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Lubbock teen wins national coding award

Kongstvedt named “Super Ninja of the Year” by Code Ninjasfranchisor
Kongstvedt named “Super Ninja of the Year” by Code Ninjasfranchisor(Code Ninja)
Published: Nov. 19, 2021 at 9:05 AM CST
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LUBBOCK, Texas (NEWS RELEASE) - Michael Kongstvedt, an 8th grader at JT Hutchinson Middle School, was awarded the “Super Ninja of the Year” for the United States by Code Ninjas today during their annual Ninja Con Conference and Awards Ceremony in Pearland. Michael has been developing his coding skills at the Code Ninjas Lubbock location since its opening in 2019.

Michael was chosen out of tens of thousands of “ninjas” (Code Ninjas’ terminology for its students) at over 350 Code Ninjas locations around the US. Amy Slaughter, owner and Center Director at Code Ninjas Lubbock, nominated Michael for the award after watching him take the initiative to build-upon the skills he was learning via the Code Ninjas curriculum, and expand it into his own exciting and complex video games.

“Michael is a joy in the Dojo,” Slaughter said. ”He brings a positive vibe every time he visits our Center. He is creative, he thinks outside the box, and his games always have purpose and a little something extra. It has been an absolute joy to watch him grow over the last two years. We hope to hire him as a Sensei when he is old enough. His future is BRIGHT, and we are so proud to say he is a Code Ninja in Lubbock, Texas!”

Code Ninjas’ goal is to empower tomorrow’s innovators to thrive in a digital future through fun, immersive environments, and Michael certainly fits the bill. He wants to continue his burgeoning video game development career and one day create games full-time. He is a member of Code Ninjas CREATE, a multi-year program where kids visit the center weekly to work through a colored belt system –white belt to black belt –similar to a martial arts dojo. By the time Michael earns his black belt, he will have created his own proprietary game or app, with the ability to publish it on popular app stores. He is also a member of Code Ninjas’ new First LEGO League(FLL)team, a nationwide competitive robotics league.

“I’m pretty sure if I hadn’t been introduced to Code Ninjas, I probably wouldn’t have even got into code,” Michael said. “It’s helped me to learn about code and decide I probably want a career in it.”

Michael received a trophy, a Code Ninjas prize pack, and an Oculus Quest virtual reality gaming system as part of the award.

At Code Ninjas, kids learn how to code in a fun, safe, and social learning environment where gaming is celebrated, and STEM is cool. Code Ninjas offers kids the opportunity to dive into fun, challenging, and rewarding projects and activities that will engage them and bring out skill sets that will benefit them as they grow. Everything about Code Ninjas is built around fun, which keeps kids coming back. The curriculum is self-paced, but not self-taught; kids get immediate help and encouragement from Code Sense is and fellow ninjas as they advance from white to black belt, on the nine-belt program that makes up Code Ninjas CREATE. Younger kids are able to take part in Code Ninjas JR, and all ages are able to take part in summer camps instilling the problem solving and critical thinking skills into the leaders of the future. To learn more about opportunities for kids near you visit https://www.codeninjas.com

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