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Strive Powered by Y Combinator to Teach Kids Coding Can Be Fun • InNewCL

Strive Powered by Y Combinator to Teach Kids Coding Can Be Fun • InNewCL

#Strive #Powered #Combinator #Teach #Kids #Coding #Fun #InNewCL Welcome to InNewCL, here is the new story we have for you today:

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Strive is an online learning platform that teaches kids to code, but aims to do more than just that. Designed with an active learning model that empowers students to take the lead in the classroom, Strive aims to instill in them a lifelong love of STEM teach subjects.

The Singapore-based startup announced today that it has raised a $1.3 million seed round led by Y Combinator (it’s an Accelerator program alum) with participation from Soma Capital, Goodwater Capital and Individual investors include Crimson Education CEO Jamie Beaton, co-founder of WestBridge Capital and founding member of Sequoia India KP Balaraja, and segment co-founder and former CTO Calvin French-Owen.

Strive, which offers one-to-one tuition for children ages 8 to 16, plans to expand across Asia to reach its 3.7 million students in international schools.

Founded in 2020 by Tamir Shklaz and Pulkit Agarwal, Strive is based on the idea that the evolution of AI automation and technology means that everything you learn could be obsolete in a few years.

“The most important skill we can teach a child, or anyone, is to learn how to adapt,” Shklaz said. “If you want to inspire adaptable students, you should enjoy learning. Learning should be fun. So we really started Strive with the core intention of empowering kids for the 21st century by making them fall in love with the process of learning.”

What makes Strive different from the many other online programming platforms for kids? Shklaz said Strive’s goal is to create a learning experience that’s more effective and engaging than the competition.

“We have really incredible teachers, but we don’t hire teachers based on their technical ability,” he said. “Of course, they need to be able to teach programming, but what’s far more important is their ability to empathize with and relate to the student.”

Lessons are “hyper-personalized” so students can choose the projects they want to work on – for example, they can program a game like pong, a math stimulus, or a physics simulation. Projects are visual and have instant feedback. Once a student solves a problem and completes a new line of code, they see the results instantly on their screen. “We use circles, colors and movement, and that makes it really engaging for kids.”

Agarwal said although more parents and education systems are beginning to emphasize coding, their teaching methods often leave children feeling disengaged and frustrated. “Most of the time, students are introduced to programming and then stopped from doing it. They come to the wrong conclusion that coding is too difficult, coding is dry, or coding is just not for me.”

Active learning means that instead of lecturing students during a class, teachers ask students questions and guide them through coding exercises so that they take the lead.

Agarwal gave me a short example lesson, which was an interesting experience for me because I’ve never learned to code, so I’m starting at the same level as the kids they’re teaching (or even lower, to be honest).

First, Agarwal asked me if I would be interested in learning averages. I said no so he asked me if I wanted to draw art instead, which I did. He walked me through the steps to code a sketchpad using raster graphics, but I led the class and chose what results I wanted, such as making the sketchpad background my favorite color.

Instead of telling me what to do, Agarwal asked me to change a number, and then he asked what I thought led to this action (moving a dot to the appropriate number on the grid). In the end I was able to use the cursor to draw shapes with the point and had managed to program my first sketchpad. I don’t think I’m describing the experience very well, but it was fun figuring out what was happening each time I entered new code. Classes were engaging and something I would consider enrolling my daughter in once she is old enough.

When Strive launched it had 16 students and every day Shklaz and Agarwal spent six hours teaching so they could test different content and standards. Strive employees, including the founders, have yet to educate at least one student. For example, Strive’s operations manager doesn’t know how to code, but she takes coding classes with the teachers to prepare to host a student.

One of the challenges Strive may face in executing its growth strategy is the scalability of its model. Shklaz said they had two solutions. You easily increase the number of students per class, from one-to-one to one-to-four. The second is that Strive has a large pool of potential teachers since it hires many university students studying coding. Shklaz said Strive will create a training process and infrastructure to ensure teaching quality remains consistent.

Strive’s current customer acquisition strategy consists primarily of word of mouth from children and their parents. Some of the new funding will be used to develop its code editor and add additional concepts and curriculum tailored to the interests of different children. One of the first employees Strive hired was its chief learning officer, Nick McIntyre, whose background includes running a K-8 maker space, teaching math and computer science in high school, and mentoring students at Google Summer of Code belong. McIntyre and Agarwal are responsible for creating most of Strive’s course content and plan to transfer it beyond coding to other STEM subjects.

Teaching kids to code “is one of the desired outcomes, which is being able to think and solve problems and code them like you would develop a language skill,” Shklaz said. “But much more important than that is self-confidence and the joy of learning.”

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