Computer science education is a key component of a well-rounded education. Students not only develop their critical thinking and problem solving skills, but also learn a skill that is in high demand. In fact, computer science jobs are expected to grow at twice the rate of all other jobs. With all the potential for the future of computer science, it’s a great idea to try out some free online computer science courses with certificates for kids.

Try free online computer science courses with a certificate for kids

Online computer science courses are a great way to introduce students to programming, and certificate-earning courses help to instill students with a sense of accomplishment for their efforts!

1. Scratch Coding

Scratch is a website developed by MIT to introduce students to the basics of coding. Unlike traditional programming languages, Scratch uses “block-coding,” which helps to abstract away many of the complexities of text-based coding languages. By taking this curriculum, students will work with teachers to make various animations and games that teach them foundational programming concepts such as conditional statements, loops, and functions. Students need no prior programming experience to enroll in these courses.

Ages: 7-11

Cost: Free intro, paid course

Certificate: 1 certificate for each level of the course completed

Time to complete: 12 55-minute sessions

2. AI Explorers

Artificial Intelligence has become an increasingly important aspect of modern software design. Now, your child can be introduced to this concept through Create & Learn’s AI Explorers curriculum! Students will learn about AI by creating applications that deal with image recognition, chatbots, and more in this fun live online event.

Ages: 9-12

Cost: Free intro event, paid course

Certificate: Yes, no fee

Time to complete: 12 55-minute sessions

3. Free Intro to Minecraft Redstone Engineering

Minecraft is a game that has been enjoyed by millions of people worldwide, but did you know that it also can be a great educational tool? Join this free, live virtual intro class to start creating with one of the most powerful elements in Minecraft - Redstone. Through a series of fun activities and puzzle-solving, students will learn how different power sources such as Redstone blocks, torches, and switches can be used to power blocks around them in different ways. Students will be taught the skills they need to start creating more advanced structures that can be powered up or automated.

Ages: 8+

Cost: Free intro, paid course

Certificate: Yes, no fee

Time to complete: 12 55-minute sessions

4. Beginner Roblox Game Coding Free Intro

This live online class is the best way to start learning Roblox game coding because it uses a very intuitive block-coding interface, rather than complex Lua programming. In this fun live virtual class students will learn the foundational coding skills to create their own games in Roblox, the popular gaming platform with over 40 million games! Learn important coding concepts such as if/then, loop, and variable in the context of Roblox coding, as well as how to have game elements respond to interactions from players such as clicks, movements, and more. Build a cool dodgeball game, multiplayer games, and even a game modeled after the highly popular infinity run game where players must turn, dodge, and jump to avoid obstacles and gain points!

Ages: 9-14

Cost: Intro-free, $309.60 for 12 sessions

Certificate: Yes, no fee

Time to complete: 12 75-minute sessions

5. Accelerated Scratch - Intro to Coding for Middle Schoolers

Our Accelerated Scratch curriculum is a great way for middle school students to be introduced to block-based coding. This curriculum is an accelerated version of the Scratch Ninja curriculum. Students will develop their critical thinking skills while creating their own games and animations.

Ages: 10-15

Cost: Intro- free, 12 sessions for $252

Certificate: Yes, no fee

Time to complete: 12 55-minute sessions

6. Python Coding

Python is a versatile programming language used in a number of applications, including scripting, AI, data science, and more. It is also a great educational tool, and works well for introducing students to the ideas of text-based programming. In these courses, students will make a number of increasingly complex games and applications. Students should have prior block programming experience (Scratch) before enrolling in this course.

Ages: 10-15

Cost: Intro- free, $336 for 16 sessions

Certificate: Yes, no fee

Time to complete: 16 55-minute sessions

There are also various certificate-earning courses for adults offered online.

What is computer science?

Computer science is the study of computation and computer technology. This field encompasses an incredibly wide range of disciplines, including web development, software development, data analysis, artificial intelligence, and numerous other fields. If it involves coding or software, it’s probably computer science! Students with an interest in computers should try to research the numerous different branches of computer science to find the best fit for themselves.

Join free online computer science courses for kids

With computer science at the forefront of future job growth, there’s no time like the present to start learning coding! Give your kid the ability to demonstrate their progress with certificates for their hard work. If your child is not sure where to start their programming journey, Create & Learn’s Scratch Coding intro is a wonderful entry point!

Written by Create & Learn instructor Dominic Occhietti. Dominic is a graduate of Michigan State University, where he studied music performance and computer science. He thoroughly enjoys teaching, whether that be coding classes, French horn lessons, or even downhill skiing lessons!