How will you be spending your November? 🤔 Come and celebrate the end of exams and the start of the holidays with our fun list of techtivities (tech + activities) while still staying safe!

Let’s start off with November’s #TechFact – it’s something that all of us are familiar with! 👀 And stay tuned till the end for our very new segment called #TechNews, where we bring you all the cool news on how tech is being used in Singapore! 🤖

Did you know that the QWERTY keyboard we have today is designed to slow you down? This is because when typewriters were first introduced, people were able to type very quickly, which then caused the keys to jam! 

Image for #TechFact (November Techtivities)
Take a closer look at your keyboard – which letters do you usually use the most? 👀 Do you think there would be any modifications made in the future? 🤔 Truly some food for thought indeed!

Now that we’re all warmed up, keep scrolling to discover techtivities that you and your family can indulge in this month! 😉

National Gallery’s Children Biennale

Children’s Biennale by the National Gallery is back for its third edition, this time with a “phygital” (physical + digital) experience! Children up to 12 years old will get to embark on a journey of creative exploration and character-building through 9 artworks. These interactive art experiences seek to empower children to navigate these changing times with empathy and confidence.

It’s truly so awesome to see technology and art working hand-in-hand to bring more fun and joy to children across the globe! Join in the fun with your children and have a whale of a time exploring the art experiences by the National Gallery. 🎨

Children's Biennale Banner (Nov Techtivities)

Details:
Includes: Hybrid exhibition that features online and on-site artworks to foster self-expression and creative exploration.
When: May – December 2021
Where: Online + National Gallery
Price: Free
Learn more here.


Otah & Friends Bus Tour

Hop on the Otah & Friends Bus Tour for an exciting 4-hour adventure with the kids! You’ll get to visit 2 local farms to learn about hydroponic farming techniques and get up close with goats. Taste fresh produce (like creamy goat milk and crisp vegetables!) and even shop at the organic market (only on the weekends) for the freshest greens and more. You’ll even be handed a free Otah & Friends pillow, which is perfect for cuddling during the bus ride!

It certainly is a unique opportunity to expose your little ones to science, engineering and technology as they see how the farms operate with their very own eyes! 👀 There are 3 pick-up points that you can choose from for transport to the farms – Chinatown, Seng Kang and Choa Chu Kang MRT. Check out this link to learn more about the pick-up timings! 

Otah & Friends Bus Tour Banner (Nov Techtivities)

Details:
Includes: Get hands-on experience in harvesting fresh produce and tasting them, learn about hydroponics farming techniques and feed animals!
When: 30 October – 20 November 2021
Where: Kok Fah Technology Farm + Hay Dairies
Price: $45 per pax
Book your slots here.


Learning Beautiful’s Learning at Home Activities

A lot of us are still spending much of our time at home in order to stay safe and keep the virus at bay. If you’re running out of ideas on what to do – why not spend family time well and meaningfully with Learning Beautiful’s free Learning at Home activities

Learning Beautiful’s DIY materials and activities for parents and children are great to introduce your little ones to computer science without the use of screens. Plus, they are FREE and printable for your convenience! You can check back weekly as activities are constantly being uploaded. Subscribe to their mailing list to be notified whenever the list is updated! ✉️

Image of Stacks with Pancakes activity (Nov Techtivities)
This Stacks – Pancake Pandemonium! is one of the many fun activities that you and your child can do to learn about stacks, a kind of data structure in computer science that are used for collecting and organising information.

Details:
Includes: Exciting activities to do with kids in the comfort of home.
Price: Free
Learn more here.


Coding Bytes: Nursery Rhymes

Coding Lab’s latest video series Coding Bytes is the best way to learn programming if you’re looking for something easy and quick to digest! Follow our step-by-step tutorial videos with your little ones by your side and be introduced to the wonderful world of Scratch. In the newest tutorial Nursery Rhymes, Tutor Joanne programmes our favourite childhood tunes! 🎶 She’ll teach us how to use musical notes to make well-loved rhymes – we’ve got Mary Had A Little Lamb, Baa Baa Black Sheep and Three Blind Mice! 🎹 ⁣⁣

Added your favourite nursery rhyme? Tag us @codinglabasia on Facebook or Instagram and stand a chance to be featured! 😉 Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel too to get notified on our latest videos.

Details:
Includes: Engaging, fun and quick tutorials on Scratch programming.
Price: Free
Watch the series here.


End the year with a bang in our
Year-End Coding Camps!

Celebrate the end of another fruitful year with us in our Year-End Coding Camps! 🥳 If your little one is between the ages of 4 to 18, we’ve got exciting workshops specially for them to get the best start in coding! You can sign up and join in the fun here.

We assure you that your child will be in safe hands with us – safe distancing measures will be put in place at all times and you can even opt for Online classes anytime. If you have any queries, feel free to drop us an email, call us or WhatsApp us to get in touch! 

Year-End Coding Camp Banner

Details:
Date: 20 Nov – 31 December 2021
Location: Online, Parkway Parade, Bukit Timah (KAP Mall)
Price: From $401.52
To find out more, click here.


We’ll end off this month’s Techtivities a bit differently – with a new segment called #TechNews! Have you ever wondered what are the latest tech happenings in Singapore? 🤔 Well, you can now stay up to date with Coding Lab’s monthly #TechNews, as we bring you all the cool news on how tech is being used in Singapore! 🤖

This month’s tech news is about Jun Ming, an NUS student who utilises Artificial Intelligence to program his bicycle to ride on its own! 👨‍💻🚴 It’s truly so fascinating to see how AI is being innovatively used today. 🤩 Just imagine the wonderful things your child can create when he/she learns about AI too!

If you haven’t seen our previous techtivity recommendations, check out our October #TechtivitiesOfTheMonth, which includes more cool tech-related activities you can do with friends and family!


Best-in-class Curriculum for Coding

Awards (600 x 129)
We are honoured to be the winner of multiple awards Thank You for your support.

Hop on board the Coding Lab train! Click here to get our monthly newsletters straight to your inbox.

Ages 4-6 | Ages 7-9 | Ages 10-12 | Ages 13-18

Call us at +65 6528 2282
Email us at learntocode@codinglab.com.sg
Chat with us via WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger

With coding a skill that is highly sought after, and with more kids getting interested with coding from a very young age, here’s our all-in-one DSA guide just for you

Many parents have been asking us about our Direct School Admission (DSA) P300 Portfolio Preparation Programme, so we thought that we’d share some pointers for you on whether your child should DSA (Coding) and how to prepare him/her for it.

For those of you who are not so familiar with what DSA is all about, it is a programme that enables students to gain direct entry to certain secondary schools based on their talent in sports, CCAs and specific academic areas.

And the question remains: Should my child DSA (Coding) into the school of their choice? 

There are many factors to consider before reaching an answer to this question, and here’s a list of the most important pointers (we’ve interviewed our experienced DSA educators) that will help guide you in making an informed decision on what is best for your child.


Is Your Child Passionate about Coding?

Image of students in class

Before deciding to do DSA (Coding), it is crucial to sit down and have a talk with your child to better understand his/her passion and enthusiasm for coding.

Does he/she have a high interest and is always highly motivated to work on this/her own individual projects? Especially in between coding classes? Do they constantly create and share new programs, apps on their own?

According to our experienced DSA educators, successful DSA students have similar traits in them: they are independent learners with a lot of drive and a curious mind!

In fact, we have spectacular primary school students who have been enthusiastic about coding since young and are self-taught in certain topics, making them more advanced than students their age. Such passionate students also go a step further and work on their own projects right after attending coding classes with us. This is an important step that will further accelerate their understanding and learning, by choice.

Some of our young Unstoppable Coders are: 

Photo of Aarhan Saluja (DSA to SJI)

Aarhan Saluja
12 years old
DSA to St. Joseph’s Institution

Having had his first touch with coding in Primary 3, Aarhan joined Coding Lab in 2019. His passion for coding grew over the years and with active participation in his Robotics CCA and coding classes, he was able to build a substantial portfolio! With many great projects to aid him in our DSA Programme, he successfully entered St. Joseph’s Institution (SJI)!

Photo of Jake Ian Tan (DSA to NUS High)

Jake Ian Tan
13 years old
DSA to NUS High

A boy who has always been passionate about technology, Jake started learning how to code back in 2016 when he was just 8 years old. Showing great potential in Scratch, he was invited to join the Gifted Coders class. We’re delighted to see him grow as a coder over the years and now start his exciting journey in NUS High!


What is The School they want to DSA into?

Learning more about the school your child wants to enter is important. This is because some schools have different requirements for students who want to do DSA (Coding). You can check out what are the schools that accept DSA (Coding) at MOE’s SchoolFinder website or refer to Coding Lab’s list right here.

List of DSA Schools (Image)
Source: MOE
Learn more about the latest DSA updates here.

The DSA Timeline

Image of DSA Timeline
Source: MOE

The selection process for DSA (Coding) typically involves assessments to determine whether or not students are fit for the programme.

Different schools have different expectations for DSA (Coding). Some focus on advanced level programming, others insist on a well crafted portfolio that shows strong community impact, while others emphasise on being able to program with specific gadgets. Regardless, it is important to do proper research to find the school that would fit your child’s strengths. You can also speak to our DSA educators who will be happy to share their insights on DSA (Coding) with you.

In addition to a good portfolio, schools value your child’s achievements – more so if they are under the category your child is trying to enter the school with! A good way to rack up your child’s achievements (and also build their portfolio!) is through entering Coding Lab’s competitions like Young Coders Global Hackathon (YCGH) or International Coding Showcase (ICS). 😉

With Coding Lab’s competitions, our students have been able to showcase their coding talents. Our bright-eyed student Kieran Ho who successfully entered NUS High won first place (Python and Electives) at Coding Lab’s ICS 2020 (JP-SG)! He was also the awardee of Most Promising Young Coder at the YCGH 2020. With Kieran’s many talents and achievements with Coding Lab, it’s no wonder he successfully got into NUS High! 

*Important: Many schools require students to commit to a Co-Curricular Activity (CCA) affiliated to the type of DSA they entered with. E.g. Students will have to join the Infocomm or Robotics Club. Be very sure this is what suits your child best, should he/she attain a place via DSA (Coding).

Image of Jun Ray receiving his 1st Position Award

Our student Ang Jun Ray emerged as champion in the HCI Infocomm Challenge 2019. We are proud to see him grow as a young coder over the years as he completes each and every course of our learning roadmap. A hardworking and enthusiastic young coder, Jun Ray was even offered multiple DSAs at Raffles Institution and Hwa Chong Institution! 

Image of Aahan and Leah on stage to receive their award (Ziv: Absent)

Our three talented students won 1st Prize at the IMDA Code:Xtreme Apps (CXA) 2019 Hackathon! Organised annually by IMDA to challenge minds and inspire innovative solutions for current issues, Aahan, Leah and Ziv worked hard to come up with innovative digital solutions for the hackathon theme “Digital Transformation for a Better World”. 

Learn more about our students’ achievements here! 🤩


Does Your Child Have a Good Support System in their Coding Journey?

A parent’s support is like no other. In order for your child to flourish in the DSA (Coding) journey, your invaluable support is crucial! With it, your child will be further motivated to do and achieve so much more. 

Image of Educator Evan (DSA blogpost)

It is important to take note that your budding coder will be doing something in addition to the required number of academic subjects, so he/she will be busy trying to juggle them all at once. Having regular check-ins with them to talk and be more understanding about their situation will make them feel supported and cared for. 

Giving words of encouragement and useful tips for your child to balance both academics and coding projects would also give them that extra boost to do their very best! ✊

Check out Be Your Child’s Cheerleader for more tips on how to cheer your child on for school.
Check out Useful Resources for your child to excel. 


Need Help? Our DSA Coaching Programme can assist!

Parents, know that the DSA journey can be a very daunting one, even more so for those wanting to do DSA (Coding)! Where can you get help in order to ensure that your child is well taken care of in this journey?

Header image for DSA Portfolio blog

Coding Lab’s DSA Coaching Programme is a 1-1 programme that would mould your child well for the selection process. Students in late Primary 5 to early Primary 6 will have several consultation sessions (recommended number of 3) to build up their portfolio, with each session lasting for 2 hours. As the DSA Submission typically takes place in May every year, Coding Lab’s DSA Coaching will occur from January to April.

To be better prepared for our DSA Coaching, students are recommended to complete our Ages 10-12 Roadmap.

Your child can start as early as Primary 3 (going on to Primary 4) / Primary 4 in order to finish the necessary courses and attain a basic level of competency! With sufficient knowledge from these courses, a solid and unique portfolio can be built during the DSA consultation sessions. 

In late Primary 5 to early Primary 6, several 1-1 DSA consultation sessions will be conducted to build up their portfolio. A minimum of 3 sessions is recommended, with each session lasting for 2 hours. In order to maximise the DSA training sessions, your child is expected to work on their own in between sessions based on the direction from the DSA supervisor assigned to them. 

Our P300 programme consists of:

  • Initial 1-on-1 Consultation
    Your child will be paired up with one of our dedicated specialists to better understand your child’s needs for DSA. What are their goals? What do they hope to achieve? A better understanding of your child’s wants and needs will help form a better DSA journey!
  • Shortlisting of Target Schools
    A list of target schools will be chosen based on your child’s interests and goals.
  • Customised Achievement Plan
    With an end goal in mind, our educators will help craft a plan with your child to take small but sure steps towards becoming a well-prepared DSA student.
  • Portfolio Development
    Our dedicated educators will work with your child to select or build good projects that showcase their strength and understanding in programming. Depending on the school they wish to apply for, their portfolio will be crafted closely to match the school’s requirements. 

    Your child will also acquire advanced problem-solving skills in 3 categories namely Micro:bit, Python and App Development and obtain practical skills by creating his/her own apps and projects. This will allow your child’s portfolio to stand out among the rest.

  • Interview Preparation
    Students will also be prepped with interview tips that will give them that extra edge compared to other candidates!

“I always look forward to meeting students who have a passion for coding and I find great joy in helping them bring their programming skills to the next level. At such a young age, they have already done so many projects to put in their portfolio. It’s great to see them learning life-long skills that will prepare them for their future!“
– DSA Tutor Edmund Teow

Image of Edmund and students (DSA blogpost)
Tutor Edmund with his students!

With the help of our trusty educators, our students will be able to build awesome portfolios that show how capable they are in their coding skills! Check out what our student Aarhan has to say about his DSA journey with us!

Photo of Aarhan Saluja (DSA to SJI)
Aarhan Saluja (DSA to SJI)

“The DSA prep classes focused not only on the knowledge of codes, but also presentation skills and how we can apply our knowledge in making the world a better place. My ideas were constantly discussed in the sessions which my tutor elicited from me without spoon feeding. She was very encouraging and helped me boost my confidence and creativity to a whole new level.”
– Aarhan Saluja, DSA (Innovation), SJI, 2022


We hope that these pointers have been useful in helping you make an informed decision on whether or not your child should embark on the DSA (Coding) journey. You can learn more about Coding Lab’s Coaching Programme to see if it works for your child.

Learn more about the latest MOE DSA updates here.

Best-in-class Curriculum for Coding

Awards (600 x 129)

We are honoured to be the winner of multiple awards
Thank You for your support.

Hop on board the Coding Lab train! Click here to get our monthly newsletters straight to your inbox.

Ages 4-6 | Ages 7-9 | Ages 10-12 | Ages 13-18

Call us at +65 6528 2282
Email us at learntocode@codinglab.com.sg
Chat with us via WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger

Today, we meet Evan, one of our educators at Coding Lab! Since he was in secondary school, Evan has honed his expertise in coding. He is patient, focused and loving, constantly encouraging his students and shining a spotlight on them. Like all our educators, he finds purpose and passion in teaching coding to children.

Hi Evan, could you share a bit about yourself and how you embarked on your coding journey?

Team Photo - Evan, Educator
Meet Evan, our passionate educator, who has been with us since November 2018

In secondary school, I had to select an elective, and that was when I found out that I could take up Computing as a GCE O-Level subject. I gave it a shot, and that was when I discovered that it was so interesting to learn about technology and the different things that I could create.

This led me to choose a related course in polytechnic, which then led to my posting at the Ministry of Home Affairs for my National Service. I was tasked with creating different technological solutions for people in different Home Team departments, and I was fascinated at how technology could benefit people in so many various ways. Hence, I decided to major in Business Information Systems in university to learn even more about technology – and it is ever-changing, so I am still always learning!

What inspired you to teach coding?

While I was doing my internship in my polytechnic days and serving my National Service, I realised that a lot of people were still handling typical work tasks manually in very traditional methods when automation could easily be performed to make it more efficient. Many people still do not know about it and think of coding as something that is very complicated, something that can only be done by programmers. This inspired me to share my knowledge with others to help them understand that coding isn’t something that is complicated, and that anyone can learn to code.

I then chanced upon an opportunity to teach at Coding Lab in November 2018, and I thought, why not? Seeing my students come in with no knowledge of coding in their first lesson and watching them grow as they start to passionately show me what they have coded at home brought me immense joy.

Photo of Evan and his students holding up the new Augmented Reality textbooks for P11S-AR
Evan with his pumped Young Computer Scientist students

From there, I discovered my own passion for teaching. I decided to continue my journey with Coding Lab as an Adjunct Educator throughout my education and upon graduation, where I can continue doing what I love.

“It’s great seeing them grow from making minor errors in codes to creating big projects on their own without much help!”

Why is it important that children learn how to code?

In today’s digital age, technology is an integral part of most of our lives. Coding allows us to train our computational thinking skills, applying it to areas like math, improving logical thinking and problem-solving for creative solutions. Even if students do not become programmers in the future, it would still be beneficial to learn to code. These computational thinking skills can be applied in school and in their daily lives as well. Today, it’s great that more parents and students are witnessing the digital transformation in our world and are valuing the importance of learning to code too.

Zoom photo of Evan and his P201 App Inventor students
Evan teaching online and connecting with his students

What motivates you to keep teaching?

One of my favourite moments that keep me going would be seeing my students grasp the concepts taught in class and they are then able to apply them on their own. There is no one answer when it comes to coding and it’s always interesting to see how they independently code with their new knowledge. Some of them can get really creative and have unique ideas of their own!

What is your most memorable class experience thus far?

My most memorable class experience would be seeing some of my Python 1 students advancing on to Python 2 and 3, and eventually to our Advanced Application and Electives programme. It’s great seeing them grow from making minor errors in codes to creating big projects on their own without much help!

Photo of Evan guiding his students through their code
Passionately guiding his students through their codes

In particular, I used to teach a few students in my Python Perfect classes who were initially not that strong in their Python coding. Through their lessons, they slowly made improvements, and gradually grew their interest in coding. Some have progressed to the more advanced courses, and even taking the initiative to create their own personal projects at home!

What advice would you give other teachers on how to manage a class?

Keep calm and cope with the situation! Often different situations could arise in classes, so it’s important to observe the students and adapt accordingly.

Thank you, Evan, for taking the time to share your experiences with us. We know you will continue to care for and inspire our future leaders in technology, both as their teacher and role model!

(Written by Amanda Soh)

Read Next: Coding Lab Educator Feature with Edmund Teow


Best-in-class Curriculum for Coding

Awards (600 x 129)

We are honoured to be the winner of multiple awards
Thank You for your support.

Hop on board the Coding Lab train! Click here to get our monthly newsletters straight to your inbox.

Ages 4-6 | Ages 7-9 | Ages 10-12 | Ages 13-18

Call us at +65 6528 2282
Email us at learntocode@codinglab.com.sg
Chat with us via WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger