Kids Coding Week

From Monday 11 to Thursday 14 September, Kids Coding Week will be held at Villa Guastavillani.

The Week organized by BBS for children aged 8 to 12 of BBS Community members is a workshop that aims to introduce children to computer programming (“coding”) through the models of creative computing and creative learning (developed respectively by MIT MediaLab and Harvard Graduate School of Education, Boston).

Students will learn the basics of programming with the visual programming language Scratch, from which they will be able to create simple video games, interactive stories, or animations. This will create fun while experimenting and collaborating interests.

In particular, they will experiment with concepts (such as sequences, loops, conditionals, operators, data and variables, events, and parallelism), practices (such as abstraction, iterative development, testing, debugging, reuse, and remix), and perspectives (expressing oneself with technology, connecting with others, understanding the world from a computational perspective) typical of computational thinking, which is indispensable for being key players in today’s digital world.

In addition, there will be an Artificial Intelligence workshop that aims to introduce some AI paradigms through both unplugged activities and the creation of simple tools using the visual programming language Scratch.

Unplugged activities provide approaches that help students actively experiment with computer science ideas and concepts without the use of computers. Through these activities will be introduced multiple artificial intelligence algorithms, such as decision trees, neural networks, and reinforcement learning. This approach focuses on the intuition behind these techniques and allows students to reflect on the meaning of the word ‘intelligence’ and the parallels between human and artificial intelligence.

The laboratory activities with Scratch will allow experimentation with the concept of a “learning algorithm” for the machine through the creation of games or interactive projects (e.g. image recognition, chatbots) inspired by the “Machine Learning 4 kids” kit.

One session of the lab will also be focused to activity on the issues of interpretation and reliability of machine learning models, for the introduction of critical thinking with respect to the use of these new technologies, and the analysis of widely used tools that make use of artificial intelligence algorithms (e.g. social networks, streaming platforms for video and music, chatbots).

The initiative is reserved for the children of Community members (current participants, alumni, faculty, and staff) and costs €350. Breaks, snacks, and lunches are provided.

Lessons will be organized with an initial introduction of concepts common to all participants followed by workshops, based on group work for homogeneous age groups, to enhance the skills of each participant.


Who are the code wizards

  • Maurizio Gabbrielli
  • Michael Lodi
  • Simone Martini
  • Andrea Zanellati
  • Stefano Pio Zingaro

The week is an opportunity to build increasingly essential skills: coding as thinking, language, and problem solving. Not only that, boys and girls will be able to make, and thus begin to learn about their first artificial intelligence!