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Google celebrates 50 years of kids coding with interactive Doodle game

By Wade Sheridan
Google celebrates 50 years of kids coding with interactive Doodle game
Google has a new game to mark 50 years of children learning how to code. Image courtesy of Google

Dec. 4 (UPI) -- Google is marking the 50th anniversary of children learning how to code with the release of a new Doodle that acts as an interactive video game.

Google's homepage features the game made by Google and researchers from MIT Scratch! whose mission involves "developing new ways for new kids to express themselves creatively through coding."

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The game titled Coding for Carrots, involves users placing together code sequences in order to help an animated rabbit navigate a block maze.

The structure is inspired by Logo, the first coding language designed for kids in the 1960s by Seymour Papert and researchers at MIT.

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"With Logo, children could program the movements of a turtle, giving them the opportunity to explore ideas in math and science. Papert and his colleagues envisioned that computers could eventually be used by all children as a powerful tool for learning. They saw coding as a way for kids to develop confidence and fluency with a piece of powerful, modern, and one-day ubiquitous technology," says MIT's Champika Fernando who worked on Coding for Carrots and used Logo as a child.

"This week, millions of people around the world can and will have their first experience with coding. It makes me happy to think of all of the nine-year-olds who will get their first coding experience playing with today's Doodle. My hope is that people will find this first experience appealing and engaging, and they'll be encouraged to go further. In some ways, it's very different from my first coding experience many years ago, but I hope it will be just as inspiring and influential for them," Fernando continued.

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