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Meet Zion: Coder, leader, and future mathematician

Meet Zion: Coder, leader, and future mathematician

Codebotics is "an urban tech literacy program empowering young learners to inspire a colorful world of innovation." It's an after-school program for kids ages 7-12 in Boston that provides STEM materials for free.

And it was founded by a 9-year-old.

Zion is the remarkable 5th grader behind Codebotics, that he started to spread his love for STEM to kids who couldn't afford to participate in other computer science programs.

I recently got to chat with Zion about how he got interested in coding, plans to grow Codebotics, and what he wants to be when he grows up.

Emma: What inspired you to start Codebotics?

Zion: I started it because I really like coding and I wanted everyone to try it. Kids in Dorchester didn't have enough money to afford learning how to code and do technology.

So were you already coding when you started Codebotics?


How did you get into coding?

I went to a coding summer camp!

Awesome! What tool were you using in the summer camp?

It was called the Raspberry Pi.

What were the logistics of starting the program?

I started with my friends!

How did you recruit other kids to join the Codebotics program?

They find us on Instagram and we went to a Back to School Fair and a lot of people signed up there too.

So do you hold the events at the school?

Yes. We meet up every Friday.

Does it cost the kids money to join?

No, it's all free. I'm also starting a robotics team at my school!

Wow, you must be busy! Do you have team members that help you?

My mom helps me.

Zion with friends

Zion with friends at a Codebotics event.

What got you interested in STEM?

I've always loved coding ever since I was little. I loved playing games.

What was your favorite game when you were little?

My favorite game was Minecraft.

What's your favorite subject in school?

Math, because you get to learn new equations.

Do you have other sports or hobbies that you do outside of programming?

Swimming. My favorite stroke is backstroke!

I'm a swimmer too—that's a tough stroke! How do you stay straight?

You keep your body on top of the water and you breathe.

I heard that you like the Bitsbox YouTube channel. How did you stumble upon that?

We were looking around different companies that taught coding.

So what did you like about Bitsbox?

That there were a lot of kids that really liked Bitsbox and really liked coding.

So have you used other coding tools besides Raspberry Pi and Bitsbox?

Yes, I've used Scratch.

Do you have a YouTube channel of your own?

Not yet. I have a page on Instagram!

Do you know what you want to be when you grow up?

A mathematician. I want to teach math.

What age kids do you want to teach?

1st graders, because they need to learn a lot.

Zion is kind, wise beyond his years, and genuinely dedicated to other kids getting the chance to fall in love with computer science like he has.

Codebotics will be using Bitsbox in their after-school sessions this year, and we can't wait to see the apps they build!

Emma Erickson
About the author: Emma is a writer, T-Swift's #1 fan, and spent four years on the Bitsbox team. You can usually find her searching for snacks or riding her bike.
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