Starter Lab

Grades 9th - 12th

This class is for students who want to start coding or build on existing skills. Learn real languages like Python, JavaScript, and Java. Classes held after-school evenings and Saturdays.

Day/Time: Saturdays 10:30am-Noon
Location: Decatur - Toco Hills


This Lab is for high-school students who want to start coding. It is held evenings and on weekends during the school year and summer.  We start with beginner-friendly real-world tools to practice core programming concepts making games, graphics, and simulations. Students dive right into languages like Python, JavaScript, Java, and Unity with C# used in colleges and tech companies.  

It's easy to get started from square one with this lab and work through developing the skills to build apps and higher level programs. Students with prior programming experience may join this lab and begin with projects appropriate to their skill level.

  • Who: High School Students 
  • Decatur - Toco Hills Schedule: 
    Tuesdays 6:15-7:45pm
    Saturdays 10:30am-12:00
    Saturdays 1:00-2:30pm  
  • Tuition: $169/month.  
    This is a monthly ongoing program and students attend once per week. Join on the first or third week of the month.

Scroll down for more details about the coding languages used.

Starter Lab

The Starter Lab is where high school students (ages 14-18) with little or no coding experience can start to learn computer programming and software development. We focus on Python, JavaScript, Java, and Unity 3D game development with C#. All are excellent tools for learning programming and are fun to work with. Students who come in with some prior coding experience may also move ahead to more advanced lessons.

Python, JavaScript, and Java are currently the most popular programming languages in use. Python is easy to read and understand which makes it a natural first coding language. JavaScript drives the web and is essential to web development. Java is object-oriented deriving much of its coding style from C++, and is used for Android smartphone development.

When can I start? How long is the program?

New students begin on the first or third week of each month. After registration, we confirm the first day with you. Tuition is monthly and students attend once per week.  While students begin learning right away, the program is organized to enable them to continue as long as they are interested through flexible project-based material.

There is no fixed term for our Starter labs other than a monthly commitment. If a student misses a class they may attend a makeup class at an alternate time by simply emailing us.


Students begin coding with Python in their very first lab. Python is a great place to start programming because it offers an interactive environment to explore text code, has a clear code style, and eliminates some of the sources of frustration for beginners with other languages. Plus it's fun! Python is used universally for web development, science, big data, and simple scripting. Once a student is comfortable with it a jump to other languages is not as jarring or difficult, and Python it has overtaken Java nationwide as the first language taught at the college level.


Processing is a coding tool geared toward creating visual interactive media with JavaScript. It was designed to make it easy for beginners to create interactive art through code. Programs written in Processing use either JavaScript or Java syntax, which makes it a great entry point to those languages. It is used in classrooms of all ages from computer science to visual arts programs. Students find it fun and satisfying to visualize their code and make something appear on-screen right away.

JAVA and Unity with C#

Students who finish a short set of lessons in Python are introduced to Java to begin object-oriented programming. Java is the most popular programming language in the world and was designed to 'run anywhere' on many different platforms. Java is used for Android development, for example, so the students will be ready to try app development. Minecraft was also written in Java and is another motivating factor for students.

Once confident with object-oriented programming, students can begin our Unity 3D game development track with C#. We start with beginner lessons to learn the Unity IDE and quickly add scripting with C# to write game code. All lessons from our summer camps are available to students in the Starter Labs.

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