Tesla Technology Meets Teens: Enrollment at YoungWonks is Up Sharply as Local Parents Seek Coding and Robotics Training for Kids

The East Bay's popular after-school destination for tomorrow's tech innovators has expanded its curriculum to include self-navigating robots and Internet of Things; YoungWonks founder plans to open additional Bay Area locations in 2017

PLEASANTON, CA--(Marketwired - Dec 7, 2016) - Student enrollment at YoungWonks, an after-school computer science and engineering program for kids and teens, is growing so fast that its founder has extended opening hours to seven days a week and is scouting for additional locations. Vishal Raina is looking to add several more YoungWonks campuses next year, starting with Sunnyvale. Raina, who is focused on inspiring middle- and high-schoolers to master advanced technology concepts, has just added advanced robotics classes to provide students with skills that will be in high demand over the next decade.

YoungWonks trains tomorrow's technology innovators

After 14 years in the technology industry, Raina wanted to create something that would have significant and lasting social impact, with the potential for scalability. Coming from a family of teachers, he witnessed the high unemployment that followed the recent recession -- a time when, paradoxically, millions of technology job openings were unfilled. As the Bay Area rebounded, he saw that successful Silicon Valley companies were continually searching for workers with exceptional coding and engineering skills. And yet very few local schools offered classes to teach these skills to young kids. YoungWonks was born.

"Some of the most highly paid employees in Silicon Valley are software engineers. The parents who work at these Silicon Valley technology companies tell me they want to equip their kids with the skills they'll need to succeed in the region's competitive job market," said Raina. "YoungWonks provides a high-quality education that supplements school and is affordable for most parents. Our students have tremendous fun while mastering the coding and electronics skills they'll need as tomorrow's technology inventors and entrepreneurs."

Project-based learning helps build strong critical thinking skills

YoungWonks students (age 8-18) are taught advanced computer science and engineering skills in a fun and challenging environment. Class sizes are small, with an average 4:1 student-teacher ratio. Courses are structured so that kids are simultaneously exposed to coding, mechanics, and electronics. This blended approach gives them deeper insight and mastery of core principles so they can solve real-world problems -- such as programming a robot to follow a meandering line on the floor.

"We use a personalized, self-paced learning model that identifies and leverages each student's unique strengths -- this ensures every student achieves his or her best," said Raina. "Our curriculum is built around a lab of the latest software and Internet of things (IOT) hardware, and our instructors coach students to build cool robotics and automation projects. These projects are very interesting and motivating for kids and teens. We call it Tesla tech meets teens."

YoungWonks: fast facts 

  • More than 350 students have graduated from the Level 1 and Level 2 programs offered by YoungWonks.
  • 100 classes per month are currently offered.
  • Class topics include: programming (Python, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, SQL); microcontrollers and minicomputers (Raspberry Pi, Arduino, ESP8266, Teensy); sensors (cameras, infrared sensors, ultrasonic sensors, accelerometers, gyroscopic sensors).
  • Students' parents work at many of the area's tech leaders: Cisco, Google, Broadcom, Oracle, Apple, Medtronic, SAP, and more.
  • Awards: YoungWonks won 2 out of 4 top prizes at the Synopsys Alameda County Science and Engineering Fair (ACSEF); 1st and 2nd prize at the California RoboRave robotics competition.

What parents are saying about YoungWonks

  • "My son was the happiest at this school that I have ever seen him."
  • "YoungWonks proved to be perfect for the kids. They love it here and have learned a lot. It is very difficult to drag them out of classes -- even after the classes end!"
  • "My daughter said that so far of all the classes she has attended she really likes it. This class is hands-on and the instructor explains the why of the process."
  • "YoungWonks' inquiry-based teaching model is very effective. My 13-year-old loves it and thinks very highly of the teaching material. After looking at a number of schools, we chose this school and are coming from quite far."
  • "I looked for all the options for my daughter to teach her the exciting world of technology (electronics and computing). I found YoungWonks to be exactly what I was looking for: affordable, professional, technical, interesting, and fun."
  • "I am impressed by how my children are able to write and debug complex code. YoungWonks built a solid technology foundation for them."

YoungWonks trains tomorrow's tech innovators and entrepreneurs through an advanced computer programming (coding) and engineering program for kids and teens in the San Francisco Bay Area. Structured as an after-school program focused on building foundational computer science fundamentals, YoungWonks employs the latest non-traditional teaching methodologies, such as self-paced, inquiry-based learning, flipped classroom and blended learning. To learn more, visit www.youngwonks.com.

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Media contact:
Tim Cox