Lubbock teenager wins national coding award

LUBBOCK, TX (COMMUNICATED) – Michael Kongstvedt, an 8th grader at JT Hutchinson Middle School, was honored with the “Super Ninja of the Year” award for the United States by Code Ninjas today at their annual Ninja Con conference and the award ceremony in Pearland. Michael has been building his coding skills at Code Ninjas in Lubbock since it opened in 2019.

Michael was chosen from tens of thousands of “ninjas” (Code Ninjas terminology for his students) at over 350 Code Ninjas locations across the United States. Amy Slaughter, owner and director of the Code Ninjas Lubbock Center, nominated Michael for the award after seeing him take the initiative to develop the skills he was learning through the Code Ninjas program and develop them into his own video games. exciting and complex.

“Michael is a joy in the Dojo,” Slaughter said. “He brings a positive vibe every time he visits our center. He’s creative, he thinks outside the box and his games always have a purpose and a little something extra. It’s been an absolute joy to watch him grow at the past two years. We hope to hire him as Sensei when he’s old enough. His future is BRIGHT, and we’re so proud to say he’s a Code Ninja in Lubbock, TX!

Code Ninjas’ goal is to enable tomorrow’s innovators to thrive in a digital future through fun and immersive environments, and Michael certainly fits the bill. He wants to continue his budding career in video game development and one day make games full-time. He is a member of Code Ninjas CREATE, a multi-year program where children visit the center weekly to work through a color belt system – white belt to black belt – similar to a martial arts dojo. By the time Michael gets his black belt, he will have created his own proprietary game or app, with the ability to publish it to popular app stores. He is also a member of the new First LEGO League (FLL) team of Code Ninjas, a national competitive robotics league.

“I’m pretty sure that if I hadn’t been introduced to Code Ninjas, I probably wouldn’t even have learned the code,” Michael said. “It helped me learn more about code and decide that I probably want a career in it.”

Michael received a trophy, a Code Ninjas prize pack, and an Oculus Quest VR gaming system as part of the prize.

At Code Ninjas, kids learn to code in a fun, safe, and social learning environment where play is celebrated and STEM is cool. Code Ninjas offers kids the opportunity to immerse themselves in fun, challenging, and rewarding projects and activities that will engage them and bring out skills that will serve them well as they grow. Everything about Code Ninjas is built around fun, which keeps kids coming back. The program is self-paced, but not self-learning; kids receive immediate help and encouragement from Code Sense is and other ninjas as they progress from white belt to black belt, as part of the nine-belt program that makes up Code Ninjas CREATE. Young children can participate in Code Ninjas JR, and all ages can participate in summer camps to instill problem-solving and critical-thinking skills in future leaders. To learn more about opportunities for children near you, visit

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