CODER’S LADDER® | Curriculum | Mero Coding Class
Ladder Course

CODER’S LADDER®

Multi-Year Progressive Curriculum

Join our academy and start climbing the Coder’s Ladder®! Similar to martial arts belt system, the ladder defines programming skills from beginner to advanced levels. Achieving Level 10 means mastering all fundamentals of software development.

With each level, students gain proficiency in more advanced programming concepts and learn how to design and build more complex projects. Levels are taught in age and experience appropriate development environments, from Scratch to professional languages, such as Python or Java.

Coder’s Ladder® Classes Provide

An Individualized Approach

We recognize that each student learns best at a different pace of learning. Our curriculum has been carefully designed to allow for individual advancement and growth.

Small Class Sizes

In group classes each instructor has a maximum of 6 students. Private classes are 1:1.

Progress Tracking

Instructors track student progress within each level individually based on student’s understanding of and ability to apply concepts they learned in their class projects. Parents can check their coder’s progress in their Coding with Kids account online any time.

Welcome Session

Each new student will join a Welcome Class in the first week. The Welcome Class brings a group of new students together, introduces them to the coding environment for their level, explains the coding language(s) they will be using and lets the students build a few small projects to ensure a seamless transition into their ongoing class. The Welcome Classes are unique to each level and are taught by instructors experienced with the full content of each level. After completion, students will be ready to join their regular class. The Welcome Classes last 2.5 hours (or 1.25 hours for Little Coders).

As soon as a student masters all concepts introduced at their Level, they are presented with a project-based exam conducted in a graduation session. Students in Level 2 or higher will be given a take-home portion to complete. Once the exam and take home portion are complete, your student will be moved to the next level on the Coder’s Ladder®!

Graduating to Next Level

As soon as a student masters all concepts introduced at their Level, they are presented with a project-based exam conducted in a graduation session. Students in Level 2 or higher will be given a take-home portion to complete. Once the exam and take home portion are complete, your student will be moved to the next level on the Coder’s Ladder®!

Student Portal

Students have access to an online repository of coding exercises. This allows them to practice their skills at home and even accelerate their learning, as desired. “Practice makes the master!”

Level 1 Course Info

Level 1 is for beginners and students with some prior coding experience who need to strengthen their understanding and utilization of core programming concepts in their programs. Students learn how to create programs, including games and interactive stories, and how to effectively apply core coding concepts. They practice problem solving and learn how to debug their programs. Students learn that coding is creative, fun and easy!

Tools/Languages

Scratch

Prerequisites

None

Technical Requirements

  • Chromebook, Mac, or Windows PC (Windows only for Level 6 and Level H2)
  • Internet
  • Speakers, microphone and webcam

Graduation criteria

Demonstrated understanding of:
  • Programming concepts: conditionals, loops, functions, and variables
  • Art: use bitmap and vector graphics editors, build animations
  • Scratch specific concepts: broadcasting, cloning
  • Basic debugging techniques
Examples of projects students can build on their own:
  • Interactive story
  • Interactive two-sprite game
  • Maze game

Level 2 Course Info

Students take the core concepts to the next level and begin building more complex projects. Students begin to learn the foundations of data structures, algorithms, and game design.

Tools/Languages

Scratch

Prerequisites

Graduation from Level 1 or demonstrated understanding of core programming concepts and ability to build a simple game in Scratch.

Technical Requirements

  • Chromebook, Mac, or Windows PC (Windows only for Level 6 and Level H2)
  • Internet
  • Speakers, microphone and webcam

Graduation criteria

Demonstrated understanding of:
  • Basic data structures (array-based)
  • Foundations of software design
  • Basics of game design
  • Advanced problem solving and code debugging
Examples of projects students can build on their own:
  • Brick Breaker game
  • 2-Player Pong game
  • Platformer

Level 3 Course Info

Level 3 is focused on the design and architecture of more complex programs. Students learn more advanced coding concepts, such as basic game AI (Artificial Intelligence), physics, and common algorithms (e.g. sorting or search). The Level 3 curriculum is split between Scratch and Python (using Codesters) so that students can begin applying the concepts they learn in Scratch to other languages and environments.

Tools/Languages

Scratch & Python

Prerequisites

Graduation from Level 2 or demonstration of strong handling of core programming concepts, including basic data structures and ability to build more complicated games in Scratch.

Technical Requirements

  • Chromebook, Mac, or Windows PC (Windows only for Level 6 and Level H2)
  • Internet
  • Speakers, microphone and webcam

Graduation criteria

Demonstrated understanding of:
  • Sorting and Search algorithms
  • Basic Artificial Intelligence
  • Basic Game Physics
  • Program Design and Architecture
  • Basic Python knowledge
Examples of projects students can build on their own:
  • Tic-tac-toe (with AI)
  • Sorting Algorithms
  • Python Snake game

Level M Course Info

Level 1 is for beginners and students with some prior coding experience who need to strengthen their understanding and utilization of core programming concepts in their programs. Students learn how to create programs, including games and interactive stories, and how to effectively apply core coding concepts. They practice problem solving and learn how to debug their programs. Students learn that coding is creative, fun and easy!

Tools/Languages

Python

Prerequisites

Typing Skills

Technical Requirements

  • Chromebook, Mac, or Windows PC (Windows only for Level 6 and Level H2)
  • Internet
  • Speakers, microphone and webcam

Graduation criteria

Demonstrated understanding of:
  • Loops, functions, variables, and conditionals
  • Python concepts: lists and basic I/O operations
  • Debugging techniques and their application in projects
  • Event handling and basic game physics concepts

Examples of projects students can build on their own:

  • Clones of classic games such as Space Invaders or Snake
  • Simple player vs player games
  • Platformer games using gravity and velocity

Level 4 Course Info

Level 4 is for students who are familiar with the core concepts of programming and program design, and are ready to move on to more powerful “typed languages”. Students will take the basic Python skills they learned in Level 3 to the next level and create complex projects, e.g. a Connect 4 game with an intelligent computer opponent. Using a professional development environment (Cloud9) allows students to learn more complex Python concepts, such as writing classes and data analysis techniques. Students will also be introduced to Web Development with HTML, CSS, and JavaScripts where they will build dynamic, interactive web pages and games, and receive an introduction to what the web really is and how it works. Students will learn the importance of well-structured code, as well as designing web pages with a clean user experience.

Tools/Languages

Python, JavaScript, HTML, CSS

Prerequisites

Graduation from Level 3 or Level M or demonstrated understanding of the programming concepts included in Level 3 or Level M, as well as demonstrated skill to design and implement more complicated multi-player and ‘player against the computer’ games.

Technical Requirements

  • Chromebook, Mac, or Windows PC (Windows only for Level 6 and Level H2)
  • Internet
  • Speakers, microphone and webcam

Graduation criteria

Demonstrated understanding of:

  • Python Concepts: using complex data structures (dictionaries, multi-dimensional arrays); creating and using Python Classes; getting, analyzing, and graphing data
  • Web Development Concepts: building web page with clean style and layout; embedding Javascript programs within an existing web page; editing the page appearance through dynamic Javascript and CSS.
  • Problem solving, commenting, and code debugging through the browser.

Examples of projects students can build on their own:

  • Interactive Calculator with HTML, CSS, and Javascript
  • Javascript games such as Pong and Snake
  • Python Web Scraping Project
  • Python text based adventure

Level 5 Course Info

Level 5 is designed for students who have demonstrated proficiency and comfortability with advanced programming concepts and the use of typed languages. In Level 5, students will be given the ability to take the concepts they learned in Level 4 one step further by introducing more professional and involved libraries for both Python and Javascript. Coders will also be introduced to the concept of databases and database operations through SQLite which they will use to keep track of and analyze large amounts of data. Students will learn the importance of clean and efficient code and be able to implement and design algorithms to maximize efficiency at runtime.

Tools/Languages

Python, JavaScript, SQL, HTML, CSS

Prerequisites

Graduation from Level 4 or demonstrated equivalent knowledge of both Python and Web Development. Students going into Level 5 are able to implement and debug Python projects with classes as well as create interactive games and websites using HTML,CSS, and JavaScript.

Technical Requirements

  • Chromebook, Mac, or Windows PC (Windows only for Level 6 and Level H2)
  • Internet
  • Speakers, microphone and webcam

Graduation criteria

Demonstrated understanding of:

  • Knowing how to install and when to use non-standard python libraries to reduce complexity of code
  • Using JavaScript libraries to simplify web site design
  • Creating, querying, and manipulating simple databases
  • Runtime complexity and good coding practices

Examples of projects students can build on their own:

  • Classic games such as space invaders and frogger, using Pygame
  • An interactive school planner which stores data entries, using SQLite
  • A multi-page website which is hosted on the student’s personal domain

Level 6 Course Info

Level 6 is for students who have demonstrated proficiency in the concepts introduced in Level 5 and who are ready to take a deeper dive into more professional and advanced coding concepts. In Level 6, students will put together what they have learned in Python and Javascript to write their own web servers and build their own Full-Stack web applications. They will learn how to use professional database tools to analyze and design projects around data. Students will also get an introduction to the C# programming language, and will begin learning about advanced object oriented programming, algorithm designs and data structures. This class will prepare students for concepts introduced in AP Computer Science courses. Students will learn about online safety and the importance of secure data, as well as professional coding ethics, and how to work on projects as a team.

Tools/Languages

C#, Python, JavaScript, SQL, HTML, CSS

Prerequisites

Graduation from Level 5 or demonstrated equivalent knowledge of Web Development and Python using libraries to reduce code complexity. Students going into Level 6 are able to create dynamic multi-page web projects and Python projects involving class inheritance.

Technical Requirements

  • Chromebook, Mac, or Windows PC (Windows only for Level 6 and Level H2)
  • Internet
  • Speakers, microphone and webcam

Graduation criteria

Demonstrated understanding of:

  • Being able to create and deploy dynamic, Full-Stack web applications that involve databases, and real-time communication
  • Creating, querying, manipulating, and designing projects around a professional database
  • Creating C# games using objects and inheritance
  • Designing algorithms and data structures in C#
  • Discussing online safety, ethics, and best practices

Examples of projects students can build on their own:

  • Dynamic, full scale 2D games using C# and Mono
  • A multiplayer web-browser game deployed to the student’s personal server
  • A blog website that uses a database to handle users and searching for topics