Once again, school holidays are approaching this September, but no worries! We have you covered with techtivities that would spark your child’s interest in technology while they enjoy themselves! 😄
Let’s start off with September’s #TechFact. Did you know that an Non-Fungible Token (NFT) made by artist Pak smashed the record price for cryptographic art in 2021? 🖼️ At USD $91.8 million, the art piece “The Merge” became the highest-valued art piece sold by a living artist, and still remains so until today, as of August 2022! (Source)
Now that we have learnt a new titbit, let’s get down to business and discover techtivities that you and your family can indulge in this month! ✨
ROARR! Dinosaur Adventure Park
If your little ones are fans of dinosaurs, this one is for you! Home to massive animatronic dinosaurs, get to see various “live” dinosaurs wriggling and squawking through the power of robotics. 🤖
With the help of Virtual Reality (VR) and interactive technologies, try various dinosaur-themed attractions such as the VR shooting game, interactive ball-pit, and many more! Your family is sure to have a blast with activities suitable for everyone. 😊
Details: When: until 25 September 2022 Where: Let’s Play @ Marina Square, #03-208/209 Price: From $25 Learn more here.
We Live in an Ocean of Air
Get to experience how we interact and depend on the natural world around us at the exhibition “We Live in an Ocean of Air”! This multi-sensory immersive installation is created by Marshmallow Laser Feast (MLF), one of the world’s leading experiential art collectives.
With the help of Virtual Reality technology (VR) and sensors, be transported across the globe to Sequoia National Park, California. Interact with the space around you and view the artwork that is produced from the results of your breath sensors and heart monitors! 🤩
Details: When: until 2 October 2022 Where: ArtScience Museum, VR Gallery, Level 4 Price: From $12 Learn more here.
See how technology and learning come together with Brookie Kids! An initiative by local mums, Brookie Kids aim to make speaking and learning Mandarin easier and more enjoyable through QR technology and interactive content. With partners all over Singapore, there are various activities at each location which can be accessed with just your phone! 📱
Scan the QR codes at various locations in store and your little ones can have fun learning Mandarin while you grab a snack and a drink to relax. ☕ You can also get a free Home Starter Pack to experience fun and learning from the comfort of your home! 🏡
Minions are sure popular this year! A Minion’s Perspective Experience is an international touring pop-up exhibition and has stopped over at Sentosa starting from September. 🤩
With 8 themed zones in total, get to see interactive technologies and fun interact through various games and activities such as the Immersive Goggles, the Digital Coloring Wall, Build A Minion game, Banana Mania game, and many more! Take a trip down this upcoming September holidays and your family will definitely experience a time of fun and laughter 😊
Details: When: 3 September 2022 to 2 January 2023 Where: 8 Sentosa Gateway, 098269 Price: From $18 Learn more here.
September Weekly and Holiday Camps
Make it a fun and educational school holiday for your child through our September holiday coding classes! Coding Lab’s MIT-inspired, award-winning curriculum is thoughtfully designed and curated for Ages 5 to 18, and we aim to instill a passion in coding in every student.👩💻
No problem if your child is already fully booked this September holidays, as we also have our weekly coding classes! To cater to everyone, we have both online and physical classes for you to choose from! Sign up here or feel free to drop us an email, call us orWhatsApp us to get in touch.😊
Details: When: 5 to 9 September (for holiday classes) Where: Online, Parkway Parade, Bukit Timah (KAP Mall) Price: From $401.52
In today’s highly technologised society, seniors often suffer from online scams 🤑 and misinformation ℹ️ due to a lack of digital literacy. 😥
A local 8-session hybrid course aimed to alleviate this problem by equipping seniors with tech-savvy skills. From TraceTogether tips to the latest TikTok trends 📈, a class of participants aged over 50 learnt useful day-to-day tech mechanisms!
Read more about this meaningful tech-education initiative here. 📗
If you haven’t seen our previous techtivity recommendations, check out our August #TechtivitiesOfTheMonth, which includes more cool tech-related activities you can do with friends and family!
(Written by Thinzar and Edited by Cheryl)
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Giving their child the best of everything is what every parent wants. Starting off on a good note in their learning journey is extremely crucial for our young ones, especially for coding. The earlier you get a head start, the easier it is to grasp and understand the concepts!
With an award-winning curriculum inspired by MIT, our Junior Coders Programme (JCP) is specially designed for little ones aged 5 to 6 to be introduced to the wonderful world of coding! They will learn computational thinking skills, which are applicable to both coding and other areas like Mathematics!
We’ve got four exciting themes in the curriculum:
Tinker with STEM
Hands-On Robotics, and
You can opt to attend our regular Weekly classes (5 x 2 hours) which go in-depth into each theme, or dip your child’s toes into various themes with our Holiday Camps (5 x 2 hours). You can also sign your child up for our themed workshops, which only takes 2 hours in order to accommodate the children’s short attention span!
1) Scratch Junior
Our young coders get introduced to their first-ever visual programming language, Scratch Junior. With inspiration from classic stories such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Five Little Monkeys, and more, kids get to code scenes and understand how to use coding blocks and sequence them correctly to form a story or a mini-game. They will have fun while learning important computational thinking skills to prep them for an increasingly digital world. What an awesome start to their programming journey!
See how our young coders like the one of the right become really focused on making their own creations on Scratch Junior! 👉
2) Tinker with Stem
Our tiny tots get to let their imagination run wild in our classes! They are given the opportunity to explore and learn to create light-up circuits with conductible materials, and afterwards, program them to work.
You may be wondering – what exactly does this have to do with coding? Our JCP focus not just on coding, but on equipping our students with computational thinking skills which are adaptable to different programming languages that they can learn in the future! Training their mindset to think logically will help them in the future – whether it be coding, or in other areas such as Science.
👈 Here’s one of our little tots proudly showing his light-up circuit!
3) Hands-on Robotics
Have you ever heard of Photon the Robot? In our Robotics-themed classes, our Junior Coders will get to go on interactive adventures with Photon as they program it to go on a treasure hunt for fruits, play sounds, blink in various colours and much, much more! Similar to Scratch Junior, they will learn to sequence blocks/instructions to achieve their desired outcome – an important problem-solving skill useful in various areas in life.
Our students here are absorbed in programming Photon, the educational robot, using the tablet. With sensors, lights and adorable sounds, Photon makes learning even more exciting! 👉
4) Binary and Pixels – Montessori-style (Screen-free!)
What is the Montessori method?
Discovered by Dr. Maria Montessori in 1907, the Montessori Method is based on self-directed activity, hands-on learning and collaborative play [Source].
This allows children to make their own creative choices when learning, while the classroom and trained teacher offer age-appropriate activities to guide the process. With the Montessori Method, children will discover and explore knowledge as they work in groups or individually, and gain a deeper understanding of what they are learning!
As your child learns through engaging activities, he/she would also get the opportunity to get hands-on with Montessori-inspired coding toys that have been designed at MIT and ethically produced in the USA!
Our Montessori-themed classes utilise the gorgeous wooden Learning at Home Set by Learning Beautiful. Suitable for ages 3 to 9, the set has hands-on materials such as the binary tree and pixel boards that enable children to learn the basics of computer science without screens. A sneak peek of the concepts taught include binary, conditionals, randomness and many more! By combining play and hands-on learning, your child will gain a good foundation in programming concepts while having endless hours of fun with the set!
So why Coding Lab’s Junior Coders Programme?
“Before I came to teach at Coding Lab, I did not know that programming concepts could be taught to young children in such interesting and effective ways! During our JCP classes, I can see how much the children enjoy learning from their excited faces. There were plenty of hands-on activities in the lesson plans that were very suitable for young children.”
– Educator Wan Xuan
As a trusted partner of IMDA, Coding Lab has brought the unique JCP curriculum to many preschools. We’ve even helped more than 7,000 bright preschoolers start their coding journey through our Tiny Thinkers initiative!
In addition to our thoughtfully planned and curated curriculum, our educators undergo extensive training so that our students will learn while having fun at the same time! 🤩
“We enjoyed our session very much. My child typically doesn’t sit still for too long, but he managed to follow the session, and the satisfaction and having created his own little program was unspeakable… pure joy written all over his face.”
– Meiling, Mother of Asher, one of our Junior Coders
As our Junior Coders are involved in engaging activities with Scratch Junior, STEM, Robotics, and Montessori-inspired toys, our passionate educators will be right by their side to ensure an enriching learning experience. We ensure a maximum student-to-teacher ratio of 1:6, so every child gets the attention that he or she deserves.
So what are you waiting for? Give your child the best head start – book your slot here today! 😉
* Tablets (Twin-sharing) are provided for Scratch Junior, but students are welcome to bring their own! All equipment is provided for Tinker with STEM, Robotics and Montessori. 😊
Here at Coding Lab, we often talk about our MIT-inspired and award-winning coding curriculum for children and teenagers Ages 5-18. But have you ever wondered what it takes to craft and create such a best-in-class curriculum that would challenge and engage kids at the right level? How do we make decisions about the curriculum and what are some frequently asked questions?
As a full scholarship recipient from the world-renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a former Regional Director in a US multinational company, with experience in a technology startup in Silicon Valley, Mr Yong Ning Foo shares with us why he chose to enter the education industry and the process of creating the award-winning Coding Lab curriculum.
Hi Mr Yong Ning, can you share with us your inspiration for starting Coding Lab?
Yong Ning: I founded Coding Lab out of a desire to prepare my two children and their peers for the technological future. Just like how English and Math are important, I firmly believe that technology is going to play a huge role in my kids’ lives and I wanted to equip our future leaders with the best skills to create meaningful changes and innovative solutions in the world. In a way, I also wanted to introduce my favourite subject to them through fun!
By the time I was satisfied with the curriculum I had come up with to teach my own kids to code, I already knew that I had found my purpose and was determined to do my part to teach the world to code.
It’s interesting that you wanted to teach your own children to code! How did it progress to become teaching thousands to code through Coding Lab?
Yong Ning: The journey all began when I was researching how I could teach my children to code to prepare them for the future. I was excited to utilise my strengths (in computers, coding and logical thinking) to develop an engaging and effective curriculum. With programmes like Scratch, kids can now learn to code at a young age, comparable to teaching them Science or the piano and I was excited to curate a magical curriculum that is age-appropriate and which would gift them essential computational thinking skills for life.
At the same time, I was coaching a few team members at work on automating their analytical work and I realised that the world would really be more efficient if everyone knew how to code. This was back in 2015, and after listening to a TED talk by Mitchel Resnick (one of the developers of Scratch) on the way to work, the spark was ignited.
Back then, my daughter Audrey was 2 years old and learning to walk and talk while my son Mitchell was just a newborn (his name was partially inspired by Mitchel Resnick – coincidentally it was one of the names we were considering – watching the TED Talk of him just helped us to decide and confirm on the name). By the time I was satisfied with the curriculum I had come up with to teach my own kids to code, I already knew that I had found my purpose and was determined to do my part to teach the world to code.
Can you share with us more about your process of creating the Coding Lab curriculum?
Yong Ning: The initial research I did was almost like writing a thesis! I also considered my own personal experiences and I wanted to create something that would excite others the same way. I remember when I got my first computer when I was 15, where I built my own websites and tinkered with my home router. I loved computers and programming so much that I went on to pursue a Masters in Computational Engineering at MIT.
Of course, the Coding Lab curriculum wasn’t based solely on my own personal experiences. I gathered a global team of curriculum developers and technology advisors who are experts in the field to embark on this journey with me. Many of them work in companies such as Microsoft, Credit Suisse and LinkedIn. Tapping into everyone’s expertise, we designed the Coding Lab curriculum.
We made decisions based on scientific evidence such as incorporating the inquiry-based learning that I experienced at MIT for our curious young minds. We also wanted children to learn effectively while having fun, so this meant getting hands-on. All the way through to 18 years old, our curriculum emphasises on Mathematics, and weaves in other topics, such as Biology and Physics, or hands-on elements that cover hardware add-ons and robotics, such as Photon, mBot, and Micro:bit. The programming that they learn ensures real-world relevance so that our students will be future-ready and able to develop top-notch solutions for companies or their community.
“I believe that having a good teacher can make all the difference in engaging your child the right way, and set the tone for their journey in technology.”
What challenges did you face with creating the Coding Lab curriculum?
Yong Ning: One challenge that comes to mind is the fact that even within a particular age group (Eg. Ages 10-12), we may come across huge differing abilities. How then, do we keep all students in a class of 8 engaged? We’ve therefore tailored our curriculum to accomodate learners of different abilities. We also train our tutors to apply differentiated teaching in tandem with our curriculum map. This ensures that the faster learners are challenged whilst at the same time allowing the core concepts to be taught and reinforced for the rest of the students.
How did you decide on teaching Scratch for Ages 7 to 9, MIT App Inventor for Ages 10 to 12, and Python for Ages 10 to 18?
Yong Ning: Aside from all the research, we also looked at competitions for those age groups and used this information to identify the coding languages that would be most suitable for that age group. We aimed to set them up for success in a conducive learning environment and to see our students thriving and emerging as winners was a great encouragement.
For example, we sent a team of our students – Aaron, Adam, Anthony and Joshua – to compete in the global MIT App Inventor Summit all the way to my alma mater in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. They ended up winning the top 3 awards and did Singapore proud!
Sarah Go is another student who comes fondly to my mind. When she joined us in 2017, she was a complete beginner to coding. After 6 months, she took part in the National Olympiad in Informatics (NOI) and obtained the Honourable Mention. This is not an easy feat even for seasoned coders – and especially since she had just started coding. Fueled by her passion for coding, she then paid it forward by becoming one of our volunteer tutors. She is now on a 4-year scholarship reading Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Texas. It is rewarding to see her grow in aptitude and attitude, and pursue a degree in Computer Engineering after her time with us at Coding Lab.
“It was Coding Lab that sparked my interest in coding. I took my first steps in Python, a programming language, and fell in love with coding. I faced a steep learning curve, but I enjoyed every minute of it!” – Sarah Go, 20 years old
Thank you Mr Yong Ning Foo for taking the time to share with us about the MIT-inspired curriculum! Look out for Part II of this blog series, where Yong Ning’s children, Audrey and Mitchell, share with us their experiences as students of Coding Lab.
We nurture future leaders in technology and we believe that everyone should learn to code. That includes your children. We invite you to experience our MIT-inspired, award-winning coding curriculum and the Coding Lab Way of teaching. View our classes here!
Coding Lab is honoured to have been recognised with numerous awards:
Parents’ World – 4-Time Best Coding Curriculum 2016/17-2019/20
Singapore’s Child Enrichment Awards 2018 – Best Coding Curriculum
Little Magazine – School of the Year (Computer Science) 2017
Young Parents’ Magazine – voted Best Coding Programme.
Our Coding Lab students have won medals at the MIT App Inventor Global Summit in USA, clinching numerous prizes, emerged as Best Coders at the Microsoft Minecraft Cup in Japan, and entered the school of their choice via the Direct School Admissions (DSA) exercise. We are proud to share that our students have achieved medals in the annual National Olympiad in Informatics (NOI), which is highly recognised for admissions to top universities.
Rachel is our nurturing and patient educator. With her enduring passion for teaching and guiding young students along the path to coding literacy, our Educator Rachel is here to share about her teaching experience with Coding Lab.
Hello, Rachel! Could you share about yourself and how you embarked on your coding journey?
My background in coding originates from my Diploma in Electronics, Computer and Communications Engineering at Nanyang Polytechnic. Coding actually wasn’t my first choice, but having been given the chance to enter the course, I decided to make good use of the opportunity.
I picked up programming languages such as C++, C# and VHDL (Very High-Speed Integrated Circuit Hardware Description Language is a description language used to describe hardware). I then went on to complete my final year by featuring on the Director’s List!
Overall, my learning experience throughout the course highlighted the importance of coding as a future-oriented skill to me. It also inspired me to venture into hardware electronics and coding as a career.
“I’ve watched so many of my students learn and grow. It truly makes teaching a really rewarding career, and it’s heartening to know that I contributed to their learning journey in their lives!”
That’s amazing! What inspired you to teach?
Since my teenage years, I had always considered teaching and early childhood-based careers. I also used to participate in volunteering events for beneficiaries, such as food drives and spring cleaning, and found joy in helping and interacting with others. What I love the most is being around kids – their infectious energy makes me feel like a kid again myself!
When my older brother also suggested teaching as a career to me and I came across Coding Lab, I decided to give it my best shot. This was back in 2018, when I officially joined the team. I still remember when I first entered the Parkway Parade campus, I was pleasantly surprised by the ‘chill’ environment! The green beanbags really added to the comfortable learning atmosphere and made me feel right at home.
Fast forward to today, where I’ve watched so many of my students learn and grow. It truly makes teaching a really rewarding career, and it’s heartening to know that I contributed to their learning journey in their lives!
What do you enjoy most about teaching at Coding Lab?
The flexibility of my schedule is something that I really like. I also enjoy conducting Coding Lab’s curriculum! From teaching preschoolers to older coders and hands-on hardware, knowing that there will always be subsequent batches of students who can learn from it is endlessly exciting.
I do get attached to my students, so it does feel a little sad when they graduate from a course – especially my term students, who I see weekly for months. But it is truly bittersweet as I know that their learning experiences and knowledge will be with them for life!
“Our courses show children little glimpses of fields they might choose to pursue in the future, opening up potential career paths.”
Why do you think it’s important for children to learn coding?
Coding hones logical thinking. It involves programming computers to make logical decisions – but as the programmers behind the coding, the children’s thought processes are strengthened too. There are applications beyond practical usage too – it can help in making rational life decisions, such as weighing the pros and cons about their future.
Coding is also beneficial to students regardless of their intended career pathways in the future. For instance, Scratch encourages creativity and inspires them to explore other things such as animation. App Inventor gives kids hands-on experience in creating games and software. Python trains students in statistical analysis. Our courses show children little glimpses of fields they might choose to pursue in the future, opening up potential career paths.
Are there any memorable moments you’ve had with your students?
Yes, I’ve definitely had many! Once, a student baked a box of homemade cookies as a show of thanks at the end of a course. Another student drew a card depicting me at my table with a laptop – she even included the detail of my ponytail!
Oh, and one more that comes to my mind – after physical classes first resumed (during the pandemic), a student and his mother gifted me a homemade unicorn mask after a 5-day camp. I keep these heartwarming moments close to my heart, and it’s also great fun to see each and every student’s different talents and abilities outside of classes!
You mentioned the break in physical classes – the pandemic has shifted some Coding Lab classes online. How has this transition been for you?
It was actually a smooth transition for me! I’m well-practised at using my computer for work, so there wasn’t much of an issue – I was already comfortable with online communication, webcams, chat monitoring and other features. Multitasking with two devices was a big learning point for me though! Overall, working from home has allowed me to comfortably save time on travelling.
But physical classes are good too! It’s good to be back at the learning centres. When students that have been attending classes online for months suddenly transition to physical classes, it almost feels as if we’re long-lost friends being reunited! Some students are more silent during online classes, but become really active and participative in physical mediums. It’s like seeing two sides to the same student!
Apart from being a Coding Lab Educator, how do you enjoy your free time?
I create art – drawing sketches, and doing arts & crafts. I’m currently in the process of completing a pixel canvas piece. I also like to collect K-pop albums – especially those by Red Velvet and NCT. As for gaming, I’ve assembled a custom-built desktop PC from selected parts.
I love to spend time doting on my pets, too – I used to have hamsters when I was young, and I’m thinking of adopting another. I also go crazy for Corgis and cute characters!
Lastly, do you have any advice for your fellow educators?
Keep Calm and Teach. The best learning and teaching is when you’re having fun with your students! Don’t be deterred if you don’t have much coding experience; you will be able to learn programming in your own time. Even if you are new to a certain curriculum, the Coding Lab team will always be there to support you – so, don’t be afraid to seek help if you have any questions.
Thank you so much for sharing your Coding Lab experience with us, Rachel! Your passion and dedication for education is an inspiration to us all. We look forward to hearing from the many more children you’ll continue to guide along the path towards coding literacy!
(Written by Cheryl Tang and Lixin Foo)
Best-in-class Curriculum for Coding
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.