Heard on the Street: New studio to help kids learn coding, while having fun

March 11, 2019

Ninjas are coming to Rochester’s Miracle Mile Shopping Center.

Specifically, Code Ninjas are looking to boot up here to help young people learn the language of technology and go beyond pointing and clicking.

Norma Flores-Ibarra with her husband, Daniel Flores-Ibarra, has signed a lease to open a Code Ninjas franchise in a spot next to the Miracle Mile’s ABC and Toy Zone.

Darci Fenske of Rochester’s Paramark Real Estate Services represented the landlord in the real estate deal.

Texas-based Code Ninjas, which has four locations in the Twin Cities, is a hands-on educational center to teaches kids ages 7-14 how to write computer code and create games and programs.

“Coding is like reading for the 21st century,” said Norma Flores-Ibarra. “There is a need for understanding the technology of apps.”

She explained that Code Ninjas was a good fit for her as a software engineer who loves working with children.

“Code Ninjas marries those things together, so kids can have fun as I teach them something I love to do,” Flores-Ibarra said.

She hopes to open the Code Ninja studio in early summer to be able to offer summer camps for groups of up to 30 kids. There will also be regular, after-school courses of one-hour sessions, two days a week.

The curriculum builds on technology most children are familiar with and then makes it a game to delve into how it actually works.

Following the ninja theme, the sensei, or instructor, will guide the students as they earn “belts” for each completed level.

“This goes beyond computers,” she said. “They will be learning problem-solving skills they can use for the rest of their lives.”

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