San Leandro, Calif. — Indian American high school students Nikhil Cheerla and Vineet Kosaraju have started a nonprofit organization to share their love of math and computer programming by teaching free classes to kids in libraries around the San Francisco Bay Area.
Cheerla and Kosaraju arrange workshops in visual programming and Java programming in local libraries to teach the fundamentals of computer science to students ranging from elementary to high school.
According to their website, www.mathandcoding.org, the founders believe that, “In a few hours, anyone can pick up basic programming concepts; given a week, anyone can learn a programming language and given a few weeks, anyone can develop websites, advanced games and Android/iPhone apps.”
So far, since the inception of MathAndCoding in the spring of 2014 with “Coding for Kids” sessions, the duo has organized workshops in more than six Bay Area libraries, including in Sunnyvale, Saratoga, Mountain View, San Jose and Campbell.
Kosaraju, a junior at Harker School in San Jose, and Cheerla, a sophomore at Monta Vista High School in Cupertino, use games and visual aids during their sessions, while also ensuring that students get one-on-one time with them.
Visual programming sessions are designed for kids in the third to seventh grades. They do not require a previous background in programming and teach basic concepts, with students learning how to create animations, games and stories.
Java programming, launched this summer, is for middle and high school students.
The duo is also starting a “Learn-n-Teach” program in which they are inviting promising students who learn Java through their workshops to volunteer as teachers in new sessions.