Two kids build and test a robot that they work on.

Youth Code Jam, a nonprofit program to teach middle and high school students coding skills, started in San Antonio and has branched out to Austin.

Debi Pfitzenmaier started Youth Code Jam in 2012 at a San Antonio library with 30 people attending. The event has grown every year since then and has reached over 20,000 students and their parents across Texas.

In February, Youth Code Jam held its first event in Austin at the Austin Central Library. With over 350 participants, it was the most diverse Jam held in Texas with more girls (59 percent) than boys and 89 percent students of color participating.  

Now it’s returning with a low-sensory Youth Code Jam on Saturday, August 24th from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. The event is for middle and high school students who are gifted or twice-exceptional along with students with Asperger’s, ADHD, sensory processing challenges and other neuro diversities. It is for everyone from beginners to advanced coders.  The event takes place at the Austin Central Library at 710 W. Cesar Chavez. The event is free, but registration to attend is required. To sign up and for more information please go to

“We’ll have electronics, coding, and cybersecurity,” Pfitzenmaier said in an email statement. “Kids don’t have to know how to code to attend. But if they do, we’ll have the volunteer manpower to expand skills. Volunteers at the event are actual programmers and engineers from Google, Microsoft, IBM, Box, Silicon Labs, and others.”

The event is sponsored by the Austin Public Library,  Google Fiber, H-E-B and Oracle. Youth Code Jam also received a $10,000 donation from H-E-B upon the opening of its Eastside Tech Hub to support the non-profit organization’s work in San Antonio and Austin.