Most Shared

First-graders are learning how to code, and it's easier than you think.

It's time to teach our kids to control their technology instead of the other way around.

First-graders are learning how to code, and it's easier than you think.

Becoming a parent changes your perspective on everything. Just ask dad and entrepreneur Vikas Gupta.

Gupta is a computer whiz whose company, Jambool, was acquired by Google in 2010; right around that time, he and his wife welcomed their first child, a daughter, into the world. Needless to say, life was good for his family.

In an effort to celebrate life, Gupta and his wife left their jobs to travel around Europe and show their baby girl the beauty of the world.


Gupta enjoyed daddy-daughter bonding, but he felt he could do more to help children all over the world. All photos from Wonder Workshop and used with permission.

But as Gupta looked into his daughter's eyes, he couldn't help but wonder what would come next. Traveling the world wouldn't last forever, yet he cherished that time with his daughter.

"I realized that I wasn't ready to give up these bonding moments easily," Gupta told Upworthy. "Whatever I did next needed to mean something and make a positive difference in the world."

It was time for him to go back to work, and in doing so, he would introduce kids to something he loves deeply: coding.

It's no secret that Gupta believes learning technology is essential, but his real aha moment came when he noticed what other countries are doing to help young children embrace the tech world.

And no, "embracing the tech world" doesn't mean having a kid glued to a tablet for hours on end playing Angry Birds.

Get off that iPad, kid!

It's about teaching our kids to control the technology they use, not the other way around.

For example, the tiny country of Estonia teaches their first-grade students how to code. In contrast, Gupta noticed that 90% of high schools in the U.S. do not offer computer science classes. It doesn't take a computer genius to realize that elementary schools in the U.S. probably aren't teaching computer science either.

"I wanted to find the solution that will engage young kids and be an effective tool for them to learn to code on their own," Gupta said.

His solution? Robots. Adorable but highly intelligent robots.

Gupta created a company called Wonder Workshop that uses robotics to teach code in a way that a first-grader can understand.

Meet the two stars of the show.

Dash is a robot that kids can program to dance, race, and have a variety of adventures with by using simple drag-and-drop tablet interfaces on Wonder Workshop's free apps.

It comes preprogrammed with a variety of different sounds (kids can record their own sounds, too), and it can detect and identify the sound of someone's voice.

Be warned, parents. In some cases kids will use their coding skills to help Dash pull pranks on grown-ups. But, hey — at least they're learning some useful, right?

Gotcha, Mom! GIF via Wonder Workshop/YouTube.

Dot, the little blue ball on top, acts as the "brain" of the robot. Kids can code it to play over 100 different games using the app.

Meet Dot, the tiny blue robot.

Hot potato is one of many examples.

GIF via Wonder Workshop/YouTube.

Think of Dot as the entry-level course to robotics and coding.

"Not only are the bots designed to grow and learn with their child user, but the kids themselves can code their own programs and customize their bots with their own unique personalities," Gupta said.

But what makes Dash and Dot cool and revolutionary?

"They solve a problem that most parents, kids, and teachers face," Gupta said. "They keep children engaged in computer science without making it boring, tedious, and complicated."

Most importantly, they solve the problem by not being gender or age specific. Boys and girls love the robots. Same with teenagers and toddlers. It's pretty rare to find a toy that checks all of those boxes while being educational at the same time.

Wonder Workshop even caught the attention of Melinda Gates who recently called Dash "the most fun way to foster coding skills through robotics."

Melinda's husband, Bill, backed her up, too.


That's high praise.

It's just the kind of difference Gupta imagined when he thought about doing something that would affect the world and help kids like his young daughter.

In fact, Melinda Gates said the most meaningful gift she ever received was an Apple III computer from her dad when she was in high school because it fostered a love of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Gupta hopes he will inspire young children with Dash and Dot as well.

It definitely looks like he's on the right track.

Check out the Wonder Workshop video below.


Courtesy of CeraVe
True

"I love being a nurse because I have the honor of connecting with my patients during some of their best and some of their worst days and making a difference in their lives is among the most rewarding things that I can do in my own life" - Tenesia Richards, RN

From ushering new life into the world to holding the hand of a patient as they take their last breath, nurses are everyday heroes that deserve our respect and appreciation.

To give back to this community that is always giving so selflessly to others, CeraVe® put out a call to nurses to share their stories for a chance to be featured in Heroes Behind the Masks, a digital content series shining a light on nurses who go above and beyond to provide safe and quality care to patients and their communities.

First up: Tenesia Richards, a labor and delivery nurse working in New York City who, in addition to her regular job, started a community outreach program in a homeless shelter that houses expectant mothers for up to one year postpartum.

Tenesia | Heroes Behind the Masks presented by CeraVe www.youtube.com

Upon learning at a conference that black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women's health, Richards decided to take further action to help her community. She, along with a handful of fellow nurses, volunteered to provide antepartum, childbirth and postpartum education to the women living at the shelter. Additionally, they looked for other ways to boost the spirits of the residents, like throwing baby showers and bringing in guest speakers. When COVID-19 hit and in-person gatherings were no longer possible, Richards and her team found creative workarounds and created holiday care packages for the mothers instead.

Keep Reading Show less
via The Walt Disney Company / Flickr

One of the ways to tell if you're in a healthy relationship is whether you and your partner are free to talk about other people you find attractive. For many couples, bringing up such a sensitive topic can cause some major jealousy.

Of course, there's a healthy way to approach such a potentially dangerous topic.

Telling your partner you find someone else attractive shouldn't be about making them feel jealous. It's probably also best that if you're attracted to a coworker, friend, or their sibling, that you keep it to yourself.

Keep Reading Show less
Courtesy of CeraVe
True

"I love being a nurse because I have the honor of connecting with my patients during some of their best and some of their worst days and making a difference in their lives is among the most rewarding things that I can do in my own life" - Tenesia Richards, RN

From ushering new life into the world to holding the hand of a patient as they take their last breath, nurses are everyday heroes that deserve our respect and appreciation.

To give back to this community that is always giving so selflessly to others, CeraVe® put out a call to nurses to share their stories for a chance to be featured in Heroes Behind the Masks, a digital content series shining a light on nurses who go above and beyond to provide safe and quality care to patients and their communities.

First up: Tenesia Richards, a labor and delivery nurse working in New York City who, in addition to her regular job, started a community outreach program in a homeless shelter that houses expectant mothers for up to one year postpartum.

Tenesia | Heroes Behind the Masks presented by CeraVe www.youtube.com

Upon learning at a conference that black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women's health, Richards decided to take further action to help her community. She, along with a handful of fellow nurses, volunteered to provide antepartum, childbirth and postpartum education to the women living at the shelter. Additionally, they looked for other ways to boost the spirits of the residents, like throwing baby showers and bringing in guest speakers. When COVID-19 hit and in-person gatherings were no longer possible, Richards and her team found creative workarounds and created holiday care packages for the mothers instead.

Keep Reading Show less