Code-it Hacks is Toronto's top play-based STEM school designed to train kids ages 6 - 17 in Coding, Robotics, Circuity & maker projects virtually or in-person. During summer we offer cutting edge technology camps including but not limited to Coding, Robotics, Fashion tech, Drones, Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, Digital 3D arts and more.
Everything about Code-it Hacks is at the very leading edge of coding and what it can mean in a child’s life. The goal, per founder and director Shirin Merchant, is to bring imagination, creative problem solving, and collaboration to the fore, and seeing coding as a basic literacy facilitating all of that. The gender breakdown of the camps is clear from the get go, in that there isn’t one—boys and girls are equally regarded and equally represented. The addition of Raspberry Pi coding programs hints at a desire to adopt new and emerging tech that underwrites the development of the programs and events. Campers meet and work with industry leaders, providing an introduction to the people behind innovation, and taking the learning out of the classroom and into the real world, granting an experience of the culture of innovation as it exists in industry. It’s a vibrant approach to STEAM learning, wtih hands-on play as a core component.
Shirin Merchant, Program Director & Founder
B.S. Computer Science | Masters - Advanced Analytics, Microsoft Certified Innovative Educator | Raspberry Pi Certified Educator | Microsoft Innovative Leader
It’s time to be curious!
We are in the midst of Technology revolution and whether our kids opt for the field of technology or another discipline, we are all affected by technology. The more expo- sure your child gets, the closer they are to feeling confident in taking on the challenges of 21st century.
Code-it Hacks brings you a different flavour of technology every summer so your child is always learning the latest. Though the technologies are different the underlying fundamentals remain the same. We continue to offer play-based coding fundamentals wrapped around a real-world problem. Campers work through a week of problem solving with technology. At the end, they visit a Tech company to get the feedback from the experts. This is the experience I wish I had growing up!
I believe soft skills and technology skills go hand in hand. When teaching our campers technical skills, we give them the opportunity to develop their communication and collaboration skills that help them get work done in the real world. At Code-it Hacks’ Technology camp, your child will learn to embrace technology and will also learn to present their ideas and projects with confidence.
In our collaborative solution-focused camp, your child will have a fulfilling camp experience with top-notch industry professionals, hands on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) teachings, healthy nutritious lunch options, out- door off-screen time, field trips, new friendships and lots of surprise treats through the Technology STEM summer camp weeks.
See you in summer!
Is Code-it Hacks technology free?
Depending on the program, students may require a laptop, ipad, android phone and/or ipad. For junior programs and camps we provide a limited number of loaner laptops.
My son just did a PA day with Code-it-Hacks and is hooked. He loved it and can't wait to do more.
"My 9 yr old daughter is completing her third session with Code It Hacks and absolutely loves it! She started never having coded before and quickly fell in love with coding. She loves how Shirin makes it fun and interactive. My younger daughter who is 5 attended a PA day camp and is so proud that she can now start coding too!"
My 9 year old daughter loves Code it Hacks. These computer skills are going to be key for her future. They have a one-on-one unique style of teaching the kids. Each child gets personalized attention and is able to move forward at their own rate. If you are looking for a great coding school Code it Hacks is your answer.
"My daughter attended code-it hacks for the first time in the fall. We had an amazing experience. She learned so much while having TONS of fun. We were all surprised at how much she was able to learn. I don't think she even knew that she was learning advanced math skills. Plus, my daughter usually struggles to focus for any length of time. Code-it Hacks manages to keep her attentive, focused, and on track. Plus, the kids "LIKE" to do their homework! We are about to sign up for the third session."
It was June of 1986. I was 10 years old and was enjoying the beginning of summer break. School year was over and mangos were finally in season. Other than the excruciating heat of Karachi, Pakistan, nothing else could have spoiled my summer break that year.
My mother, due to her own struggles of convincing her in-laws to a right to education for herself, never let an opportunity pass by for me and my sisters. She would always enrol us in extra-curricular activities by managing to raise funds – by baking cakes, hosting Ikebana classes, etc.
That summer, the community centre was offering computer programming classes for kids and my mother enrolled me. Computers! Who wants to be locked up in a room all summer? But there was something that was hard to say no to. Since, the computers had to be kept cool, the rooms were air conditioned - a luxury we couldn't afford yet. So, I reluctantly agreed to participate.
It was a small, well-lit room with 6 computer stations. One of them was considered sacred – it had a coloured monitor unlike the green monitors of the other computers and we (the young kids) were never to go near it. It was the "Apple Macintosh Series II". Wow! It looked stunning - especially the rainbow half-eaten apple logo. The buzz was about the cool graphics it created.
Back at my green terminal, things were maybe not as cool but exciting nonetheless. We were introduced to the Logo programming language where we could make a Turtle do movements. Things were not as dull as I thought. The subsequent summer, I took up a programming language called "BASIC". Had fun with it for a while, even tried the contests. How could I not? The short-listed students would get a chance to go to Singapore to compete in the finals! Long story short, I did not make the cut but it was worth a try.
Fast forward six years, it was final year of high school and I was to go to North America to get my law degree and return to Pakistan to join my parents’ practice. The plan was to get a business degree and then a Juris doctor Law degree. Well, it has never been in my nature to follow rules! I graduated in 2000 with a degree in Computer Science. With the Y2K buzz and the hype surrounding Microsoft's certified software engineering certification, the field of computer science was very coveted. I took on the exciting challenge with no fear of coding. All thanks to the hot summer where I was exposed to coding!
In the final year of university, I was determined that I would not lock myself up and write code all day. I wanted to be a consultant, help customers solve real-life problems. And that is what I did - but by writing code any way!
Fast forward 16 years, in the higher echelons of the management layer now, I no longer write code but lead teams of coders to implement large systems and often am amazed at spotting good programmers from the bad ones. And it all boils down to the training.
Last year, I had to quit the workforce due to personal reasons. While I dutifully attended to family and their needs during this tough time, I was left with a void. "I could never return to work" I thought over and over in my head. There is no such thing as working part-time in this field. There is no balance I thought. But I was wrong!
My 9-year-old daughter, who is passionate about creating animations and games herself, would not allow me train her to code the "right /easy way". While she is good at what she does, I so badly wanted to train her - and voila, that sparked an idea. In a perfect world, how would I want to train her? What techniques and methodologies would I use? And that is how "Code-it Hacks" was born – to teach students not just the coding languages but the ‘art of coding’ – with a deep focus on collaboration, design thinking, leadership skills and team building.
No matter which way I go, coding is what I know and coding is what I do best! Whether I love to code so I could sit in an air-conditioned room, or do it because it is part of my career or do it to teach my daughter, it is my destiny and it remains an ever-lasting love affair!
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