Meet Our Mentors – Surabhi Mundada

Surabhi is studying Computer Science at Stanford University and has held multiple research positions, including in deep learning. Even though she is now working on extremely advanced material, Surabhi enjoys teach coding and STEM fundamentals, including leading a girls club in high school.

Why is it important for kids to start coding when young?

Coding is something that involves lots of creativity! I believe that coding is not only a fun activity for kids to do when they are young, but it also teaches kids lots of useful tools from a young age, such as math, engineering, thinking out of the box, and problem solving. By starting coding at a young age, kids can learn how to approach complex problems by breaking down problems into smaller steps. Plus, coding teaches the useful skill of determination – kids can learn how to approach challenges and problems by learning how to solve and debug problems effectively.

When did you start to code?

My first project involving coding was the summer after 9th grade, in summer school for a robotics class. This involved lots of block programming and taught me how break down large problems into smaller, more solvable steps. Then, my first real programming experience was in 10th grade, when I started doing a project using the Arduino. I learned how to code on the Arduino using the Arduino’s C language, and have loved coding ever since!

What advice do you have for kids learning how to code?

Coding and computer science are huge fields! There are so many things to do with coding – you can make games, you can do math, you can solve challenges, you can try to create devices! Make sure to explore all these different aspects within coding to figure out what things you like.