Cofounder Ronen Even Tzur looks back on the program’s impact & evolution
Five years ago, Ronen Even Tzur cofounded Kids Life Skills to give his daughter & other young children in Luxembourg early exposure to coding concepts. More specifically & perhaps more importantly, he wanted to impart the out-of-the-box, independent thinking & autonomous learning skills required to excel in the world of STEM, regardless of coding languages, technologies or trends. As Kids Life Skills grows, Ronen discusses how the program continues to impact Luxembourg’s youth, from four to 13 years old.
1) You’ve expanded your offerings to 11–13-year-olds! How did this come about?
Yes, indeed! In November 2022 we expanded our program to include children aged 11–13. We have many students who started with us as young children who now fall within that age group & they showed interest in continuing. As kids grow, they learn & understand technology differently. We believe in offering a complete educational journey. We've introduced new courses like Python Beginners, Game Development, & Video Editing like a PRO, all tailored for this age group.
2) How has your program evolved in the last couple of years?
We've significantly expanded & enhanced our course offerings. Our Intro courses underwent a transformation: Now titled Discovery, they cover a broader range of topics that kids explore over 10 lessons. We also introduced new courses for our four-to-six-year-olds—Scratch JR Healthy Habits—and for our seven-to-10-year-olds—Minecraft & Sustainable City. Excitingly, seven-to-10-year-olds will also have the option of Scratch 101 starting in February. As mentioned, we’ve added new courses for our oldest group as well.
3) How does the focus differ by age group?
We want to make sure every child gets the right skills at the right time, so we tailor our learning approach to meet their developmental needs. Through hands-on activities, our youngest participants focus on foundational skills, such as the basic concepts of logic, problem-solving & essential healthy habits. As children progress to the seven to 10 age range, we incorporate interactive activities to bridge their understanding of algorithms & coding principles, often using their favorite games to teach important concepts like sustainability. The oldest group engages in a more advanced curriculum, fostering a deeper understanding of coding & technology. We provide age-appropriate tasks to ensure a progressively challenging learning journey from early childhood to adolescence.
4) Has your approach changed over the years?
Yes, our approach has evolved in response to the growing recognition of the need for essential life skills from an early age. We now integrate courses into our curriculum that focus on teaching vital life skills, like communication, creativity, curiosity, an interest in technology, safety, sustainability & more. Our goal is to empower children, not only with technical proficiency, but with the interpersonal & practical abilities essential for success in an ever-changing world.
5) What was your favorite achievement or moment from 2023?
We carried out many events & activities during 2023 & improved the organization on multiple levels by focusing on course content. However, our favorite memories are in the classrooms: simple interactions with the kids & their amazing “AHA” moments when they figure out something new. For example, in one of our activities we give the kids a logic challenge that is impossible to solve without a repeat function. This is before they are taught that this function exists. They are forced to think creatively & outside of the box. They basically discover &, in a way, invent the repeat function on their own. These “AHA” moments are my absolute favorite achievements!
6) What impact are you having on children & Luxembourg as a whole?
As technology evolves, the programming languages used today will likely become obsolete. Accordingly, we try to have a long-term impact on the kids by giving them the ability to problem-solve & learn on their own, skills that are not specific to one platform, robot or programming language. When we hear that the children are choosing to do more advanced projects independently at home, we know that we are succeeding. We hope that this will also have a positive impact on Luxembourg as a country, leading to a more skilled, technology oriented & creative workforce with better problem-solving abilities. That said, this is not our agenda or focus. We want to equip kids with essential life skills, regardless of the path they choose in life.
7) What are your goals for 2024?
Our goals for 2024 are to expand our offerings for our existing age groups. We also aim to upgrade our recruitment process for new instructors & coaches so that we can meet demand, for example by providing more courses in French & Luxembourgish.