Teacher Spotlight: Youth Code Jam’s Max Amey

Amey has been working with coding nonprofit for nearly 5 years

This week’s Teacher Spotlight is an instructor from a local nonprofit who codes lessons and games from the ground up to get kids excited about a future in coding.

SAN ANTONIO – Since its inception almost 5 years ago, the nonprofit Youth Code Jam has worked to make computer science and coding fun and accessible for all students.

Their focus began with students across San Antonio, however, the pandemic has allowed them to reach and teach students nationwide. Behind the scenes, there’s one instructor who spends countless hours developing new and engaging content, setting up tech and customizing coding activities for students and even teachers.

Coding and programming is Max Amey’s jam.

<< Click here to nominate your teacher in the KSAT12 Teacher Spotlight Community Gallery >>

“(Coding) looks like a lot at first, but once you read it, it reads a little bit more like English,” Amey said.

Amey is the lead instructor at Youth Code Jam. He can code robots and he created a computer-science focused board-game specifically about initial values. In computer science, a value is the representation of some entity that can be manipulated by a program. In a matter of days, Amey can also code activities like a fun online basketball game featuring the Spurs Coyote.

“We create spaces for kids to learn coding in a judgment free way at their own pace,” Amey said.

Amey teaches students that coding is just about giving computers instructions to follow, so, his initial focus in coding is to understand the concepts rather than the syntax.

“I think I’m committed to meeting kids where they are and finding their interests rather than forcing something on them,” Amey said.

Students and staff at Youth Code Jam said they’re thankful for his instruction, leadership and dedication.

If your child is interested in coding, check out Youth Code Jam’s upcoming virtual 5-day summer camp.

The camp, Coyote Coding Camp - Beginner Scratch is in partnership with Spurs Give and is geared for students grades 3-7.

To learn more about the camp or register click here.

About the Authors:

Alicia Barrera is a KSAT 12 News reporter and anchor. She is also a co-host of the streaming show KSAT News Now. Alicia is a first-generation Mexican-American, fluent in both Spanish and English with a bachelor's degree from Our Lady of the Lake University. She enjoys reading books, traveling solo across Mexico and spending time with family.