velocityfeatureThe folks at Velocity have been quietly test-running computer courses for kids over the past few months, mostly to kids of “friends and family.” Today they’re ready to roll out an official summer program: Code Velocity. The best and most astounding part of the program is that thanks to generous supporters, the classes are entirely free.

These classes are available for 8-13 year olds and are all on the introductory level. There will be two four-week sessions with classes from 6-7:30 p.m. One session starts June 16 and the second starts July 21. There will be four courses offered: two Javascript for Minecraft courses running Mondays or Wednesdays, a web development course on Tuesdays, and a Raspberry Pi programming course where kids will write songs with code on Thursdays.

Last month, Velocity hired Mark Lorance as a full-tim education specialist. Lorance has both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in elementary education and helped facilitate and write curriculum for the test computer classes.

Lorance says the goal of the program is to “expose kids to tech early to see if they like it” and to “expose them and their parents to the entrepreneurial community.” He’d like to see a pipeline of sorts from these introductory classes to more advanced classes and then introducing the kids to the kinds of companies housed at spaces like Velocity.

These programs are free thanks to support by the Ogle Foundation and Blue Sky. Velocity also just received a donation of a full computer lab of Chromebooks from the First Harrison Bank in Southern Indiana.

Lorance says he’d eventually like to take the classes on the road and to neighborhoods and students who might not have access to Velocity. He also has talked to the Greater Clark County School System about bringing it into classrooms.

The ideal class size is 10-15 kids, and registration is now open.