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codingFarmers is a board game that teaches children (7+ years) real programming concepts in a fun and intuitive way.
codingFarmers is a board game that teaches children (7+ years) real programming concepts in a fun and intuitive way.
codingFarmers is a board game that teaches children (7+ years) real programming concepts in a fun and intuitive way.
111 backers pledged $7,482 to help bring this project to life.

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coding Farmers: The Java Programming Board Game For Kids

$7,482

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codingFarmers is the first ever board game to teach real programming concepts to children as young as 7 years old. This innovative and  ground-breaking game exposes kids to a language used widely by both students and software engineers, the Java Programming language.

Because it was created by kids, for kids, it is an intuitive and fun way to learn programming concepts.

Children play the game with action cards, which describe an action, like "move forward by two spaces" in two ways: regular English, and Java code. By playing the game several times, kids learn to connect their actions with written code. They become programming literate all while having a blast - rolling a dice, maneuvering around obstacles and chatting with their friends and family.

The final test comes when they substitute the action cards with Java cards - when they are able to play from code alone, you realize that they got all the main concepts of programming. 

The aim of the game is to show kids that computers aren't doing "voodoo magic" when they run programs; they are simply doing simple operations, like addition and subtraction, and making choices. In this game, kids quickly learn to gain an appreciation for how powerful and simple programming can be.

For more information on the game rules, scroll down to the "How does codingFarmers teach coding" section.

In the United States alone, there are two software developer jobs for every student graduating with a computer science degree. There is a high and growing demand, in almost every field, for people who can "tell computers what to do". Unfortunately, in spite of the awareness about programming, not many children are learning about real programming concepts.

High school courses often jump right in to heavy programming, which is difficult and frustrating for many who have no experience with programming concepts. Meanwhile, many kids tinker with online visual languages, such as Scratch, but have trouble translating this into written code.

Research has shown that, learning a programming language is like learning a foreign language. The sooner kids get exposed to the languages, the quicker they can learn. Programming, in general, improves critical thinking skills. It can help with addressing problems in innovative ways, and can even teach life lessons. It also simplifies many jobs we do irrespective of the profession we are in. It is extremely important that children, especially in the upcoming generations, get exposed to coding.

The game cards have instructions written in English, as well as Java code. These cards expose children to all the basic concepts of programming with just one round of the game.

We optimized the game for both learning and fun using a genetic algorithm. Those who decode all the game cards correctly have a better chance of winning - this encourages children to learn the concepts quickly.

The game has three types of cards, each containing a different subset of actual programming skills.

Basic: These cards teach the basic concepts of programming, like assignment and arithmetic operations.

Control: These cards teach conditional operations, such as if-else statements (where the player does a task if something has happened).

Loop: These cards teach loops (where the player repeats a specific task until something happens).

The game can be played in three levels:

Beginner: Each player gets three action cards and picks the best card to move his or her tractor. All players race to reach the barn first. These cards have the Java code at their bottom and expose kids to the basic concepts of programming.

Intermediate: Each player has the option to pick one action game card or two java cards. When a player picks the java card option, they have the choice of picking the best out of the two cards for their next move, improving their chances of winning. This incentive encourages kids to try out "Java" cards during the game.

Advanced: Players play only with Java cards. This is the ultimate level of skill - the point of no return for players! If they reach this level, this means that they are truly programming literate. We can't guarantee that they'll be the next Bill Gates, but we can hope! Players usually reach this level after 2-3 rounds of playing at the intermediate level.

We have already created several game prototypes and tried it out in after-school clubs and in our own MathAndCoding sessions. The game was very well received, with many kids learning to play with Java cards alone after about 40 minutes. We noticed that kids often taught each other how to decode the Java cards - a wonderful example of the co-learning and teamwork that real programmers also need to succeed.

We are ready to launch full production of the game. We've chosen the manufacturer for the game (521promo.com). We have all the graphics ready. All we're waiting for are the funds to start the production runs. The funds will help us launch the game on Amazon, and all the profits from the sales will be channeled into our efforts at teaching programming to more students through our non-profit mathandcoding.org 

We need to order a minimum of 250 board games to begin manufacturing our game. We are reaching out to you to help build this board game, that teaches programming concepts while kids have fun. 

Help spread our love for coding to kids all over the country.

Apart from the satisfaction of helping create an awesome new board game for kids, and apart from putting a smile on our faces, we have several incentives to encourage you to fund this project. Browse through our rewards section to see what option works for you!

As soon as the project is funded, we will send out graphics to our manufacturer and have the first 250 games made. It takes about 10 weeks for the games to be ready. You will get your copies by first week of November - well before Christmas!

Risks and challenges

We researched thoroughly before picking 521promo.com as our manufacturer, partly due to their history of delivering board games for many Kickstarter campaigns before.

We've been through several internal iterations of the game, re-designing based on feedback from actual players. It should not take longer than 10 weeks after the program is fully funded to get the games in our hands from the manufacturers, as we have already built several prototypes.

To ensure that the project stays on schedule, we will track the production progress closely. We know that there might be potential setbacks, but we're motivated to tackle them head-on and post timely updates here so that you, our backers, have updated information on the manufacture and delivery of the codingFarmers board game.

Sharada, Nikhil and Anika's mom, is the point of contact for the manufacturer and warehouse. She will take care of all logistics involved in shipping the game to all of you after a successful campaign.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    JUNIOR FARMER:

    Every dollar counts! If you can't pledge $30 or more but still want to support our mission of teaching kids how to code, then this option is for you!

    We'll send you a personal thank you note signed by the game creators (Nikhil, Vineet and Anika).

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  2. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    VISIONARY FARMER: Early bird special discount... for our first 10 supporters

    Thank you for the support. You will get 1 set of the codingFarmers board game with free US shipping, and a personal thank you note signed by the game creators.

    And rest easy - the entire package will arrive in time for holiday season.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    CODING FARMER

    Thank you for the support. You will get 1 set of the codingFarmers board game with free US shipping, and a personal thank you note signed by the game creators.

    And rest easy - the entire package will arrive in time for holiday season.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    PHILANTHROPIC FARMER:

    If you simply want to support our mission of teaching kids how to code by bringing this board game to market, then this option is for you!

    We'll send you a personal thank you note signed by the game creators (Nikhil, Vineet and Anika).

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    PATRON FARMER:

    Thank you for the support. You will get 2 sets of the codingFarmers board game with free US shipping, and a personal thank you note signed by the game creators. Keep one in your living room - and give one to another deserving young programmer :)

    And rest easy - the entire package will arrive in time for holiday season.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $180 or more About $180

    COMMUNITY FARMER:

    The perfect option for schools and after-school clubs! You get 5 sets of the codingFarmers board game, and a personal thank you note signed by the game creators. Watch the games create future programmers in your community.

    And rest easy - the entire package will arrive in time for holiday season.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    GENEROUS FARMER:

    Thank you for the generous support. You will get one of the codingFarmers board game, and a personal thank you note signed by the game creators.

    In addition, one of our coding farmers (Vineet. Nikhil or Anika) will offer a free 3 hour 1-on-1 coding session for your child in either visual coding or Java programming. We offer this session in 1.5-hour capsules, one every week for two weeks, through Skype or WebEx. If you happen to live within 25 miles of Cupertino, CA, we'd be delighted to teach your kid in person at a local library.

    And rest easy - the board games will arrive in time for holiday season. The lessons will also be taught within 6 weeks of successful funding

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    ANGEL FARMER:

    Thank you for the generous support. You will get 2 sets of the codingFarmers board game, and a personal thank you note signed by the game creators.

    In addition, one of our coding farmers (Vineet. Nikhil or Anika) will offer a free 6 hour 1-on-1 coding session for your child in either visual coding or Java programming. We offer this session in 2-hour capsules, one every week, through Skype or WebEx. If you happen to live within 25 miles of Cupertino, CA, we'd be delighted to teach your kid in person at a local library.

    And rest easy - the entire package of two board games will arrive in time for holiday season.

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Funding period

- (30 days)