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Monday, October 2, 2017

Samaira Mehta, 9-Year-Old KidPreneur Wants Kids to Learn Coding Playing CoderBunnyz

Today's post is written by an amazing kid, 9-year-old, Samaira M.  Yeah, folks, I just shared a link to her professional LinkedIn profile with all you.  I "met" Samaira on LinkedIn myself.  I can't recall if she invited me or I invited her to "Connect."  No matter, really.  Main thing is that I saw one of her posts while on the site on Friday.  By Saturday morning she had accepted my invitation to guest blog, and by the afternoon she had the piece you're about to read produced and delivered.  Talk about being a go-getter!  When I was her age in 1985, I spent my time watching Transformers and G.I. Joe cartoons, playing outside with my friends, and getting in trouble at school.

I kid you not, Samaira's piece was one of the easiest guest posts I've had to edit prior to publishing on this platform.  As a teacher, I was not only impressed with what she wrote, but also how nearly flawless it was.  So I added a few commas, some quotation marks here and there, and maybe changed a couple of verb tenses.  So what.  She's in 4th grade!  Anyway, enough set-up work here on my part.  With great pleasure, I'd like to now introduce you to Samaira, and her entrepreneurship story: (Please help her win!)  :)


Hi, my name is Samaira Mehta.  I’m an 9-year-old girl who lives in Silicon Valley, California.  I am a Founder, Speaker, Inventor and a Maker.  I created a board game, Coderbunnyz, and a company to teach coding to kids and kids at heart, ages 4 to 104! CoderBunnyz is the most comprehensive coding board game available today.

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I started learning to code when I was 6.  I’m interested in learning to code because it’s fun and fascinating to make a computer program do something, all with some series of steps.  That means I’m breaking a big problem into a set of small problems, just like we always do with any problem in day-to-day life.

I still remember when I was 6 and my dad did a prank on me.  He showed me something on his computer screen that had one button and a command that said, “press this if you are beautiful.”  He told me to give it a try, but when my mouse pointer touched the “...you are beautiful” command the button disappeared.  I’m like, “How did you do that? Am I not beautiful?  What’s going on here?”  He told me it was all made of something called code, and that left an impression on me.  That’s when coding started for me. Since then I’ve spent so much time learning to code.  Besides coding I am a blogger, song writer, singer, swimmer and an ice skater.

My entrepreneurship story starts out one day in the summer after first grade.  I was playing board games with my family.  I had a huge stack of board games, and I won most of them!  So my parents got bored and stopped playing.  I went to the computer to do some coding.  Immediately I had this weirdly awesome idea! What if I make a board game that teaches kids to code! Wow! That was a big thought!  I told my parents my idea, and they were very surprised.  Their mouths were wide open!  They told me I could do it! I was so happy.  My journey had just begun.  I started to think of the name of my game while looking at my bunny and got the name, Coderbunnyz!  And so with the help of my parents and graphic designers from all over the world, I brought my imaginations to life.  It took many email exchanges with the graphic designers, but we finally did it.

I do workshops at libraries, tech events, corporations, in community and at schools to introduce Coderbunnyz and coding.  Within little time, kids learn basic and advanced programming concepts.  Turns out all computer languages like Scratch, Python, Java and C use these same concepts.  So once a kid learns the fundamentals by playing CoderBunnyz, it makes it that much easier for them to learn any coding language. The idea is easy - play a board game, make code, and learn coding.  All fun!!

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My board game, initiative, and all the other work has been an amazing journey.  I have met so many wonderful people.  One thing I have learned, if there is a problem, then there is always a solution. So yes, there have been problems we encountered.  For example, when I got my first prototype I saw a lot of things that we wanted to change to make the game look better, and we had to summarize all the issues. Those are not always easy to work out.  I needed to carefully review the changes so that the game would be nearly perfect before I can get it to market.

There was another time when we were at a workshop and the laptop wouldn’t display on the screen.  We had 15 minutes, and it took some real debugging fast to fix the problem. But it was done in time for the workshop to start.  So yes, problems are great as they bring opportunity to solve them, and by the way, coding is also a problem solving exercise.

Bringing a product to market is a great journey, not an easy one. There is a lot that needs to be done to make a game available for all those who would like to get a copy. But now the game is available at Amazon!

I feel very proud, but at the same time this is just a beginning. I am a 4th grader and am still learning basic math and science.  I have a long way to go. That keeps me grounded and humble.  My dad always tells me, “no matter who you become, never forget the start and stay on ground always.”

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How YOU Can Help Me:

I started with a mission of bringing coding and smiles to each and everyone in the world, and to give momentum and visibility to that work.  Here's how you can help. It’s a 6 second process.


Click on this link:
www.chitag.com/finalists

There is a voting button at the end of the page. Coder Bunnyz (Samaira) is the 6th question.  I’m up for Young Inventor Of the Year category.  Can you please vote for me?  Once done let me know in the blog comment section so I can thank you. (Every vote counts).

Thank-you very much!


Samaira Mehta


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