Many of us probably remember sitting in classrooms, listening to our teachers as we sat quietly and took notes. What if we told you that silent classrooms are a thing of the past? At the heart of the Inquiry-Based Learning (IBL) approach, asking lots of questions is the best thing a student could do. 

Globally, IBL is growing in popularity and in fact, it is central to Coding Lab’s teaching methodology – it works even better with the help of technology. Let’s dive into what IBL is, its benefits and how it’s important in enriching our Coding Lab students’ lives!

What exactly is Inquiry-Based Learning?

Inquiry Based Learning
Our inquisitive students love exploring new topics with technology

Inquiry-Based Learning (IBL) is an educational strategy where students take a more active approach to their learning through asking questions and finding their own solutions. It’s quite different from what we know – students are now at the centre of teaching and take charge of their own independent learning. Of course, with the right encouragement and guidance, they will be empowered to tackle problems and be motivated to find their own answers.

IBL follows an inquiry cycle. Students will first get acquainted with the topic, then formulate their questions and decide what they want to find out. Through investigating and experimenting, which is key to IBL, they are able to make their inferences and then share their findings with others. Throughout the inquiry process, discussions happen not only at the end, but constantly throughout as reflection and insights from others can help improve the process.

Sounds familiar? Yes, IBL is influenced by The Scientific Method that we were introduced to in our Secondary school’s science lab experiments and research papers in University. Here’s a helpful infographic to navigate your way! 

Inquiry Based Learning IBL Inquiry Cycle Process
Click to enlarge this infographic

Many countries have adopted IBL in their education systems. In Ontario, Canada, and the Dutch school system, IBL is used to teach reading, with impressive results and improvement.

Other benefits include the increase in students’ self-perceived confidence in research skills and effective communication – even six months later. It can also have a significant and positive effect on the building of technological knowledge and the development of problem-solving, critical thinking, and decision-making abilities.

The best part about the inquiry cycle? The more they know, the more they will get thinking about related topics, and the deeper their hunger for knowledge will be. But they know how to find the answers themselves!

How Inquiry-Based Learning and Technology go hand-in-hand

IBL might sound a little tricky and complex, but with technology, it’s a lot easier to carry out. IBL has shown to be an effective method – so, where does technology come in?

Educator Salena and student in our Young Computer Scientists mBot class
Our curious Young Computer Scientist tinkering with Scratch and mBot

You might have heard of a time where people had to physically go to libraries to search for books and encyclopedias. Today, open access to search engines have condensed everything into a device, such as your phone, laptop or tablet. Students now have the world at their fingertips with a simple search.

But how do we get children to start questioning? At Coding Lab, we pique their curiosity with things that they are interested in, such as with games that they love. We get them to start wondering, “How do these games work? Why does the character jump when you press space?” We make sure that we facilitate the inquiry process – we ask them questions to get them thinking, and they get to ask us too. It helps that they can search up their answers, but we don’t want our students to just copy codes, we emphasise on the understanding of codes.

Incorporating Inquiry-Based Learning: What can we do?

Got questions? Our passionate educators have answers.

Technology doesn’t only help with finding the answers, we can do experiments with it and so much more! We know that learning becomes more fun when games are involved, and students get to experiment and find out the answers by watching their guesses play out. Want to understand math concepts like geometry or physics? Play games, code with Scratch or explore Minecraft’s virtual world, and you can learn and experiment individually or in a team.

Another way that technology helps is when we put our heads together for discussions, which are important and should be ongoing throughout the inquiry process, and everyone gets to chime in. Tools such as Poll Everywhere and Survey Monkey have made it easier for participation (especially the shy ones), and online productivity tools elevate learning to the next level. From real-time collaboration with Google Workspace and Padlet to asking questions anonymously on Mentimeter, you can leave no stone unturned!

Now that you understand how technology and IBL work together, you can see why Coding Lab has chosen to make it central to our curriculum and teaching. Every feature of our classes has been carefully designed to allow our kids to flourish, and it’s why IBL is part of our teaching philosophy. Let’s cultivate curiosity in our children and teach them the ability to hunt their answers down with the power of Inquiry-Based Learning!

(Written by Nicole, Edited by Zulaikha and Cheryl)


Best-in-class Curriculum for Coding

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Meet 13-year-old Tan Jake Ian, who has always been passionate about technology. Like most boys his age, Jake loves playing computer games – but also creating them!

As one of Coding Lab’s first students back in 2016 who was personally mentored by our founder, Yong Ning Foo, we are proud to see the bubbly student grow into a teenager and achieve a place in his dream school. Hear what the confident and intelligent coder has to say about his DSA experience and coding journey (so far).

Photo of Jake, 13 years old, at his birthday celebration cutting his cake
Jake celebrates his 13th birthday!

Hi Jake, tell us a bit about yourself!

I am Jake, and I am 13 this year. I currently study at NUS High School of Math and Science, and I first came to Coding Lab when I was 8 years old.

“Be prepared that coding will challenge some of your puzzle-solving skills.”

How did your coding journey begin?

I initially started coding because my father thought it was an important and useful skill. After I started, I found that I agreed with him. And not only that, I began to really enjoy coding and wanted to continue! At first, I have to admit I thought that coding was easy. I even thought that developers of games such as Minecraft only had to join a few blocks together to make their game, just like I did in Scratch. Of course, I realised that this was not the case later on, but I still had a lot of fun doing the debugging challenges and questions in class!

Read and Watch Lianhe Zaobao Feature: Our Student, Jake, 9 Years Old shows his chops in <<A Little Somebody>> feature

It sounds like you have been coding for a while! What’s your favourite program so far?

It would likely be the Tower of Hanoi solver. It is a solver where you have to move disks of different sizes from one tower to another with restrictions. I like the clever usage of it, and how I can modify my program to have different amusing outputs.

(Press play below to run Jake’s Tower of Hanoi solver!)

“Coding should be fun, and even homework can be enjoyable too!”

Congratulations on entering your dream school! How do you feel about getting into NUS High School of Math and Science?

I feel really happy that I got into my top choice! I’m very excited for their science and tech programmes, since they are unique and different from that of other schools. I’m also looking forward to making new friends and having a great time!

What was your Direct School Admissions (DSA) experience like? Do you have any advice for others? I’m sure many other hopeful students are keen to know about it!

DSA was a whole new experience for me, especially the interview portion! I had never done an interview for admission into a school before, so I was very nervous – but excited to fulfil my dream!  My teachers really helped by giving me some advice on what to prepare for, and my ability to code enabled me to stand out from others. I personally recommend watching some interview guide videos for those taking DSA, such as how to answer commonly asked questions such as “Tell me about yourself” or “What are your weaknesses?”

Jake when he was 8 years old, talking about his love for coding

Since you’ve been coding for some time now, what would you tell kids who are starting to code for the first time?

I would encourage them not to worry! Coding should be fun, and even homework can be enjoyable too! I like how my coding classes at Coding Lab are lighthearted and fun. The content is taught in a fun and engaging manner, but be prepared that coding will challenge some of your puzzle-solving skills.

What are your plans for the future?

I hope to be a doctor! While coding may not seem related to the medical profession at the moment, I think that there are plenty of opportunities for integrating programming into hospitals in the future. For example, Artificial Intelligence and robots could help to distribute medicine or diagnose patients with less serious symptoms, which would allow doctors to treat critical patients. I really hope to be a part of this Medtech (medical technology) industry someday!

Tan Jake Ian, 13, is a Year One student at NUS High School of Math and Science. He was one of Coding Lab’s first students when he was 8 years old, where he started with Scratch. He excelled and showed great potential, and has been in our Gifted Coders class ever since. We celebrate his achievements and look forward to what he will accomplish in future! We’ll be supporting you every step of the way, Jake!


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Thinzar is one of our beloved adjunct educators with a big heart. In this interview, we get to hear more about her non-conventional journey into the tech education industry.

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

Team Photo - Thinzar, Educator
Thinzar has been an educator with Coding Lab since 2019

I am currently a Year 3 Sociology student at the National University of Singapore (NUS). I have always had an interest in the education sector and wanted to work with children, so Coding Lab was perfect for me!

Personally, I never had experience with coding before coming to Coding Lab so I had to pick it up along the way. During the interview, I was told about the training given to adjunct educators like myself. The moment I stepped in on my first day and realised how comprehensive the training given was (from personal tutorials by the founder, Yong Ning, to role-playing), my fears evaporated and I gained great confidence in teaching coding!

Coding is really fun to learn! But also, it is an important skill that trains important abilities like critical thinking and problem-solving.

That’s quite interesting that you have no coding background! Could you tell us more about how you came to teach coding, specifically?

Well, I was not particularly looking out for coding-related opportunities. I knew I was interested in teaching, so I researched and came across Coding Lab. I did not have experience in coding back then, but I have always liked math and solving problems (yes, even though I am currently studying social science)! Since coding is related to that, I thought I would enjoy learning and in turn, teaching what I have learnt.

Cool! So, what’s your teaching style like?

For me, I’ll first like to spark interest in my students. I ask them what kinds of cartoons, games or characters they like, then suggest some ideas that suit these interests. Often, I’ll get them to create projects that are similar to their favourite games or shows so that this will motivate them. However, I ensure that it’s not just copying what has been done. Instead, I encourage them to try out more things on their own beyond what is being taught. For instance, I challenge them to try adding features like making their Scratch sprites change colour even if we have not covered that in class. This way, it feels more like their achievement and it shows that they understand rather than just following what I do.

What’s even better is when my students ask whether I can be their teacher again for the next course that they plan to attend. That’s when I know that I have been an effective teacher to them!

What advice would you give to children who want to learn coding?

Thinzar in Junior Coders Programme
Thinzar enriches the lives of coders – even Junior Coders!

Coding is really fun to learn! But also, it is an important skill that trains important abilities like critical thinking and problem-solving. For example, you will have to think about what you want your program to do, then think about what to code to achieve that goal, and in what order they should code.

This kind of logical thinking is important, even outside of the class and even if you do not pursue computing in the future. You will always have something to take away, including skills that can be applied in other areas such as Mathematics and in your daily life too.

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Just try out new things because that’s how you (and I) learn!

Do you intend to continue teaching coding in the future?

I love teaching coding and interacting with my students! I believe in giving them a voice and our small class sizes allow that. Each student will have his/her own way to solve the problem, and I encourage them to show and tell their ideas to the class so they can learn from each other. Sometimes, they even come up with ideas that I didn’t think of! I look forward to my continued journey in understanding the younger generation and pushing them to explore, expend their curiosity and gain the confidence to speak up and share it with others.

What do you like to do outside the classroom?

Image of team with President Halimah Yacob
President Halimah Yacob with (from left) Ms Low Tze Hui, Manager, Infocomm Media Development Authority and her son, Thinzar, President of Tiny Thinkers, Candice, Co-Founder of Coding Lab at the at the National Library Board’s kidsREAD 15th anniversary carnival

I really enjoy putting my skills to impact others, whether its youth or kids. I was really grateful for the opportunity to be appointed the President of Tiny Thinkers under Coding Lab. The exposure was invaluable; I had the chance to work closely with the founders themselves (who were my mentors) and the tutors to curate a curriculum at low cost to impact preschoolers, to guiding a team of volunteer teachers in introducing preschoolers to coding fundamentals, to conducting briefings to a 100-strong audience at the National Library of Singapore. The skills I learnt while being in charge of Tiny Thinkers’ core team were invaluable as I used them in organising a virtual career fair under my university CCA.

Furthermore, Tiny Thinkers let me step out of my comfort zone as I had to interact with parents! This increased my self-confidence that allowed me to pursue organising large-scale events that included overseas participants. I am indeed thankful for the opportunities, mentorship and training I received at Coding Lab which helped shaped my mindset and allowed me to grow and gain lifelong skills along the way.

Finally, any words of wisdom for your students?

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Just try out new things because that’s how you (and I) learn!

And for your fellow educators?

I would say to be adaptable because while we are trained to teach a syllabus, we will have to modify it on the spot if the students cannot understand your initial way of teaching.

Thank you, Thinzar, for sharing with us about your coding education journey! We’re glad to have you with us on Saturday afternoons as you fruitfully translate your passion and talent for coding into the bright young minds of children ages 4 to 18.

Interested to join the Coding Lab team? Click here to find out more!

Read next: 3 Things I Learnt as an Educator at Coding Lab

(Written by Nicole)


Best-in-class Curriculum for Coding

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Today, we would like you to meet Kieran Ho, our student and 1st Place (Python and Electives) at the International Coding Showcase 2020 (JP-SG) and awardee of Most Promising Young Coder at the Young Coders Global Hackathon (YCGH) 2020 Meet the inquisitive and bright, young boy in Secondary One this year.

Hi Kieran, tell us a bit about yourself!

Photo of Kieran, aged 12 and awarded the Most Promising Young Coder
Meet Kieran, aged 13 now, and with two years of coding experience

I turn 13 in July, and I have just started studying at NUS High School of Math and Science. I first got interested in coding when I came to Coding Lab in Primary 5. This led me to choose to attend NUS High as they have a module for computational thinking… and most of my friends are going there as well!

How was your initial coding experience?

When I first realised coding was a thing, I was slightly confused and didn’t really know what it was about. I only knew that you could code games. However, in Primary 2, when my friend said that he was reading a book about coding, I got interested in the topic and decided to find out more. Since then, I was fascinated by coding and after joining Coding Lab, I have deepened my understanding of programming immensely enough that I want it to be a part of my future career.

“Even if it seems hard now, in the future, it will get better and your hard work shall be rewarded!”

What is your favourite coding experience so far?

I really enjoyed participating in YCGH 2020. At the time, it was the largest project I had done, and I worked hard on it. In the end, my hard work paid off! I got a Merit award and got into the Top 5 finalists.

Is there a favourite project or program that you’ve done up?

My favourite project was probably a school administration system that I made using Python in my free time. The school administration program basically stores a list of students and teachers, and you can add students and teachers to the list and remove them as well. It could be used to manage teachers and students who have joined the school. This actually took a few weeks for me to code, which was quite a long time to me back then, as most projects I did back then didn’t really take too long to finish. It was quite fun to make and I really enjoyed it.

Watch Kieran’s International Coding Showcase submission

What would you say to other kids who are starting out coding for the first time now?

I would probably ask them to follow their dreams and to never give up. Even if it seems hard now, in the future, it will get better and your hard work shall be rewarded!

What do you like most about your coding classes?

I like that Coding Lab provides a great atmosphere to learn coding and even make new friends. The lessons are fun and immersive, and in case you need help, experienced coaches will always be by your side.

What do you want to do with coding in the future?

I might get a job that involves coding in some way, or enrol in a computational thinking course. I would definitely continue joining coding competitions, as I think they’re fun and can also help to improve my understanding of coding as a whole. They also teach me several important moral values such as resilience and perseverance.

Catch Kieran in the interview video with our dear students!

Kieran Ho, 13, is a Year One student at NUS High School of Math and Science. He started out with App Inventor when he was 11 years old, and has since quickly breezed through Python. He is brimming with potential, already taking on the Advanced Electives under our S200 series (recommended for ages 13 to 18).


Best-in-class Curriculum for Coding

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

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The June summer holidays are almost upon us! Do you need some ideas as to where you can use those SingaporeDiscovers vouchers (expiring in June)? Why not take a learning journey as a family? Or have your kids pick up a new skill this holiday? May you have a great month!

Earth Alive at Science Centre

Have you seen the Science Centre’s newest exhibition that opened in January this year? Earth Alive walks your children through the geographic processes that move and shake our world. We all know that the Earth is ever-changing, but do your children know why volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis happen? Through compelling visual displays and interactive elements like an Augmented Reality sandbox, your children can ‘shape’ and visualise their impact on the environment. Perfect for an educational weekend trip!

Details:
Location: Science Centre, Hall B
Recommended duration: 1 hour
Price: From $2
*Can use SingaporeDiscovers vouchers
To find out more, click here.

You can also check out The Secret Chem Lab Science Show, which exclusively showcases the Science Centre’s top-secret chemistry lab. Bring the family to catch science experiments and chemical reactions, all happening at the Science Centre, for $5! This exclusive show will go on until 23 May 2021, so grab your tickets here.


The Sea Show by Eyeyah

Commissioned by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, The Sea Show is designed by Eyeyah, an artsy educational platform. The multi-media exhibition provides a treat for the eyes and our mind – mummies and daddies included! Celebrate the wonders of the sea and learn about its threats with the work of artists from 13 countries, including our very own Pathlight School. Appreciate the aesthetics? Complete the activity book and you can take a piece of the illustrated exhibition home in the form of an Eyeyah magazine (worth $10). That’s another way to keep the kiddos occupied.

Details:
Date: Till 13 July 2021
Price: Free
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sundays from 9am-6pm
Location: Singapore Maritime Gallery
To find out more, click here.

Not sure what to expect? Get an idea of how artsy and creative Eyeyah can be when you visit their interactive website here.


Summer Holiday Coding Camps

Our yearly Summer Holiday Coding Camps return with 40 exciting courses to choose from for ages 4 to 18! Are you looking to pick up a new skill this summer? Fret not, we have you covered!

Explore our offerings, from coding adventures with screen-free toys (ages 4-6) to learning drag-and-drop programming (ages 7-9), app creation (ages 10-12) to solidifying your Python foundation (ages 10-12, 13-18). Enhance your child’s problem-solving and critical thinking skills with coding this summer holiday! With classes led by experienced and passionate tutors, your child might just be the next future leader in technology.

2021 - June Summer Holiday Coding Camps Banner

Details:
Date: 31 May to Mid August
Location: Online, Parkway Parade, Bukit Timah (KAP Mall)
Price: From $375.25
To find out more, click here.

If you haven’t seen our previous techtivity recommendations, check out our April #TechtivitiesOfTheMonth, which includes more cool tech-related attractions that you can visit (plus an exclusive 10% OFF for a #MadeInSG STEM comic activity book from Piqolo Kids)!


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
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Little Steps Asia Feature: Mompreneurs Who Rock Singapore – Influencers In The City

Parenting can be hectic, especially when you have to juggle work too. But can you imagine running your own business on top of that? Our very own Director, Candice Wang, was featured in Mompreneurs Who Rock Singapore – Influencers In The City, an article by Little Steps Asia. It is a parenting blog with a readership of over 1 million parents across Asia!

Want to know how Candice stays on top of her busy schedule? Or how she keeps her children engaged with STEM? Head over to the article to find out about Candice and perhaps get some tips too!

“We saw the importance of automation and applying coding to make processes efficient and decided that we needed to take the step to help our kids and other kids benefit.”

– Candice Wang, Director, Coding Lab

Screenshot of Little Steps Asia 2021 - Mompreneurs Who Rock Singapore Feature
A snippet of the Little Steps Asia article “Mompreneurs Who Rock Singapore Feature”

Read the full article 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
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April might be approaching, along with everyone’s beloved April Fools’ Day – but none of these activities are a joke! Ever heard of local STEM comics #MadeInSG? Or maybe you want to do a little cultural exploring? Well, read on to find out more!

STEM Stories with Piqolo Kids

Join Peppy and Lili’s adventures as they journey through Earth! Piqolo Kids comics are the perfect way to introduce STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) to young ones aged 6 to 8. Get your hands on their first volume, with Wild Singapore as the backdrop, and make exploring even more fun with a special 10% discount for our Coding Lab students! Simply use the promo code CodingLab10.

Coding Lab x Piqolo Kids 10% Discount - Wild Singapore Volume 1

Details:
Date: 1 April 2021 to 31 May 2021
Price: $7.20 (after discount, incl. shipping)
Includes: Activity book, character cards, sticker and translation sheet
To purchase, click here.
To find out more and access FREE activity sheets, click here.


Pokémon Go Cultural Walking Tour

Who said that gaming can’t be educational? In this tour of Kampong Glam, Haji Lane and Little India, you can learn so much more about the stories behind the different Pokéstops! Meet up with your guide and get your Pokémon Go Augmented Reality app ready to explore colourful streets, ripe for your Instagram feed. As you search for your elusive Pokémons and engage in virtual raids, don’t forget to look up at the beautiful artwork and shophouses!

Details:
Date: April 2021
Location: Meet at Bugis MRT station
Price: $100*
*Can use SingaporeRediscover vouchers
To sign up for a spot or to learn more, click here.


Learn Beautifully At Home + Coding Class

Designed at the world-renowned MIT, Learning Beautiful’s Learning at Home Set is perfect for hands-on play for the little ones ages 3 to 9. With binary trees, pixel boards, and more, your children can surely spend hours getting to know the basics of computer science – entirely without screens! To sweeten the deal, with every purchase of a set, you’re entitled to a FREE Junior Coders Programme class! Get ready to launch your child’s journey into the world of programming.

Learning Beautiful Singapore - Learning at Home Set

Details:
Date: Promotion available until 31 April 2021
Price: $295 (incl. shipping)
To purchase a set, click here.
To find out more, head over here.

If you haven’t seen our previous techtivity recommendations, check out our March #TechtivitiesOfTheMonth, which includes more cool tech-related attractions that you can visit!


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

Thank you China Global Television Network (CGTN) for including Coding Lab in the feature on females in STEM courses! In light of International Women’s Day, CGTN covered the uptick in women pursuing STEM courses.

CGTN Feature - Co-Founder of Coding Lab, Candice, being interviewed at our Bukit Timah (KAP Mall) Campus
Our Director, Candice Wang, is also a proud mother in the STEM field whose daughter attends weekly classes at Coding Lab.

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), which were traditionally seen as fields dominated by men. In Singapore and at Coding Lab, we’re proud that our parents and educators are encouraging their daughters to pursue STEM fields.

Read our previous CGTN feature here.

“We do increasingly see more and more girls. Some of our best students are girls, actually. We used to have all boys classes, but now you see at least three to four girls in every class, so I would say about a 30 percent increase.”

Candice Wang, Director of Coding Lab

CGTN Feature - Kameswaran Mekala Kalai Aathiraa, our student, being interviewed at our Bukit Timah (KAP Mall) Campus Room 4
Catch our featured student, Aathiraa (10 years old), from our YCS class, on CGTN

Coding Lab has always been proud of encouraging all of our students to strive for the best in the programming field, regardless of gender, and we are grateful to have been recognised for it. We have always aimed to provide a welcoming learning environment for every student, through displaying a good mix of projects by boys and girls, and teaching with examples relevant to both genders.

The Straits Times Feature: Addressing the Gender Gap in the STEM Sector

CGTN Feature - Our female educator Salena and female student in class at Bukit Timah (KAP Mall) Campus
Our female educator Salena teaching a female student at our Bukit Timah Campus

“Coding is important. One of the most important things in your future and in our present too.”

Kameswaran Mekala Kalai Aathiraa, 10 years old, Young Computer Scientists

Catch our female educators and students programming at our Bukit Timah campus here!

Read: STEAM is the new STEM


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

March is one of our most anticipated months of the year, because – you’ve guessed it – March holidays are coming! And just because we can’t go overseas doesn’t mean that there isn’t anything exciting going on. From creating your own Star Wars character to exploring digital exhibitions from the comfort of your home, there certainly is March to do.

Star Wars Identities: The Exhibition

Since 1997, Star Wars has occupied the imaginations of science-fiction fans, going on to become one of the most iconic movie franchises ever! Inspiring many futuristic technologies, you now get the chance to see spacecrafts and holograms up close. With close to 200 original props, costumes, models and artwork from the film, head over to the ArtScience Museum to immerse yourself in the Star Wars world. May the Force be with you!

Details:
Exhibition is ongoing, lasts till 13 June 2021
Location: ArtsScience Museum
Prices: From $20
*Can use SingaporeRediscover vouchers
To register or for more information, click here.


Aliwal Tracks

Are you feeling a little lazy? Want to do something from the comfort of your couch? Aliwal Tracks is the perfect virtual exhibition for you! Wander the streets of Kampung Gelam (Kampong Glam) with this web series of digital performances, behind-the-scenes footage and explore hidden street art!

Details:
Price: Free
Location: Online
Date: Till 5 March
For more information, click here.


Got To Move

Here’s a riddle for you: What do Augmented Reality, dance and Instagram have in common? Well, this year’s Got To Move (GTM) event has really outdone itself! GTM is a nationwide dance movement that celebrates the diversity of dance in Singapore. In its sixth edition, it’s getting bigger and going digital, from creating Instagram dance filters, to putting up live performances on AR app, XITY!

Details:
Location: Online
Date: Ongoing till 28 March 2021
The AR app XITY is downloadable on both Android and Apple devices.
To find out more, click here.


March Holiday Camp

March into our exciting holiday camps and have tons of fun learning how to code! We’ve got a wide variety of classes (38, to be exact!) specially designed to build a strong programming foundation for ages 4 to 18. 😉⁣⁣

Details:
15 March – 9 April 2021
Parkway Parade, Bukit Timah (KAP Mall) and Online
To find out more, click here.

If you haven’t seen our previous techtivity recommendations, check out our February #TechtivitiesOfTheMonth, which includes more cool tech-related attractions that you can visit!


Best-in-class Curriculum for Coding

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

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Today, we get to know our educator, Edmund! He is a common sight in many of our Python classes, and it’s hard to miss his hearty laughter when you’re on our campus. Armed with a Masters in Mathematics, Edmund is always jovial and ready to lend a helping hand to his students.

Hi Edmund, what was your first encounter with coding like?

I would say that my very first experience with coding was during my tertiary days when I went to find out how to create a game similar to MapleStory with added features like PVP (player versus player) to play with my friends.

Cool! Did this inspire you to take Mathematics in university?

Since young, I have always loved solving challenging problems and I wanted to know more behind mathematical concepts. I competed frequently in Primary and Secondary school at the Australian Mathematics Competition (AMC), International Competitions and Assessments for Schools (ICAS) as well as the National Mathematical Olympiad of Singapore ( NMO∑) where I scored Distinctions and won various awards for my school. Thus, it was only natural that I went on to complete a Masters programme in Mathematics. My Math background led to a strong understanding of Computer Science as I was exposed to programming languages such as MATLAB and R. The training I underwent enabled me to fully understand the reasoning and process of mathematical concepts. With that, I am able to explain to my students exactly what we are coding when I teach.

Edmund Feature 2
Edmund, always cheerful!

Wow! Okay, so are there any differences or similarities between the studies of Mathematics and Computer Science?

Coding is very similar to Mathematics where we make use of our problem-solving and logical skills. The thinking processes for both are very similar. The thinking and algorithmic logic is more important than which programming language we choose to use when coding (there are many that go in and out of fashion). Also, coding problems often require the usage of math. For instance, to code up a function that calculates x and y coordinates of a point might require mathematical concepts such as the Pythagoras Theorem. Many students we put up for the National Olympiad in Informatics also have very strong background in Math Olympiad. The two are indeed deeply connected.

So how did you go from Mathematics to teaching coding?

I always enjoyed teaching and instructing. During my National Service, I was an instructor for the National Civil Defence Cadet Corps (NCDCC). I taught my recruits lifesaving skills, brought them through foot drills and exposed them to outdoor adventure activities. It was a great motivation to see my cadets’ faces light up with joy and pride when they graduated from a course or successfully completed an activity. Even before my National Service, I was an assistant teacher for an enrichment programme provider which held quality programmes and holiday camps for preschools to secondary levels. So, I guess it was quite natural for me to move towards a career in teaching.

I heard that you taught yourself Python, which is pretty impressive! Could you take us through what that was like?

I learnt Python with the help of online platforms like YouTube! I was interested to know more about programming languages and researched online. I found out that Python was one of the most widely used languages. Then, I spent many hours watching tutorials, some videos were even 13 – 17 hours long, where I had to watch them at 2x speed. 🙂 It also helped that Coding Lab has very comprehensive teaching materials for Educators to grasp, practice and stay abreast of the latest curriculum and the community we build with other fellow tutors and students is a warm, close-knit one. I’m glad that I could easily depend on my teammates to help out if I needed anything!

Coding excites me, especially when I have spent a long time trying to debug a program and it finally works. This satisfaction is what I seek to inspire in my students for them to excel in coding!

What do you like best about teaching coding?

The best part about teaching coding is that I am able to continue learning even while I am teaching. You will be amazed at how creative and innovative the students can be with their ideas and the way they code. Some of them even have ideas that I would never have thought of!

What’s your teaching style like?

I try my best to always make my lesson fun and enjoyable. For instance, I’ll relate the lesson to topics that the students are into, making it more interactive. Sometimes I even use terms and references from games they play, or popular and trending videos they are likely to watch!

What did you think was so important about coding that you decided to join this industry?

I personally think that kids should learn how to code as technology is always advancing. Understanding how the computers work and learning coding helps the kids appreciate how things work and the ability to solve problems is a life skill that will stay with them!

We all know that motivating children can be tough, so how do you do it?

I believe that encouragement motivates people. A little goes a long way and every small encouragement will make the student feel more motivated to continue coding. I set goals for my students and support them in meeting those goals and even challenge them to go even further.

What is your most memorable teaching experience thus far?

My best teaching experience at Coding Lab so far would be one class where my students were all fans of the online comedian character, Uncle Roger, who makes parodies of cooking shows. We had programs done by the students under humorous names like “Egg Fried Rice”. They even compared me, “Uncle Edmund”, to “Uncle Roger”! It was a lot of fun and laughter while still being able to teach the skills and know-how of Python.

Photo of ACS Class
Edmund with his curious Advanced Computer Scientists students

Do you intend to continue teaching coding in the future?

Definitely! In fact, ever since I started coding and teaching it, I have a slight regret of not taking more modules in Computer Science during my Masters. I’m glad to be at Coding Lab, where I have the opportunity to pick up as much coding as I want and even impart this to many others. Coding excites me, especially when I have spent a long time trying to debug a program and it finally works. This satisfaction is what I seek to inspire in my students for them to excel in coding!

Finally, what do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I am still a volunteer with the NCDCC. It was through this organisation that I had the opportunities to learn so many skills (lifesaving, rescue, outdoor adventure, etc). I’ve had many memorable experiences in the Corps. I once mentored a cadet who almost went astray due to family issues and bad company. He felt unappreciated back home and felt that he was being forced to attend the course that he had no interest in. I told him that if he wants others to appreciate him, he should first learn to appreciate himself. “Don’t try to change others, change yourself,” I said. When he graduated from secondary school, he even came back as a Cadet Lieutenant volunteer. On the day of his passing out parade, he asked me to be the one to help put his rank on for him. The moment I buttoned his rank on, I was overjoyed! NCDCC is my way of giving back to the society, by teaching, training and being a role model for the future generation 🙂

Thank you, Edmund, for taking the time to share your journey with us! We hope you continue to inspire our future generation of coders and be the role model that you already are, as a teacher, mentor, and more!