Student of Interest: John and Thomas Kriston

Student of Interest: John and Thomas Kriston

Julia James, Staff Writer

Twin senior brothers Thomas and John Kriston, have made amazing headway in educating elementary school kids on the art of computer science through the use of their application, C3PO, which teaches coding through games.

Along with the influence they’ve made on educating youngsters, the brothers had the opportunity to present this concept to Congress in the hopes that computer science may one day become a part of core curriculum.

When asked where the idea came from, they explained that they were inspired to do something about the lack of emphasis placed on learning programming in school. They were motivated to do something after they were both a part of a computer science program at Stanford as well as the Google Trailblazers program, a program that specifically specializes in spreading knowledge about computer science.

The brothers explained that most schools do not teach computer science, as it’s not a part of the core foundation of early education. They both felt that it should be because of the important skills it produces, so they created C3PO, an application which stands for Children Pioneers Practicing Programming Organization, to help change that.

The twins initially started off by traveling to elementary schools, teaching kids how to program as well as introducing the concept of programming, through a series of games and activities that differed depending on the level the kids were in.

Their app teaches kids how to code through series of games and a series of levels. There are four levels to C3PO that group the kids based on their age.

As they explained to me, the program is all about teaching simple steps, getting the kids to recognize patterns and teaching them to, “think like computer programmers, a creative mindset — basic of coders.”

They have used their application at elementary schools since sophomore year. Just recently, however, both had the incredible opportunity to go to Washington, D.C. and present their mock app-concept, which took roughly a month to make, to Congress.  Though Congress has yet to come up with a final answer, they are certainly on their way to fulfilling the aspiration of helping computer science programs become more common in schools.