Are you a student in the Houston area looking for opportunities to learn about technology and coding?

Apple is offering a new in-store workshop called, “Coding Lab for Kids: Code Your First App” inside all Houston Apple Stores for FREE, which launched in celebration of Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) this month. 

CSEdWeek, is an annual call to action to encourage K-12 students to learn about computer science, advocate for equity in computer science education, and to recognize the contributions of students, teachers, and partners the field

The new coding workshops will be located at the Houston Galleria, Willowbrook Mall, Memorial City, and Highland Village stores.

“The goal of Today at Apple is to give kids and families a fun, welcoming environment to explore new skills, with support from Apple Creatives and each other, in our stores worldwide. Trying a new skill like coding can sometimes feel intimidating, but this activity with Swift Playgrounds on iPad makes it fun and easy for beginners to get started and dive into the world of computer science, said Jahmyra Austin, Program Strategist for Today at Apple. “Coding and app development can help students think critically and creatively — skills that are universally applicable no matter what careers they choose to pursue and can help them prepare to be the innovators of tomorrow.” 

According to Apple, students, families and educator will have the opportunity to do the following:

Explore App Development: Participants ages 10 and up are invited to learn more about the growing field of computer science in a fun, welcoming environment.

Get Access to Apple Creative Pros: Aspiring coders and their guardians can engage in interactive activities with team members using iPad and Swift Playgrounds.

Become Part of the Larger Apple Education Community: Using the tips and tricks from these sessions, learners can personalize a sample app project that celebrates a place or tradition that’s important to them using the About Me playground.

Jones Mayes II, is a 17-year-old Carnegie Vanguard High School senior. He won Apple’s 2022 Swift Student Challenge, a student scholarship as part of Apple’s annual Worldwide Developer Conference. Mayes developed an app called IVY, to help users quickly detect invasive plants by using your location, uploading pictures, or using your camera. 

He learned coding basics and helped him learn how to solve problem impacting his community. Mayes said the experience affirmed him that he was good enough to become a software engineer in the future and has submitted college applications to schools such as the University of Southern California, Harvey Mudd College, and Stanford.

“IVY is not only functional but fun. It was inspired by my grandfather who had a community garden in Tunica, Mississippi. In this garden I made many of my childhood memories, but I distinctly remember that we always had to fight the invasive Kudzu vine,” Mayes said. “When he passed away during the pandemic, I knew I wanted to honor his legacy by building IVY for Apple’s Swift Student Challenge.”

Families that are interested in their children participating in these new coding workshops can sign up at

Upcoming local sessions for “Coding Lab for Kids: Code Your First App”

Apple Memorial City

Saturday, December 17, 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Laura Onyeneho

I cover Houston's education system as it relates to the Black community for the Defender as a Report for America corps member. I'm a multimedia journalist and have reported on social, cultural, lifestyle,...