo

    CoderDojo Des Moines will provide youth an ongoing opportunity to keep skills sharp, learn new coding skills and stay connected with other like-minded students, leaders and mentors. At a Dojo, students can bring their own projects to work on or work on projects and ideas that we've curated. CoderDojoDSM is a club, not a class, so students can come and go to any Dojo.

    CoderDojo Des Moines will focus on Scratch, Python and JavaScript, as well as some robotics and other technologies from time to time. Because professional mentors will also be attending the Dojo, there likely will be someone who can help with any skill or project.

    The first Dojo will be Saturday, February 16 from 10 AM to 12 noon in room 124 of Building 1 on the DMACC Urban Campus. Dojos will continue on a monthly basis at locations throughout Des Moines. Registration by a parent or guardian is required for each Dojo session. Registration for the first Dojo can be initiated at or by clicking the button below.


    CoderDojoDSM is free and open to any student age 8-18. Students are welcome to bring a laptop from home or request to use one of ours; just make sure to select the appropriate ticket when registering. Space is limited and seats may run out so register today.

  • 11/15/2018 11:32 AM | Tim Sieber (Administrator)

    Young innovators practicing imaginative thinking and teamwork

    FIRST® LEGO® League focuses on solving real-world problems such as food safety, recycling, energy, space travel and more. With the guidance of coaches and using science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts, teams of no more than 10 members ages 9-14 have fun while designing, building, and programming LEGO® MINDSTORMS® robots.

    Along their journey, students develop critical-thinking and team-building skills, build self-confidence, and gain presentation practice through season-ending competition events that include robot games on a themed table-top playing field.

    If your student is interested in STEM and would like to learn more about FIRST LEGO League, then consider coming to the Season Showcase on Sunday, November 25 at the Eastview Community Center. Three central Iowa teams will be demonstrating robot missions and presenting their solutions to this season's Into Orbit Challenge.

    FLL season showcase invitation

    FIRST LEGO League is a registered trademark of FIRST (

    LEGO and LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 are trademarks of the LEGO Group of companies

  • 10/01/2018 11:18 AM | Tim Sieber (Administrator)
    Central Con image

    The Technology Association of Iowa is excited to invite you to Central Con!

    Are you curious how the Internet works and what cybersecurity means? Do you like puzzles & challenges? Come join us at Central Con!

    This FREE event is for current middle school and high school students who want to learn how to protect the Internet through cybersecurity. No previous knowledge or experience required.

    Bring your laptop if you have one - if not, that's ok too! Be ready to have fun and learn. Free swag & prizes and lunch are provided! If bringing a group of 10 or more students, groups must be accompanied by an adult.

    This event is made possible by the generous support of these sponsors:
    The Technology Association of Iowa 
    Central Campus
    ISSA Des Moines Iowa Chapter

    Register Now

    This event is not part of the YouthCode program, however, we share this information to help make students aware of related central Iowa opportunities available to them.
  • 09/20/2018 8:39 AM | Tim Sieber (Administrator)

    Come visit the YouthCode booth at this year's DMACC Ankeny STEM Festival. The festival will take place on Monday, October 22 from 6 to 8pm at the FFA Enrichment Center on the DMACC Ankeny Campus.

    "STEM is about learning, investigation and career readiness, but it’s also about having FUN! The South Central Regional Hub partners with local community leaders and educators to host annual Family STEM Festivals. Exhibitors from throughout Iowa spark student and parent interest with hands-on learning ranging from driving robots and trying virtual welding to testing chemical reactions and building structures. Each festival is quickly becoming a community-wide, must attend event!"

    Registration is FREE and walk-ins are welcome. However, pre-registering scores you a participant tote bag! Hope to see you there!

    DMACC Ankeny STEM Festival flyer

  • 09/12/2018 4:02 PM | Tim Sieber (Administrator)

    We are pleased to announce three new YouthCode coding and robotics day camps scheduled for this fall. At each camp, students ten or above will extend their knowledge and skills of coding with the block-based visual programming language, Scratch. Each camp includes at least three hands-on projects, instructor-led lessons and unplugged activities. 

    Camps will be on Saturdays from 9am to 3pm at the Eastview Community Center in Des Moines. The $45 registration fee for each camp includes all instruction, use of computers and accessories, materials, snacks and camp souvenirs. Lunch is NOT provided so please plan accordingly by sending a sack lunch with your camper.

    Camp icons

    Click one of the following links to review a camp description, learn prerequisites and register.

    Advanced Scratch Coding Camp: User Interaction on Saturday, Sept. 29
    Introduction to Robotics Camp: MakeBlock mBot on Saturday, Oct. 20
    Advanced Scratch Coding Camp: Pen Drawing on Saturday Nov. 10

    Happy coding!

  • 08/08/2018 10:33 AM | Tim Sieber (Administrator)

    YouthCode is partnering with the Valley Community Center to deliver three coding workshops this fall. Coding Kingdom is a fun experience for youth age six and up to be inspired by freely exploring coding and robotics. 

    At Coding Kingdom, students will be able to make choices about how they want to learn. Students can choose video-based tutorials to complete coding objectives, modules to program a robot or coding cards to create their own creative programs. Many activities will introduce students to visual, block-based programming languages Blockly (created by Google) or Scratch (developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology).

    All activities are hands-on and all equipment is provided, although space is limited. There is no need to register, but children under the age of nine must be accompanied by an adult.

    Scheduled Dates & Times

    • Monday, August 20, 2018 from 6:30 to 8pm
    • Monday, September 10, 2018 from 6:30 to 8pm
    • Saturday, October 6, 2018 from 10 to 12pm noon

    Valley Community Center is located at 4444 Fuller Road in West Des Moines, Iowa.

  • 03/13/2018 4:11 PM | Tim Sieber (Administrator)

    Scratch Day is a global network of events to celebrate the block-based programming language, Scratch. This year the Johnston Public Library and YouthCode are partnering together to host a free Scratch Day for central Iowa families at the Johnston Public Library between 1:30 and 4:00pm on Saturday, May 12, 2018. 

    Scratch Day events bring together all kinds of people from the Scratch community to share projects, learn together and welcome newcomers. Last year, there were more than 1000 events around the world!

    This year's activities at the Johnston Public Library will include hands-on projects for new and experienced Scratchers as well as fun, interactive demonstrations of various technologies that can be used with Scratch. No registration is required so come any time for a fun learning adventure with Scratch! Prizes and snacks will be available while supplies last.

    Do you have questions or want to volunteer at this year's Scratch Day? Contact Jessica at the Johnston Public Library or Tim with YouthCode.

    Scratch is a project of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab. 

  • 03/02/2018 2:42 PM | Tim Sieber (Administrator)

    Our summer camp schedule has been released! Eight camps covering Scratch and Python coding as well two different robotics camps will provide ample fun and learning for students this June and July.

    At YouthCode summer coding and robotics camps, students have fun while learning computer science concepts and programming computers! All camps are instructor-led with hands-on project time for students to show off their creativity and apply their new knowledge and skills. Students will also take part in digital citizenship discussions to help them safely navigate today's digital world. There will be plenty of unplugged activities to keep the students active. All summer camp registrations include daily snacks and drinks, use of computers and accessories, all materials and camp souvenirs.

    View Summer Camps

    summer promo image

  • 02/12/2018 11:18 AM | Tim Sieber (Administrator)

    We are honored and humbled to share that the YouthCode program has been awarded a $12,180 Community Action Grant from the Facebook Altoona Data Center. The grant was one of eleven awarded in 2018 with a total community investment of almost $137,000.

    This financial support will allow us to purchase additional robot kits, computers and accessories in order to offer more summer camps and support more FIRST® LEGO® League teams and coding clubs. For this summer we will be offering introductory and advanced Scratch camps, Python, robotics with mBot and robotics with LEGO MINDSTORMS®. We are also considering a maker camp to introduce students to electronics and Arduino. Our summer camp schedule will be published soon.

    While this funding is vital to meet our current program goals, additional help is also critical. Please consider helping us by...

    • Volunteering to coach a FIRST LEGO League team for competition later this year. The season starts in August and goes through December or January, depending on the success of the team. You don't need technical expertise to be a coach, just willingness to be present and provide enthusiasm and encouragement to the students.
    • Get the word out about YouthCode. Maybe someone you know would like to serve as a coach or has a student interested in coding. Your testimony serves as the best promotion of the YouthCode program.
    • Provide additional financial support. While grants like the one from Facebook allows us to purchase equipment, we also need support for supplies and materials, facilities, licensing and other operating expenses. The YouthCode program is delivered entirely by volunteers to ensure all funds received are used for programming. Donations are tax-deductible and can be made online.

    We appreciate the generous support of this program from individuals and community organizations and businesses like Facebook. Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or would be interested in volunteering. #21stCenturySkills #ComputerScience #CSForAll

  • 11/21/2017 3:21 PM | Tim Sieber (Administrator)

    We just released our winter schedule of activities for the YouthCode program. Celebrate Computer Science Education Week by joining us at a free Hour of Code workshop or enroll your student in a Scratch coding class. All YouthCode classes are instructor-led and use the block-based programming language Scratch.

    View Calendar

    YouthCode is a program of Impacting the Next Generation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in partnership with other central Iowa organizations.

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YouthCode is a program of Impacting The Next Generation Project, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
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