A new branch of the global Code Ninjas group has opened to allow Halifax-area kids to learn to code by building video games, robotics, and drones.

Aimed at children aged seven to 14, the new centre will host a grand opening on Feb. 1. Complimentary game-building sessions, STEM learning activities and refreshments will be offered.

The Halifax location is operated by Sean Plumridge, who has worked as a business development leader and has a passion for gaming.

“Code Ninjas offers a place for kids to learn vital skills such as coding, but also teaches problem-solving and critical thinking skills,” said Plumridge in a statement. “Kids will enjoy their time and learn skills that will get them prepared for future employment opportunities.”

Code Ninjas’ core program consists of nine belts, like martial arts. The curriculum is self-paced, but not self-taught; kids get support and encouragement from senseis (instructors) and collaborate with peers as they advance from white to black belt.

The program keeps kids motivated with “Belt-Up” celebrations, where they receive colour-coded wristbands to mark their graduation to the next level.

The organization has hundreds of locations across the globe, which offer a flexible weeknight drop-in program, camps and Parents Night Out events on weekends.

Code Ninjas founder and CEO David Graham is a professional software developer who previously owned a chain of coding camps for adults. He launched Code Ninjas in 2016.

You can find more information about Halifax Code Ninjas here.