Frequently Asked Questions

CHESS

Why should my child play Chess?


Chess promotes cognitive abilities and teaches children to think analytically & logically, while helping with their attention and memory.




Does Chess have Educational benefits?


Chess supports intellectual growth, strengthens memory and improves academic performance. It is well documented that Chess is a powerful tool for developing crictical & ethical thinking, while building important decision-making skills.




When should my children start playing Chess?


We generally recommend the child be at least 5 years old. However, it really depends on your child. A mature child that is an active learner can start early and will advance more quickly. We have found some 5-year-old children not ready at first, but within a few years, are more than ready. Basically, if they display an interest, give Chess a try!




How often should my child play Chess?


Obviously, as much as possible! If nobody is available, we suggest you allow your children to play online. For beginners up to about 12 years old, we recommend chesskid.com, available HERE. We like chesskid for its simple interface and parental controls. For older children or more advanced players, we recommend they will benefit from playing with LIchess, available HERE.




How often should my child attend a class or visit with a Coach?


At a minimum, at least once a week. Our STEAMchess Programs are typical 10 to 12 classes per Program Session and conducted on a weekly basis, for two hours per class. This should be enough to get them started. However, to increase their familiarity with Chess they should be playing Chess regularly with a family memeber or on-line. If your serious about chess, private tutoring is also recommended. A combination of group & private lessons, regular game play and club tournaments are necessary to advance.




Does STEAMchess provide private lessons?


At request we can provide or recommend a Coach suitable for your child's ability




Can I trust your Coach is best for my child?


STEAMchess searches long and hard to find the best and most suitable individuals to teach our children. All our instructors have a love for the grand game of Chess. Many compete professionally around the world and have years' experience teaching Chess. Our instructors come from many backgrounds, but it is fundamentally important to us, they love teaching children. All STEAMchess instructors are throrughly vetted, professionally background checked and fingerprinted.




Is a computer necessary my child to play chess?


Not really, but in todays ditigally obessed envirnoment, absolutely! Our Coaches regularly encourage their students to play online, participate in online lessons and watch online chess videos. Without online game play, it is possible that child may fall behind the other children in their class. We have found that when children fall behind, they get discouraged and may want to leave chess behind. Which is the opposite of what we're aiming ot achieve. At STEAMchess, we aim to build their confidence and push as fast as logically permitted, so they find success.




What is a 'Chess Rating'?


The US Chess Federation ("USCF") is the offical governing body for American Chess players and uses a Standardized Rating sytem to gauge relative player strength. USCF Ratings are used in a Chess Tournament to pair players appropriately. Ratings are also used to set Tournament Sections. For example, an 'Under 1200 Section' would limit under 1200 Rated players to play in the 'Under 1200 Section'. This allows Tournament Directors to pair children within their playing ability. A player's Rating climbs with every Tournament win and falls with every loss. The higher the rating, the more advance the player. Ratings are also impacted by an the strength or weakness of an opponent's rating.




How does my child get a Rating?


With STEAMchess there is no hurry to recieve a Chess Rating or rush to play in a Chess Tournament. Our Coaches are constantly gauging our Program's Participants and will prepare your child for the the tournament environment when they feel a child is ready. Likewise, our Coaches will never pressure a child to play in a Chess Tournament. Generally, you will know when the child is ready. Once the decision is made to attend your first Chess Tournament our Coaches will work closely with you. To play in a Rated Section, your child will need a USCF Membership: HERE . A child will recieve their initial Rating after their first Chess Tournament. Additioanlly for those interested in a Tournnment but are not sure if they want to play in a Rated Section, they may play in an UNRATED Section for young and new players. For many, this is the best approach to their first Tournament, as it will test their skills and help build confidence before advancing further.




How do I know when my child is ready for their first Chess Tournament?


Easy, when your child asks to play in a Chess Tournament, it's probably time! Your child was likely inspired by playing a sibling, a classmate or a Coach. Once they have the basics covered; demnostrate confidently how the Chess pieces move, understand basic game play and can manage to get through to the endgame, their ready! To play in any Novice Section, children should know how to win, lose or draw and identify checkmate, like a good sportsman.




Do Chess Tournaments have rules?


Yes, Chess Tournaments have several basic and important rules that need to be respected. By the time we identify a child will participate in their first Chess Tournament, our Coaches will reinforce the following with the child during the Tournament Prep Classes prior to the event:

  1. Touch Move. The most basic and important rule of Tournament Chess. Is a rule that specifices if a player deliberately touches a piece on the board, when it is their turn to move, then they must move or capture that piece (of course if such legal move exists). If it is the player's piece that was touched, it must be moved if they have a legal move. If the opponent's piece was touched, it must captured if it can be captured with a legal move.
  2. Chess Notation. In a Tournament, Chess Notation is required by all players to record all the moves of both players to resolve disputes about whether a player has made an illegal move and what or where the position should be.
  3. Time, is recorded by Chess Clocks. Once a player has run out of their alloted time, the opponent wins through default.
  4. Endgame. Once a game ends, the players will raise their hand and a Tournament Director will come and record the result.





CODING

What is CODING?


Coding a language used to create websites, applications and software.




Why should my Children learn CODING?


The biggest benefit to coding is computational thinking. Computation thinking is the art of solving probelms, designing sophisticated mathematical systems and understanding human behavior that draws on the concepts fundamental to computer science.




When should my Children start CODING?


You can start your child coding early. It engages their minds and promotes interests in mathematics and science. Typically, a calm, mature child can start coding as early as seven or eight years old. However, for your child to recieve the full benefit from a coding Class, we suggest you introduce coding when they're between the 5th and 9th grades.




What is a Computer Programming Class?


Computer programming is the process of designing and building an executable computer program for accomplishing a specific computing task. Programming involves tasks such as analysis and generating algorithms in a chosen programming language, commonly referred to as coding. Our specially designed STEAMchess Coding Classes introduces computer programming to kids in a fun and engaging manner. and at a level they understand. Our Coding Classes will take you child through the process of coding and designing executable applications, whether it be website oir application related. Our Coding Classes are fun, egaging and very popular.




Why Python CODING?


Python is a fun, easy to learn, powerful programming language that has multiple useful academic applications. It has efficient high-level data structures and simple but very effective approacesh to object-oriented programming. Python's elegant syntax and dynamic typing, together with its interpreted nature, make it an ideal language for young minds to learn scripting and application development that will form the basis of learning computer lanagaues which are the foundation of computer programming.





GENERAL

I had a problem with Registering my Children, what should I do?


To start please reference our Registration Page FAQ. This is a helpful resource that will solve most Registrations questions. Likewise, you can alwyas give us a call @ 917-617-3008 and one our friendly representatives will assit you.




Do you offer discounts?


Yes, we currently offer Sibling Discounts which only applies after the registration of the first child; afterwards additional siblings may recieve a 10% discount for that program. Discount Code: DISCOUNT10




What is your Refund Policy?


Please reference the Registration Policy for the Program you are attending. This can be found on the Regisration Page, Details section of your Program.




Is my Personal Information safe when I Register?


Yes! at STEAMchess, great effort is placed on our database security and regulatory compliance to ensure all data that passes through our systems is safe and secure. For more information please reference our Privacy Policy.




What is your 'Student Code of Conduct'?


STEAMchess prides itself on providing a safe, friendly and fun envirnoment for all students. STEAMchess students are encouraged to act in a manner that promotes gracious sportsmanship while fostering new friendships. Students are expected to be respectful of their peers, Instructors and STEAMchess staff. Harmfull and negative behavior by students attending our programs will not be tolerated, and parents of these students will be notified. If harmful and negative behavior continues, those students will be asked to leave the program.





Enrichment Programs for Kids!

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" Play for fun and play to win! "