Google coding-game doodle marks 50th anniversary of kids learning to code

Google is marking the 50th anniversary of kids learning computer programming language with its first-ever Google doodle that doubles as a coding game.

“Today’s Doodle was developed through the close teamwork of not one or two but THREE teams: the Google Doodle team, Google Blockly team, and researchers from MIT Scratch,” says the Google doodle team on its blog.

To mark the event, Google invited Champika Fernando, director of communications for the MIT Scratch Team (and former Google engineer) to tell her story about how learning to code as a kid impacted her.

“My first experience with coding was in a free after-school program back in the eighties when I was nine years old. We programmed a little green turtle to move around and draw lines on a black screen. That programming language was called Logo,” said Fernando.

“In the 1980s when I wrote my first lines of code, my working-class parents questioned how coding would ever benefit their nine-year-old daughter.”

The “Coding with Carrots” doodle offers an interactive game that teaches basic programming lessons across six levels as players gather carrots by snapping together coding blocks. There’s also a level map for the game that can be found, along with the search and share icons, by clicking on the three-dot navigation menu in the top left corner. (The search icon leads to a search for “kids coding languages.”)

Fernando says it makes her happy to think of all the people — and kids — who will have their first coding experience playing with today’s doodle, and she hopes it will inspire them to learn more about code and programming languages.

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