A new generation of creators, artists, coders and engineers in the making have a unique opportunity to learn the basics of coding during lockdown.
Albuquerque’s young superstars aged 6-12 are welcome for the ongoing summer and educational camp at Electric Playhouse, which styles itself as a “all-ages dining, gaming and recreation wonderland.”
“Electric Playhouse produces creative worlds for immersive and interactive experiences including games, dining and special events for all ages,” according to the company’s website. The playhouse has a motion-sensitive interactive course that doesn’t require visitors to touch anything, which is perfect for staying six feet apart due to coronavirus safety guidelines.
The summer camp, called “CodeName: Play,” adheres to safety regulations by requiring all kids and counselors to wear a face mask except during eating, running and drinking.
Relationship manager Kristin Garcia said students will get to run free in the exclusive 25,000-square-feet playhouse that isn’t yet open to the public. The space will give children a chance to open their minds to the possibilities of coding and allow them to take a break from learning sessions.
During each day, there are two sessions: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 1-4 p.m. Only five people are allowed in each room due to safety regulations.
At the end of every session, maintenance staff will clean the floors and walls.
“The new invention of robots is taking over at the playhouse to clean the amount of floor space, which can also be seen at the Albuquerque International Aiport,” Garcia said.
According to founder John-Mark Collins, at this summer program, “all kids will receive a laptop to guide them with the basics of coding, in a playful, private and socially distanced environment.”
The camp is partnered with Nusenda Credit Union to fund the laptops for the students. The laptops will also be cleaned between sessions.
Each kid will have the chance to unlock a program called Bitsbox to decode different activities and reach new levels. Bitsbox is a program that ranges from simple to more advanced coding that comes in a box with different materials for coding.
Counselor Eli Rodriguez said this is one of his favorite jobs.
“The activities are super simple. The goal is to get them familiar with coding and computers ... to either paint the background, dress the character or make the character do an action,” Rodriguez said.
At the end of every session, Electric Playhouse will give a discount to a portable Bitsbox subscription.
Cameron Ward is a freelance reporter at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @xx_cameo_xx