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Coding is something I thought only tech geeks can do. It was only through my friend, May, that I learned that kids can do it too. One of her sons has been learning how to code. I thought it was something my own five-year-old son, Ziggy, might be interested in as well. It would be a great add-on too to what he is already learning through our homeschool lessons. I was apprehensive though thinking he was still too young. Luckily, JACK reached out to me and invited us to try coding during the Hour of Code event in their facility last December 10.

What is JACK?

JACK stands for the Junior Academy for Coding Knowledge, Inc. “JACK is a learning center that aims to equip kids with fundamental coding knowledge and develop their skills to create using the latest hardware trends and innovations. JACK’s mission is to provide them the highest quality learning experience by celebrating and encouraging their creativity through dynamic and project-based learning – all in a fun and engaging environment.”

Their facility is located at the Penthouse, East Tower, Philippine Stock Exchange Center, Exchange Road, Ortigas Center, Pasig City. They offer various coding courses recommended for ages 7 to 16, even those who have no prior experience in coding. JACK trainers are graduates of the University of the Philippines, who are also current IT industry practitioners. Armed with industry knowledge, skills, as well as experience in teaching kids, JACK trainers have the mind and heart to help unlock your kid’s full potential.

Why is coding important?

During the event I learned that coding is important because this type of computer science education provides kids with the essential tools needed to innovate, pursue in-demand jobs, and understand the world. It also helps them develop problem solving, creativity, and critical thinking skills, which are needed regardless of whatever career they wish to pursue in the future.

While we can’t expect all kids will become engineers or computer science wizards in the future, they can all benefit from this knowledge because our world today is continuously being transformed by technology.

What is the HOUR OF CODE?

The Hour of Code is a campaign to encourage tens of millions of students around the world to try an hour of code. It aims to promote computational thinking as a fundamental skill for the 21st century and to promote careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). It is held during the Computer Science Education Week on December 5 – 11, 2016 in over 180 countries.

Microsoft and Code.org (a non-profit dedicated to expanding access to computer science and increasing participation by women and underrepresented students of color) partnered with each other to offer Hour of Code participants a new Minecraft tutorial this year, which lets students code their own game within a familiar Minecraft interface using computer science concepts such as loops and event handlers.

Our Hour of Code Experience

I brought Ziggy to experience an Hour of Code at the JACK facility. He had no idea yet what coding was. I only told him it had something to do with learning how to use a computer to make games. I had to explain it that way to make it easier for him to understand it. He was so excited with the idea of playing computer games and possibly playing Minecraft, which we haven’t allowed him to play yet at home.

JACK brought in some Microsoft representatives to explain to us what Hour of Code meant. The parents also had a separate briefing in another room wherein we learned why coding skills are very important for kids to learn.

The group of kids were divided between those with prior coding experience and those without. Ziggy joined the younger kids who had no prior experience. I think he was the youngest in the group that day. They proceeded to another room wherein they were taught coding twice, first using a Star Wars game and second through a Moana game.

Here’s Ziggy’s group while they were being taught coding using the Moana game. There was a video playing which showed the game interface. It gave instructions as to what the kids were supposed to do. Of course, there was also an instructor who guided them all throughout the process.

I didn’t know if Ziggy will be able to get it. But I’ve learned not to underestimate this kid that day. I was surprised that he could actually do it!

The game had several levels. On each level there is a goal to be reached. For example, they have to make Moana row the boat in order to catch some fish. In order to do that, they had to choose buttons (or codes) on the game that corresponds to directions such as “left turn”, “right turn”, “go forward”, etc. Then they have to make sure the codes are placed in the proper order, one after the other, so that Moana will do it in the proper order as well. The levels get harder and harder as you proceed.

I was so proud of Ziggy that day. He really enjoyed the experience so we hope to enroll him to take classes in JACK in the summer.

For those of you who are interest, you can enroll your kids in JACK too, you’d be happy to know they have a Minecraft Code and Mod class now ongoing.


They also have several coding classes already lined up for the summer. We hope to see you there!

To learn more about JACK and their courses, visit www.jack.com.ph and follow JackSchoolPH on Facebook.

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  1. I learned about the Hour of Code in 2013 when I had to write about it for our company blog. One of the perks of having worked with geeks, haha. We joined the hour of code campaign on that same year with Pablo and we’re still doing it with Lukas now. And yes, I agree, it is for that reason that we want our children to learn to think outside the box, to be innovators, that we push for them to learn how to code. 🙂
    May Palacpac recently posted…Planning our trip to Malaysia via eGetinzzMy Profile

  2. This does not interests me but is something I know my boys would love to try. Or perhaps if I try it as well, it might excite my attention and curiosity.

    My boys played Minecraft before so they would surely all the more love JACK. I hope I be able to afford the classes so they could try it themselves. As much as possible, I would like them to explore and try everything so they would be knowledgeable and well equipped.

    If Im your little boy’s mom, super proud din ako sa kanya! Good job, Ziggy!
    Berlin recently posted…MOMI MUSINGS| ng dahil sa basuraMy Profile

  3. This is nice for those who love to play computer games and who are interested to know how to make games. Nice naman ni Ziggy, nakagawa na ng game. Indeed, never underestimate kids. I’m sure my son will like this pero ang layo. hehehe!
    Michi recently posted…Day Trip at Lingayen PangasinanMy Profile

  4. I have no problem with Nate learning codes. In fact, there’s an online academy that offers one for kids, maybe in time, I can let Nate try coding and if he loves to do it, we’ll support him. It’s becoming more and more technological nowadays and I think that’s where the kids of the next generation are going. So to be more knowledgeable about it can be an edge for them in the future.
    Above Precious Rubies recently posted…Manang’s Chicken SM San MateoMy Profile

  5. I was invited to visit them last December, but unfortunately I was not able to come because of the busy schedule of my son I want him to try that Engineer 1 (coding + Robotics) this April kaso ang layo ng location 🙁

  6. I never heard about this yet. Not until i read this post. This seems to be very interesting and beneficial for the kids! I love their concept!
    Mommy Queenelizabeth recently posted…Best of 2016: The Year in RestrospectMy Profile

  7. I was planning to enrol my son here, but then I found out that his school teaches them how to code already. Maybe this summer!

  8. This is so cool! My eldest likes minecraft and Roblox, so hopefully, she would be interested in making the games themselves. There is an app that I discovered which lets kids code some games. But, so far, she hasn’t taken interest yet.

  9. This sounds interesting. I wonder if my child will like this. He plays minecraft on weekends and loves animation. I checked the website after reading your post but I don’t see the price (or maybe I overlooked?). I hope it is affordable as I would want my son to try this.
    Evelyn Marfa recently posted…#Ariel100StainsIn1Wash ChallengeMy Profile

  10. Interesting, really!
    My kids are big na but they’re still unfamiliar with lots of things ( when it comes to computers), especially Coding.
    I can’t wait for Summer and we will definitely include this on our Summer list! Great info! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  11. Wow this is so cool! My son just turned 3 and this would be one of the things I would want him to try when he’s older. He would soon be interested with this 🙂

  12. This is interesting. sana my little boy is old enough na to join these kinds of activity.
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  13. Exciting and interesting for kids! A bright idea to help kids who have an interest in this field and a great preparation for them as well for their career. Now, I’m looking at their website 🙂

  14. Programming per se lets you see the logical side of things and it makes you appreciate the technology that we use on a daily basis. It’s great to know that there are already programs like this in place for kids. It indeed hones ones critical thinking (which, unfortunately, is what’s lacking from the current workforce today. 😛 ). I hope my son will get to experience this when he grows older as well. 🙂
    Liz A recently posted…Coffee and Family Time at Olive CafeMy Profile

  15. Oh this sounds geeky! All the while, I thought coding is for adults only. I would love to send my son here in the future.
    mhaan a recently posted…How To Choose your Wedding DressMy Profile

  16. I want my kids to learn coding! Back in the 90s I was self-taught. It should be easier now that we have classes for it.
    Rowena Wendy Lei recently posted…Starting 2017 with new Starbucks food and drinks!My Profile

  17. Ooooh Minecraft coding, I hope they have Roblox too coz my daughter likes to play Roblox, or baka same lang naman sila ng concept?
    Badet Siazon recently posted…UTI in women: Symptoms, treatment and preventionMy Profile

    1. Hi Badet! I’m not familiar with Roblox. Will have to check that out first. 🙂

  18. Chelsea is only 5 yrs .old . I think we have to wait for two more years before we can let her join this program or course. She loves playing those easy games in PC.

    1. She can do this already, I’m sure. My son’s only 5 years old too. 🙂

  19. Oh my that sounds fantastic! I love that there are more avenues for kids to learn code. I will surely encourage Yuri to learn it if he shows interest! (Right now, he only shows interest in driving and music lol!)
    Maan recently posted…3 New Things I’m Doing This YearMy Profile

  20. My son is only 2 years old and this one is something that would definitely help him increase his imagination and critical thinking

  21. This is interesting. We should really equip children with knowledge that they may use in the future. For now, I am letting my sisters know about JACK. I will keep this in mind in case I’ll have kids of my own.

  22. I used to take Computer Science back in college but shifted somewhere else because I realized, coding is not for me. Grabe the kids these days. They learn so much at a young age 🙂
    Ayi recently posted…My One Word for 2017My Profile

  23. Omg. That’s awesome. 🙂 I’d love to have my son try that when he’s age-ready. I’m happy that we have this in the Philippines. I want to see more of this in the coming years. For a better generation 🙂
    Gilian recently posted…Redefining TagaytayMy Profile

  24. I’d love for my kids to try coding too. I’ve never got the chance to work on my coding skills but it’s nice that they have these schools for kids to spark that interest in coding.
    TweenselMom recently posted…Add Color To Your Family’s Diet – “Eat The Rainbow” Robinsons Supermarket PromoMy Profile

  25. My son loves computer games, so coding is something he might really be interested in. I hope he’ll have coding experience this summer when school’s over.
    Maria Teresa Figuerres recently posted…Get Greenwich Double Double Pizza for Only Php299!My Profile

  26. Too bad we missed this event as the kids have school. Coming from a Computer Science background, I’ve been wanting to expose the kids to some coding at an early age also. Maybe we’ll try the summer modules. 🙂
    Ma.Me.Mi.Mommy recently posted…Gotta Love these Belo Baby Hand SanitizersMy Profile

  27. Thanks for giving us info about this one, I really do not have any idea about it. But I’m planning to transfer my son if he reach grade 3 in school who offers robotics
    Mommy Anna recently posted…My BirthdayMy Profile

  28. We are so not techy at home! This is something I’m really not interested in, honestly and I don’t think my daughter will be either.
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  29. Sis, seems like you’re raising a future software engineer! Hihi! I was a software engineer back then pero never ko naexperience mag-code until I was in 4th year high school. Kids nowadays are so privileged. At such a young age, nata-try na nila mag-code. 😀
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  30. Wow! This is amazing esp for the learning kids and those who loves computer games! I hope my baby boys could learn to code, too when they get older 😉

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