October 05, 2015

Mike Ritchie

Mark Engelberg, Inventor of Code Master, Featured in Getting Smart

Topics: Kids & Coding, Girls & STEM, STEM



Here at ThinkFun we work very hard to find the smartest, most innovative game inventors around. The goal is definitely to make a fun product, but it’s just as important to us that there’s a learning component – that kids develop critical thinking skills during their play, whether they’re aware of it or not. One of those inventors is Mark Engelberg, a former NASA programmer and current educator who was recently featured on

Mark has a real vision for how to properly educate kids, and right now he’s focusing on helping kids learn programming – that’s why he invented our newest game, Code Master.

Like I said, last week Mark was featured on – he wrote a piece titled 3 Reasons Coding Should Be a Core Subject. Here’s the cliff notes of what he had to say.

  • The movement to teach coding for kids is sweeping the nation, and it’s true – we do need to teach coding in our schools.
  • Programming isn’t a trade skill – the thinking skills developed in an effort to learn programming give myriad benefits.
  • Specifically, computer science teaches problem solving and critical thinking skills.
  • Even though it’s not a trade skill, there are a lot of lucrative career opportunities in CS.
  • Schools can’t afford to teach CS right now because it isn’t measured in the standardized tests.
  • CS education can be integrated into other subjects, like math and science.
  • The Bootstrap curriculum is great.
  • If the schools can’t afford the necessary equipment there are ways to learn computational thinking offline, e.g. ‘the CS Unplugged curriculum’.

Don’t be surprised if you see Mark expand on these ideas soon in another major publication. He has some fantastic ideas around how curriculums need to be changed in order to move our education system forward, both for CS and in general.

You can click here to read his full article in Getting Smart, or check out the Code Master How to Play video below!



Code Master - The Ultimate Coding Adventure!