The Future of Japanese Programming

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Tokyo University had a children’s programming workshop Sunday, June 18 according to NHK. The event was meant to help encourage children’s interest in the IT field because starting in 2020 will usher in new curriculum set forth by the Education Ministry (MEXT)¬†which includes changes that will allow students to take part in these kinds programming activities.

The event was coordinated by Tokyo University research staff and faculty. Around 100 elementary school students joined the event.

The students were tasked with programming a small robot with simple instructions like forward, back, left and right. The children had to avoid obstacles while making it to the goal. (Even though the video is in Japanese, you can easily see the course.) They worked with one another to get the robot to move in the right direction. Of course, you can see in the video that there was a lot of cheering each other on to make it to the goal.

One third grader said, “I thought about how I was going to make it move first and I was really happy that I figured it out on my own. I would really love to have this kind of class at my school.”