The Code-it Hacks' team is as unconventional as our teaching methods and curriculum. We have put together a team with a holistic mindset. All our team members have sound teaching skills, technology skills and a deep understanding of child psychology. 

Being a Microsoft school, every member of the team goes through vigrous training and is required to attain the following technical certification where applicable:

  • Microsoft Innovative Educator

  • Teach Creative coding through Games & Apps


  • Raspberry Pi instructor

  • Python

  • Making with Microbits

  • Arduino

  • Makey Makey


Mandatory Pedagogy certifications in:

  • Amplifying Student Voice

  • Problem Based Learning

  • Digital citizenship

  • 21st century learning design

All our educators and mentors are required to regularly provide Vulnerability Sector Check & CPR certification.

Shirin Merchant
Program Director
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Shirin began her humble beginnings in the field of Data and Analytics as a consultant in Toronto. With over 20 years of experience in planning, architecting and delivering a wide range of data and analytics solutions along with managing teams of data scientists and engineers, she has now ventured off to tackle her toughest clients: Children!

Teaching digital literacy to youth has been a very rewarding journey for her. She believes in imparting STEM skills to her students in a play-based yet very practical manner. Using design thinking principles, students are taught the art of coding from ideation to implementation. From the basics of graphical coding to the more advanced discipline of Artificial Intelligence, children learn the foundational skills via play and then dare to imagine their own possibilities.

"In my classroom, we only follow one rule: we challenge ourselves to break them all - Any one can code, just bring your imagination!. "

Kainat Sajid
Lead Educator
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Kainat is an undergraduate student at York University, currently pursuing a degree in Computer Science. Having tutored from an early age, she is very fond of teaching and hopes to encourage children to let their curiosity guide them.


Kainat enjoys the visual arts and is fascinated by how programming has significantly impacted the industry. From stop motion animation to Virtual Reality, she is very excited to see what barriers technological advancements will break; and is even more excited to be a part of that movement. 


“My goal in every classroom is to teach children to be curious, and to follow that natural curiosity. I believe this quality better equips children to tackle otherwise complex topics and concepts.  I have witnessed children pursue areas of study above their assigned grades because of this curiosity, and when fostered correctly, believe it has the potential to strengthen character and develop lifelong passions.” 

Sirine Dhaouadi 
Lead Educator
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Sirine is a graduate student at the University of Toronto studying Electrical Engineering with an emphasis in Energy Systems. She completed her undergraduate studies in Electrical Engineering, with a minor in Finance, at the American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates.


Sirine has previously worked with children teaching them STEM education in Dubai, and is looking forward to working with the children here. She truly believes a child’s imagination and curiosity cannot be taken for granted and that with STEM education, they are provided with the tools needed to turn their creativity into reality from an early age. 

David Rogers
Lead Educator
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David has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Waterloo and is trained in psycho-social rehabilitation. He also works in the industry as a solution analyst integrating machine learning into applications for education, medicine, and law enforcement.


As an avid gamer, David is well versed in game history, design, and industry trends. His philosophy: It's important to look at a game and ask what makes this fun? What are the intended or unintended consequences of the design and do they increase the quality of the experience and not just serve as a time sink.

"It's important the the students have their independence to follow what they're interested and use programing as a tool to get there. Python is great first language to learn and grow with a plethora of open source libraries to apply cool tools like visual processing, voice recognition, and machine learning."

Peiqi Hu
Coach & Mentor
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Peiqi finished her undergraduate in Electrical and Computer Engineering at McMaster University. Now she is currently pursuing her M.Eng degree in Electrical Engineering at University of Toronto. Being one of volunteers in the kindergarten to take care of children at high school, she was inspired and hopes children can enjoy with coding and circuits, and better prepared for their future. 


Peiqi believes “learning through playing” is the key for people to be enthusiastic about studying and adapt for new knowledge more quickly and deeply, especially for children. She was always fascinated by curiosity and creativity from children during the process of learning how to build a project, which is exactly what Code-it-Hacks encouraging for. 

Arham Abidi
Curriculum Editor & Mentor
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Arham is a student of Computational Mathematics & Computer Science at the University of Waterloo. Arham aspires to apply his learnings toward and advance his career in the field of Artificial Intelligence. Arham is a tinkerer at heart and leaves no stone unturned when on a technology related quest. An active participant in Kaggle, Arham challenges himself in many competitions pertaining to Data Science. 

We are fortunate to have Arham as a mentor at Code-it Hacks. Arham helps out with curriculum review and volunteering at our numerous coding events.

Daniel Sambar
Coach & Mentor
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Daniel is a senior at Bishop Allen Academy. He is passionate about game development and enjoys using his creative flair and technical skills to mentor young students in STEM. Daniel believes that learning any coding program is more impactful when taught in an environment that welcomes imagination and curiosity. As a coach and mentor he sees first-hand how STEM education allows children to develop their communication and problem-solving skills, especially when they are actively encouraged to talk about their ideas and observations.

Palak Sood
Coach & Mentor
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Palak is an engineering student at University of Guelph, currently completing her degree in Engineering Systems and Computing. Palak has a keen interest in challenging and dynamic fields, and believes teaching STEM through games is a great motivation for students.  


Palak is fond of designing mechanical systems and also enjoys several programming languages she has learned throughout the years in university. She is excited to teach and learn what technology has to offer.


“Teaching kids STEM skills at such an early stage is a great opportunity to hone their teamwork, problem solving and communication skills”

Leah Smolkin
Coach & Mentor
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Leah is a high school student at Branksome Hall. She aspires to pursue the field of Computer Science in University. Leah has been completely hooked to coding and is eager to learn more . Her calling came when she took an Introduction to Coding program at her school and absolutely loved it! Leah enjoys coding because of the creativity and imagination that goes hand-in-hand with it. At Code-it-Hacks, she loves to work and support the students in their learning while also sharing one of her passions. We are fortunate to have  Leah as a teaching assistant at Code-it Hacks. Her passion and dedication in supporting young students is a true asset for our team.





Code-it Hacks is fortunate to have support and valuable insights, mentorship & guidance from exceptional leaders from the industry and community. Our success is incomplete without the on-going support from our advisory panel.

The Advisory Board

Suzzane Gordon

Suzanne Gordon is passionate about achieving innovative, outcome-focused and learner-centred education policy and programs. As a senior leader in public policy and program design in the education and employment training sector, Suzanne has worked with education sector partners at the secondary and postsecondary level as well as regulatory bodies, community agencies and employer groups to design and deliver provincial programs and policies that help participants meet their education and employment goals. 

She has led a range of initiatives, including legislation for fair access to Ontario’s regulated professions, degree granting standards for Ontario’s postsecondary institutions and innovative bridge training programs that fast track highly skilled foreign trained professionals to put their talent and skills to work in Ontario. Working in the secondary education sector, Suzanne has led province-wide consultations on adult education, and examined opportunities to enhance student learning and well-being for students in the k-12 system. 

Prior to her government career, Suzanne taught at the Schulich School of Business and Osgoode Hall Law School. She holds a PhD in Law from Osgoode Hall Law School, and has a Masters in International Public and European Union Law from the Université de Montpellier, France.

Suzanne brings a wealth of knowledge in education domain. Code-it Hacks is fortunate to have Suzanne's guidance on types and quality of programs that are beneficial to Canadian children in the STEM domain! We welcome Suzzane to Code-it Hacks' family.

Advisory Board Panel Member

Clara Angotti

Clara Angotti has been an entrepreneur for most her professional career. Her ability to anticipate market trends and deliver with quality and excellence has allowed her to establish three successful businesses.

In 2006 Clara started Next Pathway, a technology consulting and engineering firm specializing in Big Data and Digital Transformation.

From 1993 to 2000 she was the VP of Sales/Marketing for Sage Information Consultants, a technology consulting firm focused on providing services based on the Microsoft platform. After her management contract was completed with the acquiring company, Clara co-founded M Systems Group (M) in February 2002. In 2005 M Systems Group’s success caught the attention of several multi-national firms and was acquired by Bell Canada in July 2006.

Among her accomplishments, Clara has been a three-time finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Clara is also a recipient of the prestigious 2011 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100™ Award by the Women’s Executive Network.  At the 2012 RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards, Clara was awarded the prestigious PROFIT Award for Excellence in Entrepreneurship, which is awarded to an individual who has launched one or more successful companies, has a proven track record of growth and profitability, and who is a role model to other entrepreneurs.

Clara received her Honours Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Toronto in 1988.  Clara was a member of the Board of Directors of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and is active in several charities in Toronto.  Together with her husband they donated a stage at the Bell Lightbox building in support of the Toronto International Film Festival.  They are supporters of St. Michael's Hospital, the Kapi’olani Medical Center for Women & Children in Hawaii and have raised thousands of dollars in support of ALS. 

We are excited to have Clara's oversight and leadership representation on our advisory panel. With her vast industry experience, Clara is advising Code-it Hacks in the areas of course content, technology demands & trends and growing talent needs in the digital field, thus helping us bring the right programs to our students.

Advisory Board Panel Member

Kim Curran

Kim Curran graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University with a Masters of Social Work and has over fifteen years of senior leadership experience in the field of children’s mental health.  Her expertise lies in the areas of program design, development and management; program evaluation; strategic visioning; collaboration and coalition building; and services to children and families.  Kim is a Program Director at a children’s mental health centre in the west end of Toronto and a Professor in the Infant Mental Health Program at Seneca College.  Kim has held volunteer roles and executive committee positions on the Board of Directors for several local community organizations.  Kim lives in the west end of Toronto and is the mother of two almost grown-up daughters.

We are fortunate to have Kim on Code-it Hacks advisory board. She provides valuable insights into program structures and designs from child development perspective.

Advisory Board Panel Member

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