Coding Lab’s annual International Coding Showcase (ICS) is a collaboration with Coding Lab Japan to showcase our brilliant (and brave!) students ages 7 to 18 and their very own projects – whether it’s Scratch, App Inventor or Python – and share them with the world. ICS 2021 saw Coding Lab students not only from Singapore and Japan, but also from other countries such as Germany, Indonesia and the United States!

With coding foundation and knowledge from our MIT-inspired coding classes, our students put in their blood, sweat and tears and used their ingenuity and creativity to create videos and projects that wowed the panel of judges. Today, we bring to you an exclusive blog feature of some of our top Distinction winners from ICS 2021. They clinched the top award and were featured on our Coding Lab YouTube channel – which reached thousands of viewers all over the world.

Learn all about their coding journey and watch their amazing project submissions!


Teo Han Xiang Jairus

9 years old, Singapore

Distinction and People’s Choice Award, Scratch (Ages 7-9)

International Coding Showcase 2021 - Photo of Jairus Teo

Hobbies: Coding! I code during my free time. Besides that, I love food!

How did you start coding? I joined a Scratch holiday coding camp at Coding Lab and I found that I liked it very much!

Why did you join ICS 2021? I wanted use my creativity and my imagination. Through my experience, I learnt that winning is not important as long as I tried my best and have fun in the process.

Future coding aspirations: I want to make a famous gaming app that people love to play!


Xu Ruiheng Jacob

10 years old, Singapore

Distinction and Judges’ Choice (Most Promising Coder and Social Impact), App Inventor and Python (Ages 10-12)

International Coding Showcase 2021 - Photo of Jacob Xu

Hobbies: I like to swim, read books, make art and craft projects out of things I can find around the house. I’ve made stuff like ice-cream stick catapults, Minecraft paper figurines and analogue board games. I also love playing Minecraft and Forge of Empires. I also enjoy playing on Scratch with my classmates.

How did you start coding? I think I was six years old when my mum sent me for a coding workshop. I asked her to let me continue because I found Scratch very fun and easy to use because I could build programmes like how I build English sentences and Lego. I could also play games made by others.

Why did you join ICS 2021? I wanted to give it a try because I like Chemistry and wanted to see what I could do with both Chemistry and coding during the December holidays. I was even coding my periodic table program while waiting for my mum to finish her perm at the hair salon! I felt that even if I didn’t win, at least I gave it a try.

I learned the importance of planning a project so that the final product can be what I imagined it to be. Through this, I learned that no matter how challenging a task may seem, we will be able to do it once we break the hard stuff down into smaller pieces and solve them piece by piece.

Future coding aspirations: I would like to learn how to make online games and learn to improve my user interface to make my games more user-friendly. When I grow up, I would like to do something related to Mathematics or Science, and hopefully coding can help me to solve tough problems in those areas!


Theodore Lee Cheng Jie

9 years old, Singapore

Distinction and Judges’ Choice (Most Promising Coder and Most Innovative), Scratch (Ages 7-9) and Python Electives (Ages 13-18)

International Coding Showcase 2021 - Photo of Theodore Lee

Hobbies: My hobbies are playing the piano, coding, badminton, golfing, playing chess and playing with my Rubik’s cube. During my free time, I will play chess online and try to improve my programming projects.

How did you start coding? It was by chance when my parents and I came across a coding school while window shopping. It looked interesting at first sight and my parents supported me. I started coding using WeDo, EV3, Scratch, and eventually Python.

Why did you join ICS 2021? My father shared with me about the competition. Initially, I was thinking of submitting my Scratch simulation project which I started during my free time. However, my dad encouraged me to challenge myself to re-create the simulation project using Python. I took up the challenge and I am happy that it turned out well!

I learned about resilience and never giving up when facing difficulties. There are also solutions to every problem, and failure is the only outcome if you give up.

Future coding aspirations: I want to be a doctor when I grow up. I hope to combine my programming knowledge and my medical knowledge to build and program a futuristic “nano-robot” that can be injected into the patient’s bloodstream to cure cancer and other serious illnesses in the future.

Read: Theodore was featured on Lianhe Zaobao with Coding Lab in Coding as a New Literacy in the Digital Age


Ankit Maharana

11 years old, Singapore

Distinction and Judges’ Choice (Best Presentation), App Inventor and Python (Ages 13-18)

International Coding Showcase 2021 - Photo of Ankit Maharana

Hobbies: I like reading books and coding.

How did you start coding? I found my interest in learning to code.

Why did you join ICS 2021? I wanted to improve my coding skills. I learnt to not give up and to debug and fix problems.

Future coding aspirations: I want to make an app from my existing code!


Kyran Tan

11 years old, Singapore

Distinction, Python Electives (Ages 13-18)

International Coding Showcase 2021 - Photo of Kyran Tan

Hobbies: I like to play Roblox and read books related to it. I sometimes create my own Roblox games too.

How did you start coding? I first started coding when my mother introduced me to Scratch Jr. I found it interesting as I could create simple games and animations. I started to code more frequently, learning more and more things along the way.

Why did you join ICS 2021? I joined ICS 2021 to challenge myself and to get myself out of my comfort zone. I think it was a precious opportunity to learn about more things related to coding. I have learnt to debug more effectively through my Wallety project.

Future coding aspirations: I plan to create a simple version of a messaging app like Discord or WhatsApp that will allow users to chat with full functionality without having to purchase any additional features.

My future occupation will definitely be related to coding. I hope to be a software application developer, where I can create, test and upgrade apps for others to use.

Read: Kyran Tan’s feature after clinching 1st Place in the Python (Ages 10-12) Category in the previous International Coding Showcase 2020

Read and Watch: Coding Lab Student Feature on Kyran Tan, 12


Jirapas Wongtreenatrkoon

15 years old, Singapore

Distinction and People’s Choice Award, App Inventor and Python Electives (Ages 13-18)

International Coding Showcase 2021 - Photo of Jirapas

Hobbies: I really like language subjects like English and Chinese a lot. Language subjects are all about expressing one’s ideas and imagination. Much like coding, it grants me the ability to express my ideas and imagination without being right or wrong. I also like to watch YouTube, anime, scroll through Reddit, as well as code.

How did you start coding?
My father was the one who got me into coding. He was watching a Korean drama series called ‘Start-Up’ and there was this one character in there who could code. He shared about it with me and encouraged me to start learning to code.

Why did you join ICS 2021? I had some free time during the Christmas break and decided to make use of that time by joining the competition. Having made quite a few projects before, I’ve learned quite a lot in ICS while writing lines of code and improving from my mistakes.

All the ICS participants were also very good and watching their videos and projects gave me some ideas for my next game. In my opinion, the best part was making the video because I like recording and editing.

Future coding aspirations: Right now, I’m developing a currency rate logger, SGD to Baht to be exact. The app is personal to me. In any case, looking into the future I can really see myself doing something related to programming, especially now with the way things are advancing toward automation and Artificial Intelligence!

Using a Windows laptop? You can download Jirapas’ Genius Kitchen here.

When downloading this .exe file, the app may be flagged as an unusual file as it does not have many downloads yet. Press ‘Keep’ to continue your download. When launching the app, Window Smart Screen may stop you from launching, simply select ‘more info’ then ‘launch anyway’, this is because the app is not registered with Window yet. Other than that, thank you for downloading and enjoy!

Note: this app can’t be downloaded on iOS.


This concludes our 2021 International Coding Showcase (ICS)! You can check out the full list of winners here or view the playlist of videos of our top Distinction and Judges’ Choices (Best Presentation) submissions.

Congratulations to all of our participants once again and we can’t wait to see what else they will code! The Coding Lab team would like to give a HUGE thank you to all who participated. 🌟 We hope that our students keep on coding and creating awesome projects for the whole world to see!

Are you ready for the next run of our International Coding Showcase? Keep an eye out for it coming soon! 👀

Read all about the winners of our International Coding Showcase (SG-JP) 2020 here!

P.S. Our International Coding Showcase is open only to Coding Lab students. Interested to join in our award-winning coding classes? Check them out here.

(Written by Lech and Edited by Cheryl Tang)


Best-in-class Curriculum for Coding

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We know that you’ve got lots of things to do, so we’ve hunted down and made a list of 5 Educational Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Games for Children – so you don’t have to search for them yourself! Now, screen time can be productive and educational, and the family can relax and wind down together after a long day.

Get your phones and tablets ready to download – and let’s take off into the world of educational games! 🚀

1. Smart Tales

For Ages 1-5

Learn STEM concepts through interactive animated stories and games with this award-winning app!

Smart Tales is a combination of STEM and the arts! Develop reading, logic and counting and learn important life lessons on respect, environment, using technology safely and more. With more than 300 fun lessons, this is the ideal educational app for your tiny tots to enjoy picking up STEM concepts through colorfully illustrated stories of animal friends!

Our Favourite Feature: Experiencing colourful, unique stories with fun characters every episode! 📗

Smart Tales is available for free (with in-app purchases) on App Store & Google Play

2. The Robot Factory

For Ages 6-8

TheRobotFactory Screenshot - Top 5 Educational STEM Games for Children
Choose your parts and build your robot!

Build your very own digital robot and bring them to life! 🤖

Ever wanted to design your personal robot? With The Robot Factory, players can choose the color and type of parts they want to piece their robot together with. Collect robots, test their performance in obstacle courses, and record their unique robot sounds as you develop creative-thinking, problem-solving and storytelling skills.

Our Favourite Feature: The satisfaction of finally equipping your robot with the right parts to successfully complete the obstacle course! 🎉

The Robot Factory is available for SG$5.98 on App Store

3. Lightbot: Code Hour

For Ages 4-12

Lightbot Screenshot - Top 5 Educational STEM Games for Children
Give commands to Lightbot to light up all the tiles!

Learn to solve problems using programming logic!

Want to pick up new skills or continue testing the coding skills you learnt at Coding Lab? Train your little one’s puzzle-solving skills while they apply their knowledge of programming logic in this beginner-friendly game! The goal? To guide Lightbot the robot to light up tiles and solve 20 levels with commands that are common in coding, such as loops and conditionals. Remember to take eye breaks as solving these puzzles can be slightly addictive as they increase in difficulty.

Our Favourite Feature: The whirring sound effects that accompany Lightbot’s every action! 🚁 (Special mention to the sound the rising platform makes at the start of each level!)

Lightbot: Code Hour is available for free on App Store & Google Play

4. STEMWerkz

For Ages 5-12

STEMWerkz Screenshot - Top 5 Educational STEM Games for Children
Interact with a colourful cast of characters and learn STEM concepts!

Learn STEM through play and interactive videos!

Featuring more than 3,200 concepts across three zones: STEMWerkz Quests, STEMWerkz Channel and STEAMvalley, there’s something new to learn during every gaming session! Pique your child’s interest in STEM as they build their own towns and develop problem-solving and critical thinking skills. If you enjoy the free content, you can also consider getting their subscription plan to unlock more educational and engaging content such as live interactive lessons.

Our Favourite Feature: You get to interact with a wide cast of characters with interesting designs and stories! 👦👧

STEMWerkz is available for free (with in-app purchases) on App Store & Google Play

5. Khan Academy

For Ages 2-8 for Khan Academy Kids
For All Ages for Khan Academy

Interested in Math, logic, reading or just want to inspire a lifetime of learning and discovery?

Khan Academy has educational and fun programmes – not just limited to STEM – with thousands of activities and books for all! For little ones, the Khan Academy Kids app has thousands of colourful books, adorable characters and kinaesthetic activities such as yoga and dancing to accompany your child’s learning. Older ones can embark on their learning journey on Khan Academy (yes, even parents can use it too!), which is an extension of the web version, and teaches a range of topics through interactive exercises and videos.

Our Favourite Feature: The app contains topics for all ages, no matter the different interests, so learning is an exciting and educational time for all! 🌟

Khan Academy Kids is available for free on App Store & Google Play
Khan Academy is available for free on App Store & Google Play


Check out our specially curated Resources page for more on coding!

Interested to learn coding in a way that feels just like gaming? We teach Ages 5 to 18 age-appropriate coding in fun and engaging ways! Find out about our courses here.

(Written by Lixin Foo, Edited by Cheryl Tang)


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.

Ages 5-6 | Ages 7-9 | Ages 10-12 | Ages 13-18

Call us at +65 6977 9641
Email us at learntocode@codinglab.com.sg
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Today, our Educator and Assistant Curriculum Team Lead, Hovan Tan, will be sharing with us his insights and personal experiences with video games. He’ll also talk about understanding your child’s games, what you should be wary of and how video games are stepping stones to success for your child. Let’s hear from Teacher Hovan! 👇


Video Games. Many of us love and enjoy playing them as a hobby (even as adults), though by default, we try to have our kids spend less time on them despite their pleas to play on. Well, for as long as I can remember, I have always loved and enjoyed playing video games. My father (like all typical dads), felt that video games would distract me and result in poor grades – but this did not deter me from playing and still achieving at school.

Being an avid gamer taught me many skills and lessons. It was the spark that spurred me to take up Computer Engineering at University, and I now get to experience and inspire the joy of coding when I teach my students the code behind some of the games they play, such as Minecraft, Brawl Stars and Zooba.

Indeed, I learned a lot from playing Video Games. Let’s start by taking a look at some of the popular categories of games:

1. Types of Video Games (and what we can learn from them)

  • Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) games: League of Legends, Dota2, Mobile Legends, and Pokemon Unite, are examples of strategy role-playing games where two teams compete against each other.
  • First-Person Shooter (FPS) games: Typically use weapons and feature a first-person perspective. Examples include Call of Duty, Valorant, Counter-Strike, and Fortnite.
  • Strategy games: Include Age of Empires, the Total War series, Civilization, and any simulation games even on mobile.

There are many more types of video games out there, but the skills and benefits of each type will differ. MOBA and FPS games challenge the player’s situational awareness (where positions matter a lot), reaction speed to visual and auditory cues, and requires accuracy and multitasking. It also trains one’s visuomotor control and attention skills, so players of such games are more mindful of their surroundings, adaptable and great problem-solvers. When it comes to academia, students will be better equipped to face tougher problems and figure out solutions in stressful scenarios.

One example of an MOBA game is Pokemon Unite 👉

Image of Pokemon Unite for Video Games as Stepping Stones to Success

Image of Civilisation for Video Games as Stepping Stones to Success
Civilisation, an example of a Strategy game

Strategy games allow players to work on their critical thinking skills, as they manage teams, units or buildings. This can easily be viewed as a leadership role, where the players delegate and plan for the best outcomes.

Children will be able to improve their decision-making thought processes and learn to become better leaders in the future, with management experience under their belt. They will also be able to multitask effectively, which is a good skill as they juggle different curriculum in school and different challenges in their daily lives.

There are so many other skills and lessons that your children can learn from playing video games. We’ve also picked out the main lessons from gaming in a previous blog here.

Video games also provide you with opportunities to bond and interact with your children. This will help you to identify learning points in their gaming experiences, such as how to interact with other online users or how to win humbly and lose graciously. You could also get ideas for alternative activities that could interest them!

2. What dangers are present in online games?

That being said, we must tread the online domain with great care, especially when it comes to protecting our littles.

With the internet and online games today, one can easily communicate with almost anyone in the world from anywhere and at any time, opening up a world of possibilities and dangers too. For example, Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs) have large communities and social interactions within the game. Having the ability to find people from around the world and chat with them allows friendships to be born and gives players a sense of belonging.

At the same time, we have to be concerned about safety, cyberbullying, security and privacy threats from online predators. For example, Roblox, one of the most popular children’s games in the world right now, is struggling to moderate content and create parental controls to protect children from being maliciously exposed to inappropriate content. 

Online fraud and scams are rampant in our technological world too, and there is also the allure of freemium and gambling games. These instant gratification games are addictive and younger children may not understand the nature of these purchases.

To keep up with this ever-changing fast-paced online world, we will have to learn how to protect ourselves and our loved ones from online dangers.

3. How can you keep your children safe and protected as they play video games?

Video games can provide you with opportunities to bond and interact with your children. This will help you to identify learning points in their gaming experiences, such as how to interact with other online users or how to win humbly and lose graciously. You could also get ideas for alternative activities that could interest them!

I highly recommend for you to do research into the games, and check on their available parental controls before allowing your child access to them. (There’s a reason we do not teach Roblox coding here at Coding Lab, despite the multitude of requests that come in!) You must be able to identify potential risks involved and work with your child to educate, learn, and mitigate any online threats (Yes, we approve of Minecraft!).

Here’s a good checklist to use to keep our children safe on the Internet 👇 (Source)

Image of checklist for Video Games as Stepping Stones to Success

Video Games – A Stepping Stones to Success?

As gamers, we should take the effort to understand how games are crafted. Behind each game lies a developer, a studio, perhaps even a multi-million dollar company leading the development of that successful game. Through blood, sweat, tears, and lots of time, these games were painstakingly created. This is a lesson by itself that I incorporate into my teaching and instill in the younger generation.

Creative learning utilises our vivid imagination and critical thinking skills to come up with ideas and solutions. This is especially evident in our classes when we have Hackathon sessions – based on the games they love to play, students are able to think about different aspects required for the program they want to create. I’ve had students program mini games ranging from themes like Minecraft to Zooba.

Just like our mini coding hackathons, a tremendous amount of thinking and planning has gone into creating the games we love to play, and I am heartened to see my students incorporate such extensive thinking and hard work when creating their own projects!

Image of Game Development for Video Games as Stepping Stones to Success
Here I am with my App Inventor students!

In hindsight, being an avid gamer taught me many skills and lessons. It was the spark that spurred me to take up Computer Engineering, and I now get to experience and inspire the joy of gaming when I teach my students to code.

Whether my students decide to do computer science or not in the future, learning to code in itself feels like a game with its own benefits, skills and lessons too. With colourful, drag-and-drop programming blocks like Scratch and MIT App Inventor platforms, the learning experience is now gamified. Each lesson feels like a game for my students and I, and I always think about how my journey with video games has come full circle.

As people’s perceptions of gaming change and our online world grows, playing video games is both a boon and a bane. It is up to us to be there to guide our children and keep them safe when they step into the digital age.


Do your children enjoy playing games? Give our award-winning, MIT-inspired coding classes a shot! Your children will get to dive into the world behind games and technology as they learn computational thinking and more core skills of the 21st century.

(Written by Hovan Tan, Edited by Cheryl Tang)

Read: 6 valuable lessons video games can teach your child

Coding Lab Educator Feature: Interview with Hovan Tan


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.

Ages 5-6 | Ages 7-9 | Ages 10-12 | Ages 13-18

Call us at +65 6977 9641
Email us at learntocode@codinglab.com.sg
Chat with us via WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger

In the previous series, our Founder Mr Yong Ning Foo shared with us how our award-winning, MIT-inspired coding curriculum was thoughtfully created.

Hear From Our Founder - Yong Ning, Audrey and Mitchell after P11S-CAI class (900x600px)
Yong Ning and his two children, Audrey (9) and Mitchell (7), after their Young Computer Scientists: Cognitive Artificial Intelligence class

Today, in the second part of this Hear From Our Founder series, we sit down with Yong Ning and his two children and inspirations – Audrey and Mitchell, ages 9 and 7 respectively – who are students of Coding Lab themselves! Hear all about their experiences and get the answers to the most commonly asked questions about our curriculum.

It’s exciting to hear how the Coding Lab curriculum all came together at the start! Now that your children are old enough to join Coding Lab as students, would you say that you’ve successfully introduced your favourite subjects to them in a fun way?

Yong Ning: Audrey is now 9 years old and Michell is 7 years old, and they have been attending our Coding Lab preschool and Scratch classes. With the curriculum that we built, we devised the Coding Lab Way of teaching which was also inspired by my time at MIT.

Having a good curriculum is important; but 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. That is why I carefully select tutors who not only have the requisite technical skills, but who most importantly embody our passion to teach, love engaging and educating children. They form a team of nurturing and inspiring educators that I envision and am comfortable for my own children to learn from.

Hear From Our Founder - Audrey and Mitchell in P11S-CAI
Class time at Coding Lab is always a fun time for 9-year-old Audrey, who aspires to be an author, and 7-year-old Mitchell, an aspiring athlete!

Audrey: I started with Scratch 1 and 2 when I was in Primary 1 and am now learning Cognitive Artificial Intelligence with my brother. I like coding because it’s fun and it also teaches me how to do different things. I can make my drawings come to life. For example, I can draw a unicorn and make it walk! 

Mitchell: I like coding because I can do a lot of stuff! It’s exciting and fun. I learnt how to move characters, to make the computer recognise the car number plate just by showing it more car number plates.

Audrey: I also learnt facial, speech and text recognition, such as making the computer recognise my face or my hair colour. It also guesses how old I am, and today I learnt to say something and the computer tells me whether the pronunciation is correct. 

Wow, it sounds like Audrey and Mitchell both really enjoy learning to code! I have a question that we always ask all of our featured students – what difficulties do you face when learning to code and how do you overcome them?

Mitchell: It is difficult sometimes because of typing the words and sometimes there are very long sentences! 

Audrey: He (Mitchell) always asks me to type it for him! For me, sometimes I have no idea what to draw or how to put the blocks together. I’ll try harder and do different combinations to get it to do what I want. 

Hear From Our Founder - Audrey and Mitchell in JCP
Audrey and Mitchell (in front of the teacher) attending the Junior Coders Programme together as preschoolers in 2019

Yong Ning: It’s interesting that Mitchell and Audrey brought these up! We always consider the curriculum’s suitability before creating and rolling it out. For example, our Scratch curriculum is adjusted to children Ages 7 to 9 who are still learning to type and spell.

This is the same for all the other age groups, especially our Junior Coders Programme where preschoolers ages 5 to 6 are still working on their spelling and fine motor skills (not the best at using the mouse or at typing yet). That’s why we incorporate kinaesthetic activities and use touchscreen tablets for this age group.

Simply jump in and code. … The amazing thing about Coding is that it can be applied to practically everything.

What is a common question that you get about the Coding Lab curriculum?

Yong Ning: Many parents enquire why their children spend so many hours learning a programming language, particularly Scratch (for Ages 7 to 9), when they should be moving on to other programming languages.

It’s not about how many programming languages one knows, but about the concept behind it. We focus on the true understanding of the codes and class material, as opposed to simply memorising or copying. Our students gain a critical understanding of Computational Thinking, which is applicable across all domains regardless of the programming language used, so they are able to quickly pick up any coding language in the future. 

In fact, Scratch actually looks deceivingly easy. It has what is called “low floor, wide walls and high ceiling” and is a principle that guides MIT Media Lab in its design of the Scratch programming language. It allows newbies to get started easily (low floor), engage all kids from different backgrounds and interests to explore multiple pathways (wide walls) and create increasingly complex projects over time (high ceiling).

This is why we spend so much time expanding our Scratch curriculum in the Young Computer Scientists programme, which has so many exciting research areas for students to learn all about Music, animations in Movie Magic, Physics, Biology and Mathematical concepts such as geometry.

Scratch is also being taught as Harvard’s introductory course in computer science. It gives students with no prior programming experience an introduction to the fundamentals of programming, as well as prepares them for the subsequent courses, which is what we strive to do here at Coding Lab too.

Photo of Co-Founders Yong Ning Foo and Candice Wang at Coding Lab Parkway Parade
Yong Ning (right) and Candice established Coding Lab to support their children to learn to code from a young age.

Did you know? “Low floor, wide walls and high ceiling” is a phrase Mitchel Resnick credits to his mentor Seymour Papert (yes, our latest room Papert at the King Albert Park campus is named after him). Papert quoted this phrase as a way for technology to be effective.

“It’s not about how many programming languages one knows, but about the concept behind it. We focus on the true understanding of the codes and class material, as opposed to simply memorising or copying.”

Hear From Our Founder - Coding Lab book covers (900x600px)
Look out for the exciting and colourful book covers at Coding Lab!

Fun Fact! Our coding curriculum spans hundreds of teaching hours. For example, the roadmap for just Ages 7 to 9 has more than 150 teaching hours! 

How has the Coding Lab curriculum evolved?

Yong Ning: Technology is fast-changing, so we also ensure that our curriculum stays relevant to the times by constantly revising it and adding new courses. I am especially proud of our S200 Advanced Electives, which initially started out as a vision for our students to broaden their horizons and apply their knowledge in a new area of interest. This included learning more about Unity, C++, SQL, HTML, Django and more.

Such curriculum refreshers are not just for teenagers. The Cognitive Artificial Intelligence course that my children just attended is another example of one of our newer courses that debuted in 2022, as well as the most recent Minecraft: Code Your World course.

“You’ll have to think. Even if coding is hard, you can’t give up!”

There is no better subject to teach online than coding and it made me think about our students’ learning experiences and how we were truly nurturing future leaders in technology in more ways than one. We were one of the first to leverage online conferencing tools at our Japan-Singapore Competition training in early 2019. This helped us ensure a smooth transition during the period of Covid, where we had to move our classes online.

Today, we continue to offer online coding classes and it is always a pleasant surprise to hear that students from countries all over the world have joined in.

I’m sure it hasn’t been easy to build such a huge curriculum in the short few years. What’s in store for the future of Coding Lab’s curriculum, perhaps another 10 years down the road?

Hear From Our Founder - YN and kids waving

Yong Ning: Given the rapid pace of development in Coding and Technology, it is difficult for me to predict in detail our curriculum 10 years into the future.

However, there are a few constants in our curriculum. Firstly, our curriculum will continue to focus on equipping our students with Computational Thinking Skills which is highly transferable across domains and time. Secondly, our curriculum would have evolved with technological improvement to equip our students with knowledge of the latest technology and at the same time, utilise the latest technology to provide our students with the best learning experience. Finally, our curriculum will continue to be taught by passionate teachers, using the latest pedagogy to inspire and nurture our students to become future leaders in technology. 

Lastly, I have one last question: What advice do you have for kids who want to learn to code?

Audrey: You will have to think. Even if it’s hard, you can’t give up!

Yong Ning: Simply jump in and code. Be brave in experimenting and use it to create games, projects and contents which you are passionate about. The amazing thing about Coding is that it can be applied to practically everything. Applying Coding to a subject (context) which you love makes learning (Coding) much more fun, meaningful and purposeful. And at the same time, you will also develop new insights on the subject (context) through the application of Computational Thinking and further advance your understanding of the subject. 

Thank you to Mr Yong Ning Foo and his two children Audrey and Mitchell for taking the time to share with us about the Coding Lab curriculum! We love to hear the different experiences with the award-winning curriculum and we are so excited for what’s to come in the future.

At 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. 

Read Coding Lab’s first-ever blog: I’d like to teach the world to code

Resilience and Reflection: A Chat with our Founders, Yong Ning Foo and Candice Wang

(Written by Cheryl Tang)


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.

Ages 5-6 | Ages 7-9 | Ages 10-12 | Ages 13-18

Call us at +65 6977 9641
Email us at learntocode@codinglab.com.sg
Chat with us via WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger

We all want our students to grow up to be successful – and as parents and educators ourselves, we understand this too. It’s important to note that there is no one definition of success for everyone. But in a world that’s increasingly becoming technology-driven, how can we help our children on their journey to their own definition of success?

Today, we speak to our Founder and Lead Educator, Yong Ning Foo, and our experienced educators, Salena Arsad and Evan Lim, on the qualities and skills your child will need to navigate this future in technology. Read on to find out more!

Key 1: Cultivating Grit

Photo of Evan guiding his students through their code
Our educators encourage students to persevere as they code and debug their programs, building grit and resilience.

The path to meaningful success is never smooth, so what helps your child to overcome the obstacles that they will face? Grit is the answer, Angela Duckworth, a Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, concluded after years of research. She found that high achievers have more grit than talent.

What is grit? Grit is the passion and perseverance for long-term goals. Having grit is fundamental to your little one’s journey because it encourages your child to push on despite new and unfamiliar things.

Our Founder and Lead Educator, Yong Ning Foo, who has had bountiful work experience in both the public and private sectors, agrees that grit is required to overcome obstacles faced. He recalls a fond memory of one of his students: “When he (the student) first joined us, his response to any bug encountered was to wait for the teacher to give him the answer. But our teachers will only give hints and not direct answers, so he was challenged to think and solve the problem by himself and became highly independent in his learning. He then adopted the same mentality to learning Mathematics, and shared with us that his Mathematics grades had improved tremendously.”

Photo of our Early Childhood Educator Salena guiding our Junior Coders Programme student
Tutor Salena encourages our curious little Junior Coder to explore an activity.

This situation is a common occurrence in our coding classes – whether they are preschoolers aged 5 or an 18-year-old teenager – they will definitely encounter problems with their code and will need to problem-solve it. This process of debugging trains students to become problem solvers and also encourages perseverance and grit.

“Those that continue on would often find that the results are satisfying,” shares Salena, our educator with professional experience in Early Childhood Education and who graduated with a Master of Education (Developmental Psychology) from Nanyang Technological University. “The confidence gained from this experience would push them to new heights of growth, encouraging them to further expand their knowledge no matter how difficult it will be.”

Read: Cultivate Resilience with the Power of Inquiry-Based Learning

How can you nurture your child’s grit at home?

How can you nurture your child’s grit at home?

Encourage a healthy attitude to mistakes to instil a growth mindset. Share about failure being an opportunity to learn and grow. Praise effort, not the outcome!

Key 2: Turning Everyday Experiences into Learning Opportunities

Curious little ones often have lots of questions, and life experiences such as playtime, meal times, and learning a new skill can also become huge learning opportunities! For example, as they learn to communicate with computers via codes in our coding classes, they also learn to communicate with their educators and peers, honing essential life skills such as social and emotional development.

Gif of Salena's P101 Scratch 1 student Dylan presenting
We make it a point to nurture our students’ public speaking skills – even in our Scratch 1 classes when our young coders are just aged 7 to 9!

Did you know that teaching your child to regulate their emotions can also help them communicate more effectively? Better self-regulation means that they’ll be more attuned to and can address others’ needs efficiently, helping them improve their communication.

Encouraging your little one to share about things they like, such as their toys, can also be an excellent springboard to hone their ability in public speaking! At Coding Lab, we also make it a point for our students to have a Hackathon and Project Showcase at the end of each course to present and share what they have coded. Aside from building their communication skills, “We want them to be confident and proud of their creation, and to get others excited about it,” Yong Ning shares.

How can you enrich your child's learning beyond the classroom?

How can you enrich your child’s learning beyond the classroom?

We have some tips from Tutor Salena Arsad, our educator with professional experience in Early Childhood Education and who graduated with a Master of Education (Developmental Psychology) from Nanyang Technological University.

Encourage your child to express their thoughts and feelings. Instead of asking them general questions like “How was your day?”, follow up on specific ones about how they feel every day. I always ask my students, “What happened? Why do you feel that way?” By asking such questions, they will need to break down their thoughts and emotions into logical facts, and part of emotional regulation is to look inside and understand the reason why they feel that certain emotion. Following that, I would provide tips on how to handle such a situation if it ever arises again.

Teach your child to identify their emotions. Examine what triggers these emotions, and how they can manage these emotions themselves. Do not encourage negative rash behavioural responses – even ignoring can mean encouragement. Instead, show them the appropriate responses to that situation.

Spark their curiosity. Your child is naturally curious and this is a good characteristic as it tends to motivate them to find out more about the topic on their own. It’s important to encourage your child to explore and ask them questions to maintain their level of curiosity. In doing so, they also form connections between what they’ve learnt in class and what they experience in life.

Key 3: Picking Up Prized Technical Skills from Young

Music, dance, martial arts, sports, brain training, drama – there are so many enrichment classes to attend and so many technical skills for your child to acquire! Learning skills from a young age is the best opportunity to develop their brain and to give our little ones a competitive edge to stand out. But with so many to choose from, which one should you pick to future-proof your child?

“To be future-ready, our young need to be able to think critically, assess options and make sound decisions. They should have a desire to learn, explore and be prepared to think out of the box.”

– Nurturing Our Young for the Future, Competencies for the 21st Century, Ministry of Education (MOE) Singapore

Photo of Yong Ning guiding his students
Our young Scratch students are hard at work to train up their Computational Thinking Skills with Yong Ning’s guidance!

Technology is advancing rapidly and is quickly changing the way we live, work and play. “Whichever path is chosen, it will cross paths with technology,” advises Yong Ning. “As a parent and an educator, I would want all my children and students to be equipped with Computational Thinking skills (problem-solving skills derived from computing and computer science, to solve problems across all other areas), so that they can competently partake in the development and application of technology in whichever field they choose.” As our students learn to code, they are also learning to use technology – another key skill in our future, where they will have to pick up new technology quickly, efficiently and independently.

Indeed, technology is ubiquitous and even MOE is beginning to prepare educators and students for our tech-driven future. Every primary student will learn simple coding in school, and every secondary student will own their own personal learning device by 2028.

“Technology is fast-changing,” agrees Tutor Evan Lim, our educator who mainly works with teenagers, “so I always encourage my students to read up more and share with me what they have learnt. There are a lot of different resources available on the internet that they can utilise to learn more about different things.” For example, Tutor Evan’s passionate student Ng Chen-Yi was just 13 years old when he built on his existing coding knowledge and independently learnt to code his very own 3D shooter game with Ursina in Python.

Read Coding Lab Student Feature: Ng Chen-Yi, 13, Hwa Chong Institution

It’s important that your child learns a range of skills to set them up for success in the future. “There isn’t a single definition of success,” Yong Ning reaffirms. “It is different for each person as it is shaped not just by societal expectations but also the person’s personality, and their own life experiences. Every student will thus have to create their own definition of success.”

Heard of the age-old adage, “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime”? Cultivating grit, turning everyday experiences into learning opportunities and picking up prized technical skills from young are some key ways that you can equip your children. With lifelong skills such as Computational Thinking, communication and social and emotional development, you can nurture your future leader to become successful – no matter the path they choose.

Why not give your child a headstart with our award-winning, MIT-inspired coding curriculum for ages 5 to 18?

Want more tips on how to sustain this journey to success? Read Next: Health is wealth: Brain food for a healthy mind and body.

(Written by Lakshmi, Nicole, Amanda and Edited by Cheryl)


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.

Ages 5-6 | Ages 7-9 | Ages 10-12 | Ages 13-18

Call us at +65 6977 9641
Email us at learntocode@codinglab.com.sg
Chat with us via WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger

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?

Image of Yong Ning
Yong Ning at our Coding Lab Parkway Parade campus, which boasts a stunning view of East Coast Park, as well as beanbags for students to lounge on.

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.

Educators Team Photo - Team Header Image
Yong Ning (far left) with some of our passionate Coding Lab educators!

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.

It has been a while since the first iterations of the Coding Lab curriculum, and we have now grown to a progressive roadmap of coding classes for ages 5 to 18. Many of the considerations used in the process of creating it, still hold today as we continue to innovate. 

“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?

GIF of our Young Computer Scientists doing some deskercise - with grandpa joining in the fun!
Our Young Computer Scientists doing some deskercise – with grandpa joining in the fun!

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?

Image of Adam, Anthony and Joshua receiving their award certificates from Mark Friedman, one of the original developers of MIT App Inventor
Adam, Anthony and Joshua receiving their award certificates from Mark Friedman, one of the original developers of MIT App Inventor

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. 

Coding Lab Achievement Photo Sarah

“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. 

Read Coding Lab’s first-ever blog: I’d like to teach the world to code

Resilience and Reflection: A Chat with our Founders, Yong Ning Foo and Candice Wang

(Written by Cheryl Tang)


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.

Ages 5-6 | Ages 7-9 | Ages 10-12 | Ages 13-18

Call us at +65 6977 9641
Email us at learntocode@codinglab.com.sg
Chat with us via WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger

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.

Team Photo - Rachel, Educator
Teacher Rachel – as her students fondly call her – has been an Educator with Coding Lab since 2018!

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!”

Photo of Rachel With Students And Certificates (Rachel Educator Feature)
A very special moment at our Parkway Parade campus: the end of a course is always a bittersweet moment, but it’s all worth it to see her students with their hard-earned certificates!

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.”

Educator Feature Rachel Header (1800x1200px)
Teacher Rachel is always there to lend a warm guiding hand!

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?

Photo of Rachel in Zoom Class (Rachel's Educator Feature)
Online classes with Teacher Rachel are always brimming with enthusiasm!

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.

Ages 5-6 | Ages 7-9 | Ages 10-12 | Ages 13-18

Call us at +65 6977 9641
Email us at learntocode@codinglab.com.sg
Chat with us via WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger

Have you ever wondered what goes on in our Advanced Computer Scientists (ACS) classes? Every lesson is an exciting adventure with our passionate educators that will take our students to the next level of programming – all while having fun exploring – and experiencing a wide range of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related topics!

“My son comes home with a new skill everyday and tries it out on his favourite game. Fun way of learning!”

– Parent of Yuze, 11, Pei Chun Public School

What is the Advanced Computer Scientists programme about?

Image of boy playing with microbit (A Peek into ACS)
Our Advanced Computer Scientist tinkering and experimenting with his Micro:bit.

Coding Lab’s ACS programme (for ages 10 to 12) offers 13 exciting research areas specially curated by our curriculum team.

Our students will cover a good mix of classes that we have categorised into 3 main groups: Hardware-Based Learning, Syntax-Based Learning and Complex App Development (Android and iOS). It doesn’t matter whether your child is in the Infocomm club, they will get the full hands-on experience of exploring and honing the breadth of their coding abilities.

This exposes them to a diverse range of coding applications and possibilities of the trending technology topics of today. Best of all, our curriculum combines PSLE Mathematics – for maximum educational fun – as they watch the magic of Math and Coding come alive.

“The class was fun and enjoyable. I really loved learning in the class as the teachers were kind and helpful. They taught me many things I did not know and I am happy that I got my certificate.

I am grateful to my teachers for providing and guiding me through this fun and nourishing experience. Coding Lab is a fun place to go and I would recommend it to my friends. Thank you fellow friends and teachers for helping me through coding. 😁”

– Cheng Hao, 10

Tutor Edmund and his students excitedly posing with their Minecraft props in the debut of the P21S-MiCr ACS Advanced Computer Scientists Minecraft: Code Your World course
Our Tutor and Advanced Computer Scientists all geared up to take their coding to the next level in our latest Minecraft: Code Your World (P21S-MiCr) course.

Be it having advanced Micro:bit training in our Hardware-Based Learning classes, creating a quiz gameshow in our Syntax-Based Learning classes or perhaps developing an iOS mobile app in our Complex App Development classes, the endless fun will leave students smiling from ear to ear! 

Fun Fact! The latest research area added to our ACS programme is the Minecraft: Code Your World course, which made its debut in June 2022.

What do students learn in class?

Students dive deeper into advanced code as they advance in their knowledge, with hints and loving guidance from our educators. They will build on the knowledge learnt in their earlier P200 classes in drag-and-drop MIT App Inventor and text-based Python Junior – that’s why these are prerequisites for our ACS programme.

In each lesson, our dedicated tutors begin by introducing the topic and giving the lesson’s tasks to students. Students write down their thoughts in the colourful workbooks that accompany their learning, and get hands-on with coding. They will watch the codes come alive on their laptop or phone screens, and even tinker with robotics such as the Micro:bit. Our tutors are there at every step of the way to provide hints, answer questions and guide students to the solutions.

With the small class sizes and fun learning experiences, students are constantly stimulated and engaged. We’ve also aligned our curriculum closely to what students learn in MOE schools. For example, our Python Turtle course introduces shapes and concepts such as Pythogoras’ Theorem.

Including concepts that are learnt in school is key in ensuring that our students get excited about learning. It also provides them with new perspectives about what they learn in school – some of them even get a headstart when they are first introduced to concepts in their coding classes!

A Peek Into P21S ACS Advanced Computer Scientists
We’ve got gorgeous and colourful book covers to complement our students’ learning journey!

Did you know?
Research areas proceed based on a pre-selected schedule carefully curated by Coding Lab tutors, which exposes your child to all 3 main groups.

Gotta catch ’em all! Each research area has a corresponding badge that students can collect and advance their coding skills.

Read: Did you know? Fun Facts about our Advanced Computer Scientists

“ACS allows me to dive deeper into my interest in coding. They have a wide range of topics for me to explore. I learnt how to code on various types of programs like when we used Python Turtle for Game Development or when we created apps with Thunkable, where I learnt functions to command the program and do a list of commands.

My tutors let us explore and try to program it it on our own first. If I have difficulties, my tutors are always there to help me. They explain why the program functions as it should in detail and they go through the codes step-by-step in class. I enjoy the ACS lessons very much!”

– Jo Xi, 12, Northland Primary School

Here’s the lowdown on our Advanced Computer Scientists programme:

P21S ACS Advanced Microbit Kit
An overview of our carefully curated Advanced Micro:bit Kit for the best hands-on learning experience.

  • There are 3 main groups of classes: Hardware-Based Learning, Syntax-Based Learning and Complex App Development (Android and iOS) – you can find the full list of 13 research areas here.
  • One ACS research area typically takes 10 hours to complete for 5 classes.
  • In order to progress to the next level, students are required to complete all research areas.

As the name of our programme goes, we hope that our students become Advanced Computer Scientists as they embark on this journey and get broad-based exposure to the various STEM topics – and even if they decide to pursue something else other than computer science – we know that the ACS learning experience is one that they will remember for life!

Python Health Game by Leonard Yong, 12 years old, in P21S-PyH3 Advanced Computer Scientists Health Advisor
See the real-world applicability of Python with this Health Game coded by our student!

Healthy 365 Junior with BMI Calculator by Thabitha, 12 years old, in P21S-AiH3 Advanced Computer Scientists Healthy 365 Junior
Level up and code even more functions into your app!

Pichu Defense, in Advanced Computer Scientists P21S PyGD
Explore game development with Python and find out the endless possibilities of coding!

11-year-old Ankit shares his Take A Break app that he coded with Python, which utilises Math, loops and more that he learnt in ACS.

Keian, 11 years old, presents his ACS Python Turtle project about drawing fun shapes and patterns with various pen sizes and colours.

10-year-old Jacob shows his innovative use of Python to create a Periodic Table Explorer, which uses various Quiz elements taught in ACS.

Here’s how you can become an Advanced Computer Scientist (ages 10 to 12)!

Read next: A Peek Into our Young Computer Scientists Course – Lifelong Learning and Applying It

(Written by Cheryl Tang and Zulaikha)


Best-in-class Curriculum for Coding

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

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Ages 5-6 | Ages 7-9 | Ages 10-12 | Ages 13-18

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We’re proud to announce that 7 of our Coding Lab students have achieved 3 Platinum Awards (the highest honour) and 4 Gold Awards (the second highest honour)!

The annual Hwa Chong Info-communications Challenge (HCIC) aims to ignite the interest of primary school students in the field of info-communications, as well as to recognise young talents in the areas of programming, coding and robotics. This year, the competition was held on the afternoon of 26 May 2022, with Primary 6 participants from Singapore and the equivalent of Primary 5 or 6 students from overseas centres.

Presenting to you Coding Lab’s 7 Award Winners at the HCIC:

Photo of Platinum Trophy and Hwa Chong Institution logo for Hwa Chong Infocomm Challenge 2022

Platinum Awards

Aidan Sin, 12
Ahmad Dzuizz Annajib, 12
Isaac Khong, 12

Photo of Gold Trophy and Hwa Chong Institution logo for Hwa Chong Infocomm Challenge 2022

Gold Awards

Fu Yu Zhong, 12
Nicholas Lam, 12
Tan Zheng Kai, 12
Evan Chua, 12

Congratulations to our students! The competition comprised 2 sections that tested them on programming logic, robotics knowledge and Python programming language. We are proud that they have excelled and we celebrate their achievements! We look forward to seeing what else they will code and achieve.

Coding Lab Students' Achievements - 7 HCIC 2022 Awards

Our students – Aidan, Isaac, Yu Zhong, Nicholas, Zheng Kai and Evan – all started coding with us (most for the first time ever!) in our P200 series from as young as 9 years old, and we are thrilled to see their efforts and coding abilities being recognised. Evan started from Scratch and we are so proud to see him grow in his skills and to achieve an award. We are also happy to have Dzuizz joining our National Olympiad in Informatics class in July to continue his exciting learning journey in programming!

You may recall Isaac Khong, one of our students who won Social Impact Award and Judges’ Choice (Most Innovative) in our International Coding Showcases (SG-JP) held in 2020 and 2021.

Read Isaac Khong’s blog feature with his sister Alicia here and catch his video interview too!

Whilst we celebrate our students’ success in this arena, we recognise that competitive programming is merely a subset of the full scope of programming. Many of our students have achieved success in wider aspects; whether it’s creating a Stock Rating Algorithm, a Real-Time Carpark Tracker, a prize-winning app or attaining an overseas scholarship to read Computer Science at University, we’re here to support our students every step of the way.

Interested to find out more? Check out the Python Programming and Elective courses we offer for Secondary school and Junior College students.

Read: 1st Position in the Hwa Chong Infocomm Challenge 2019, Ang Jun Ray

Also Read: Congratulations to our 8 Medallists in NOI 2022 Qualification Contest!

(Written by Cheryl Tang)


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.

Ages 5-6 | Ages 7-9 | Ages 10-12 | Ages 13-18

Call us at +65 6977 9641
Email us at learntocode@codinglab.com.sg
Chat with us via WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger

Meet Ryan, our upbeat and passionate educator, who brings a wealth of experience to his classes from his time teaching overseas to his impressive work at the Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) and Ministry of Defence (MINDEF). With a knack for breaking down complex coding concepts, he aspires to inculcate an exploratory and forward-thinking attitude in our students so that each child will be prepared for the digital world ahead!

Team Photo - Ryan, Educator
Ryan was a Senior Engineer at DSTA for 5 years and was also involved with system used by leading data scientists for MINDEF.

Hi Ryan, can you share with us how you first got interested in coding?

I have always believed that technology will be key for the future economy and decided to take a plunge into it when I first applied to Nanyang Technological University to do Computer Science. I had many chances to be exposed to different types of programming languages, so I learnt that there were many different applications of coding.

Now that I’m teaching coding, it requires me to keep learning to keep up with the changes in technology. I love the way technology is able to make life easier and more seamless!

How did you discover your passion for teaching?

When I volunteered at church as a Sunday School teacher for Primary 1 to Primary 6 students, I received a lot of great feedback. I generally enjoy communicating with people and teaching, so I decided to serve the kids overseas as well and gradually started to consider teaching.

Together with my degree in computer science, it was a good job fit when I came across Coding Lab. I love the subjects that I teach and now that I’m given the platform to share about them, it’s only natural for me to do so passionately!

“It gives me great joy to make things simple and easy to understand, so I have lots of analogies, examples and illustrations that interest and help students to grasp the coding concepts.”

Photo of Educator Ryan at our Parkway Parade campus with two students in a Scratch class
Educator Ryan is enthusiastic in educating his students!

Why do you think that learning to code from young is important?

Learning to code gives the child space to explore many different aspects of technology, such as creating simple games, solving puzzles, to coding more advanced programs. Most importantly for all programmers, it’s fun and doesn’t feel like work!

Can you share about your previous experiences at DSTA and MINDEF?

Oh, it’s highly classified information at my previous full-time jobs! I can share that I was involved in doing documentation and training staff to pick up skills for the job, so the familiarity of it all helps now that I’m teaching children to code.

What do you do apart from being a Coding Lab Educator?

On Saturdays (and some school holidays), you can find me teaching at Coding Lab. On weekdays, I’m a student (of the Bible)! Other than that, I have a love for the art of making coffee and pizza. From intricate coffee tools to having my stone oven shipped over from Italy during the pandemic, I would say I’m pretty serious about it.

Photo of Educator Ryan and his 3 students at Parkway Parade campus, with the male student playing the violin and two female twin siblings watching him
A glimpse of Educator Ryan’s most memorable class.

What is the most memorable class or student you’ve had?

There was this particular Young Computer Scientists class that had a pair of twins and this other kid (whose names I shall not disclose). The twins requested him to bring his violin to class and they started a mini-concert playing and singing along to their favourite song “Faded” by Alan Walker. What a start to the coding class!

Even during the Heightened Alert when classes were fully online again, they continued to virtually jam together with their violin, piano and singing over Zoom! And when it was time to code, they were serious and focused. It was truly unforgettable to see them enjoying their coding classes, getting together to have fun and learn at the same time.

If I stepped into one of your classes, what would I experience?

It gives me great joy to make things simple and easy to understand, so I have lots of analogies, examples and illustrations that interest and help students to grasp the coding concepts. I also love to interact and encourage students to speak up, especially the teens, so you can expect a lot of that – especially from me!

Do you have any final words of advice?

To all the students who are thinking of coding or currently coding, I would say to “Do it now!” To teachers, always think of ways to get your students interested and enjoy your time spent with them!

Thank you, Ryan, for taking the time to have this conversation with us! We hope that you will continue to inspire and nurture many more students with us on Saturdays and in all your other endeavours.

Read Next: Meet Hovan, our passionate and personable educator

(Written by Cheryl Tang and Amanda Soh)


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.

Ages 5-6 | Ages 7-9 | Ages 10-12 | Ages 13-18

Call us at +65 6977 9641
Email us at learntocode@codinglab.com.sg
Chat with us via WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger