A new centre in Windsor aims to teach children coding through building video games.

The first Canadian Code Ninjas centre debuted on Aug. 15 at 1950 Lauzon Rd.

This location is one of over 20 confirmed locations to open across Canada.

The Windsor centre is owned and operated by local resident and entrepreneur, Omar El-Sheikh.

"Coding taught my mind to work like a flowchart when it comes to making decisions," said El-Sheikh.. "STEM education will help shape thoughts and develop problem-solving skills and I wanted to not just bring this concept to my kids, but to all of my neighbour's children in Windsor."

El-Sheikh, a computer science graduate, saw how STEM education can develop problem-solving skills and influence the way people think and wanted to bring this opportunity to his children.

He says after seeing the lack of year-round curriculums, he decided to bring the first Canadian Code Ninjas to Windsor.

Windsor children ages 7-14 can visit the new Code Ninjas centre to learn how to code in a fun, safe and social learning environment where gaming is celebrated, and STEM is cool.

Code Ninjas features a robust, game-based curriculum made up of nine belts, just like martial arts. The curriculum is self-paced, but not self-taught; kids get immediate help and encouragement from Code Senseis and fellow students as they advance from white to black belt.

El-Sheikh says the program keeps kids motivated with little wins along the way, and "Belt-Up" celebrations where they receive color-coded wristbands to mark their graduation to the next level. By the time a child finishes the program, they will publish an app in an app store.

Code Ninjas offers a weeknight drop-in program, camps and Parents Night Out events on weekends.

Code Ninjas founder and CEO David Graham is a professional software developer who previously owned a successful chain of coding camps for adults. He launched the Code Ninjas brand in 2016 and has grown to over 150 locations throughout the U.S. with more than 330 locations in development.

"We're truly excited to expand into Canada and provide our northern neighbors a fun, rewarding, year round learning centre where kids have fun and parents see results," said Graham. "With each location being owned and operated by Canadian citizens, we're happy to have partners that know their community best and continue to give back to their local markets."

To celebrate the first centre in Canada, Code Ninjas Windsor is hosting a grand opening event Sept. 7.