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Aanand Srinivas CEO StayQrious

Interview: Aanand Srinivas, CEO, StayQrious

May 12, 2021

StayQrious, an online learning STEM and coding platform (estb.2020) has launched ‘Coding Foundations Season 1’, a 13-episode blended-learning video course for free. Catering to children in the age group, eight to fourteen, the course uses visual explanations that deepen a child’s intuition for the concepts. Delving into conceptual mastery and effective learning outcomes, the course is designed to make children curious to learn more about coding concepts. Aanand Srinivas, founder and CEO, StayQrious talks about how Coding is more than just a fad.

Q) Tell us about the StayQrious course and various concepts it covers?

A)StayQrious’ entire foundations course consists of three seasons of which the first has been released. The foundational course covers concepts that can be carried forward and applied to any programming language. We teach concepts such as algorithms, debugging, variables, loops, nested loops, conditionals, and functions among others. Many of the videos have links to coding activities to allow practice as well as to test mastery of the concepts learnt. We have also provided access to free live masterclasses where children can interact with me directly getting answers to any questions.

The course has been created according to the globally approved Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) standards. To ensure that our curriculum is based on deep pedagogical principles, we collaborate with Dr. Brian Johnsrudd, former director of learning science at Stanford University. Our coding courses go beyond mere logic and computer languages. We teach effective learning techniques, essential skills,  mindsets and also draw connections with other subjects. For example, our course touches upon math and science concepts to strengthen the coding understanding.

Q) More recently, we have seen a sudden surge in coding courses for the young. How is StayQrious’ teaching style and concept different from what others are already offering?

A) Yes, there is a surge lately, as coding is no longer just for software developers. Our children are going to enter a world that’s very different from ours, which makes it extremely important for them to develop computer literacy at an early age. In short, coding is almost as critical as math or science today. At StayQrious, we never wanted the lack of access to quality information to be the barrier for children to learn and decided to launch our much-loved content from our foundations program online for free. With children enjoying their summer break before they enter the next academic year, this is the perfect time to provide them the much-needed exposure and understanding into the essential concepts of coding.

Our live StayQrious classes have about four to six students with an in-person learning coach, who plays the role of a mentor, motivator and a facilitator. While the group structure is also small enough for every child to get personal attention from the coach, our coaches conduct unlimited one-on-one classes when they feel a child needs more time to master a particular concept.

Q) Do explain the ‘Learn to code and then code to learn’ teaching and learning approach.

Coding is like learning a new language, say like learning English. Once you learn English, you are capable of reading and understanding so many things in the world. You get access to new literature and resources just because you know English. Coding is very similar to this. We at StayQrious teach coding so that you can now use coding to learn new core topics that you might have learned in a different way otherwise. For example, imagine learning a physics concept or a mathematical algorithm by coding a simulation and playing with it actively to understand it more deeply, than again passively consuming all the information about these.

This act of building things with code is what we call ‘coding to learn’. It will fundamentally cement your understanding in a way that nothing else can. Our STEM foundations course uses coding to explain concepts like  motion, velocity, matter, light, and more. We will soon launch our STEM foundations course too.

Also read: In the era of AI, how coding is most important for student

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