Coding Lab Student Feature: Justin, NUS High School of Math and Science

In another exciting student feature, we have Justin, a bright-eyed boy passionate about Mathematics and Coding, who entered NUS High School of Math and Science. Let’s get to know our Gifted Coders graduate who started learning to code at the tender age of seven! 🤩

Photo of Justin on holiday
Justin smiling happily while on holiday.

Hi Justin! Congratulations on entering NUS High through DSA! How do you feel about this achievement?

I felt very happy (and relieved) as I have always wanted to get into NUS High. In fact, it was my dream school ever since my family drove past some years back and the word “Math” caught my attention. Later on, I chanced upon a YouTube video that featured Pi digits on the aluminium panels above the concourse. Being a Math enthusiast, I was very fascinated. I was over the moon when I finally received the Confirmed Offer letter!

“After I learnt how to code, I was able to understand how games are created. It is fun to know what goes on behind the scenes!”

Tell us how you first got started with coding. What do you like most about it?

Photo of Justin and friends in class (1200x628)
Justin (far right) and his friends in the Gifted Coders class.

My parents thought that I would enjoy coding so they signed me up for Coding Lab’s Scratch holiday programme when I was seven years old. I enjoyed designing games using Scratch and playing other users’ games!

Later on, I was invited to join the Gifted Coders’ class where I learnt Python programming language. What I enjoyed most about Python is how I am able to create programs that can solve Mathematics problems.

“The current world is technology-driven, hence it will benefit us if we understand how to code in order to stay relevant. It also teaches us how to think logically.”

Why do you think learning to code is so important?

Photo of Justin
An avid Math lover, Justin finds it gratifying to solve problems with code.

Coding is what we use to invent machines, robots and video games. Without coding, we will not be able to enjoy apps like Zoom, GrabFood, Deliveroo and Foodpanda. I mean, just imagine how these things have benefited us during the pandemic! 

The current world is technology-driven, hence it will benefit us if we understand how to code in order to stay relevant. It also teaches us how to think logically.

What are the difficulties you faced while learning to code and how did you overcome them?

When I first started Python, I found many errors in my code. I had to constantly seek help from my teacher and over time, I gradually understood the reason behind my errors and I learnt how to debug independently without her help.

“Debugging has helped me learn how to troubleshoot whenever I face a problem. Every time I manage to do it, it feels very shiok!”

What is your favourite project and why?

I enjoy how the aliquot sequence works, so my preferred type of code is one that calculates the aliquot sequence works of a number. My favourite project is the one I did for my Gifted Coders graduation, which can solve simultaneous and quadratic equations! Check it out below.

How has coding made a difference in your life?

Photo of Justin on holiday 2
In his free time, Justin enjoys listening to music, doing science kits, playing card or board games with his sisters, cycling with his family and playing with the Rubik’s cube.

After I learnt how to code, I was able to understand how games are created. It is fun to know what goes on behind the scenes! With my Python knowledge and my passion for Math, I was even able to code a program that calculated the sum of factors for every number. I was also able to create Math problem-solving programs using Python and I found it to be truly rewarding indeed!

Do you have any advice for young people like you who are learning to code?

I would highly recommend young people to pick up Python, especially with Coding Lab’s Python programme! The language is very relevant in today’s technology-driven world and with it, you’re able to create solutions for real-world problems!

Thank you for sharing your coding journey with us, Justin! We are so happy and proud to see you grow from the bright 7-year-old Scratch student – that we invited to our Gifted Coders class – to a Python pro, and is now in our S200 Advanced Electives. We hope that Justin’s story will be an inspiration, and we look forward to what he will achieve in the future! 😉


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The new year always welcomes new beginnings, fresh opportunities and in our case, the best and exciting techtivities (tech + activities) that you can enjoy with your loved ones! 😉

Let’s start off with January’s #TechFact, which touches on the topics of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)…

Have you ever been immersed in a VR or AR experience? If you haven’t, you’re in for a treat! One of our techtivities this month involves Virtual Reality 🤩

Here’s an example of how VR and AR have been used in real life:

Virtual Reality

PlayStation VR image (Jan Techtivities 2022)

Sony’s PlayStation VR involves the use of a headset that contains blue LED tracking lights, motion sensors and PlayStation Camera that track the position and orientation of your head in real-time. 

With the tracking of your head, VR games and applications render immersive 3D visuals and audio that put you into a virtual world! 

Augmented Reality

Pokémon Go logo (Jan Techtivities 2022)

Released in 2016, Pokémon Go allows users to explore and catch Pokémon by looking through their phones at the real world – but with superimposed images. 

It became a popular hit, with up to 65 million users at the peak of its popularity! 

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


Wild Singapore Comics from Piqolo Kids

Wild Singapore comic series is the perfect way to introduce STEAM to your little one, while also learning about the little red dot they call home! Embark on an exciting adventure with space explorers Peppy and Lili as they learn about local wildlife, wilderness and explore Singapore.

Suitable for ages 6 to 9, the adorable series is jam-packed full of fun activities that can be done for both stay-at-home and in the outdoors!

June Techtivities - Piqolo Kids STEM Comic Book

Details:
Includes: Activity book, character cards, sticker and translation sheet
Price: From $8 at Peppy & Lili
Quote CODINGLAB2021 (valid till 31 January 2022) for 5% off your order!
To find out more and access FREE activity sheets, click here.


ArtScience Museum VR Gallery: Spacewalkers

Has your teen ever dreamed of going to outer space? 🧑‍🚀 Well, they can easily do so at the ArtScience Museum’s Spacewalkers! Featuring 2 exhilarating VR artworks that make use of exclusive archival footage and recordings from NASA on the Apollo missions, viewers will be left awed and mesmerised.

With the tracking of your head (as mentioned earlier in #TechFact!), enter a virtual world where you get to retrace the footsteps of the first humans on the moon and feel the zen stillness of the lunar void. It is truly a one-of-a-kind experience that can be gained thanks to virtual reality! You certainly wouldn’t want to miss this one out. 🤩

Image of Spacewalkers for Jan Techtivities

Details:
When: 25 November 2021 – 27 February 2022
Where: ArtScience Museum, VR Gallery, Level 4 
Price: Singapore residents – $16 (Adult), $12 (Concession) Tourists – $19 (Adult), $14 (Concession) 
Suitable for ages 13 and above only.
Learn more here.


Jurassic Dinosaur – Adventure Park

If your little one is a dinosaur enthusiast, they’re in for a treat! Interactive indoor playground Jurassic Dinosaur – Adventure Park has got a variety of play areas that they can enjoy. Older kids can get to ride on the Dino train or even on dinosaurs themselves – just choose your favourite dinosaur and saddle up! On the other hand, soft playing areas like the mini slide, a sensory play pit and block-building area are available for younger kids to have fun! 

Set in a charming display of primeval forest area, your little techie is sure to have a blast with the many different activities available and wide range of dinosaurs to see. In fact, they may even become a mini palaeontologist by the end of the day! 🦕

Details:
When: 24 December 2021 – 13 February 2022
Where: Let’s Play @D’Marquee, Downtown East
Price: Weekdays – $25, Weekends / Public Holidays & Eve of Public Holidays – $28
Recommended for children ages 4 to 10.
Learn more here.


Coding Bytes: Block Basher

The second App Inventor instalment in our Coding Bytes series is Block Basher, where Tutor Luke teaches us how to program a game similar to the retro game brick breaker where the player bounces the ball using a paddle and destroys blocks to gain points. 🧱 You and your little one can watch and learn how you can apply math and physics to code the game! ➗✖️➕ 

Added your own twist to the program? We’d love to see it! Tag us @codinglabasia on Facebook or Instagram and stand a chance to be featured! 😉 Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel too to get notified on our latest videos.

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


Welcome 2022 Weekly Coding Classes

Start 2022 right with us and discover the wonders of coding in our Weekly Coding Camps!  Our term classes are led by experienced educators and psst, with our new colourful and revamped workbooks, we’re sure our students will get the best start in their coding journey! 😉 Sign your little one up for weekly coding fun here.

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

Hello 2022! Banner for Jan Techtivities

Details:
Date: From 4 January
Location: Online, Parkway Parade, Bukit Timah (KAP Mall)
Price: From $401.52
To find out more, click here.


Image for #TechNews (January Techtivities 2022)

This month’s tech news is about Singapore’s progress as a Smart Nation – with the use of 5G technology! Did you know that Sentosa has become a 5G test bed for the public sector? For example, a driverless road sweeper vehicle in Sentosa can be remotely controlled in case of an emergency, by an operator located about 20km away in Jurong West. How cool is that?

This is because the 5G network is able to provide a superior connectivity channel to handle large amounts of data in real time without compromising the quality of the data transmitted! 

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


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Thank You for your support.

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

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Hovan is one of our passionate and personable educators. A graduate from the NUS Computer Engineering course, he finds great purpose and satisfaction in nurturing the talents of youths. At home, he is also the oldest of 4, with three young brothers ages 14, 16 and 23.

In this interview, we learn more about the remarkable coding journey of the former Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) student who did the International Baccalaureate programme (one of the most prestigious courses in Singapore)!

Hi Hovan, could you share with us how you first started coding?

Team Photo - Hovan, Educator
Hovan has been teaching and guiding our students at Coding Lab since 2019.

I started coding very late. I only began at the start of my undergraduate journey when I majored in Computer Engineering at the National University of Singapore. I still remember the struggle I had to go through in the early days, where I had to compete with new students like myself and veterans of the trade. However, programming soon became a passion for me, and from the struggle came one of the greatest senses of achievement I’ve ever felt after completing a project.

Cool! Since you had no prior experience in coding, what drew you to major in Computer Engineering in the first place?

Computer Engineering was actually my second choice. My first choice was Electrical Engineering as I loved to tinker with hardware and electrical components. In hindsight, I’m glad that I got to do Computer Engineering, which is a hybrid between Computer Science and Electrical Engineering. This allowed me to enjoy the best of both worlds of programming and hardware.

The most important lesson I learnt from my time in university is that software alone is not enough. Coupled with hardware, a lot more can be done. The same goes for my teaching – it’s not one-dimensional; I approach each student differently.

“Coding can be colourful, unrestrictive, and imaginative. It allowed not just my students, but also me, to express our creativity and build something special.”

That’s great to hear. Have you always aspired to teach coding?

As a mischievous and playful kid, I had always been the bane of my teachers’ existence. It was only when I had matured and became wiser with age that I understood the passion that drove my teachers to come to class every day – the love, sweat, and tears as they saw us both fail and succeed. Then came along two small boys, my youngest brothers, who are ages 14, 16 and 23 today. I took on the responsibility as an elder brother and guided them through their early years of life. As time went on, I realised that I wanted to care for and guide children professionally as a teacher.

Tutor Hovan with students
Hovan doesn’t only inspire his younger brothers, but his students too!

At first, I only wanted to teach – it didn’t have to be coding. However, while studying Computer Engineering, I wondered if I could take what I have learnt about coding and educate others on it. That’s when I joined Coding Lab, and I truly enjoyed teaching children to code.

When I first started, I viewed it as methodical and rigid, but after interacting with students of different backgrounds, I realised that coding can be colourful, unrestrictive, and imaginative. It allowed not just my students, but also me, to express our creativity and build something special. Seeing my students finish their personal projects after finally understanding their code, and the happiness, relief and accomplishment they feel when they test their programs and have it finally work after debugging never gets old and continues to drive me to teach coding. 

Aside from teaching, I also contribute to the curriculum and had the chance to guide our students for the MIT App Inventor Summit 2019 (where they won numerous awards in the USA). Having the ability to exercise my imaginative mind inspired me to keep teaching and working on further projects. I’m excited to meet both new and returning students, hoping to not only teach them, but also to become good friends with them along the way!

“Be humble. Never stop learning. And your programs are never ‘finished’; it’s always a work in progress.”

We’re glad that you’ve found your love for teaching coding here! Why do you think that learning to code is important?

Learning to code is essential in this day and age of technology. Therefore, starting young and getting a feel for programming serves as a crucial skill that can be used for the future. Beyond that, it trains children to think logically and be independent in finding solutions to problems, not only in school, but also in life.

Hovan and Student Sean S200 (900x600px)
Educator Hovan is always enthusiastic and excited to teach students of all ages!

What’s your teaching style?

When teaching concepts, I ensure that I have everyone’s attention and am loud enough for everyone to hear. During practical parts of the lesson, it’s the students’ turn to up the volume and voice out their questions, errors and more.

Overall, I’m serious during classes, where I expect discipline and commitment. But during breaks, before and after class, I am goofy, just like every other kid and like to chat and laugh with my students.

Could you share about a class or student that had made a deep impression on you?

It’s hard to pick favourites or even long-lasting impressions because I’ve had so many classes and students that I had a great time teaching. But if I were to pick one, I would share about my student who was so advanced that he even helped teach and lead the class together with me. I saw a leader and a future coach in that student, and as a teacher, I welcome that.

Gif of Hovan affirming his student's project
Our supportive educator is as invested in his Young Computer Scientist student’s project as his student is.

If a student came up to you and asked for any piece of advice, what would you tell them?

Be humble. Never stop learning. And your programs are never ‘finished’; it’s always a work in progress.

Finally, what do you like to do outside the classroom?

I’m a gamer. I also play the piano a bit, work out, and I enjoy spending time with my family and loved ones.

Thank you, Hovan, for taking the time to share your journey from coder to educator with us. We’re so thrilled to have you with us as an educator. We hope that you’ll continue to warm the hearts of your students, guide them and ignite their passion for coding with your zeal and dedication to your calling!

Read Next: Get to know Thinzar, our educator with a big heart

(Written by Amanda Soh)


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Thank You for your support.

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

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Thinking of the perfect gift this year? Toys our techies would love: Be it to kickstart or further their interest in technology, these STEAM gadgets and games are sure to bring hands-on joy to children aged 4 to 18 this season! 🎁

The Coding Lab team has compiled this Christmas Gift Guide (and arranged it by age groups) to save you from the endless browsing and last-minute shopping frenzy for the perfect Christmas present for your loved ones!

Click to navigate:

STEAM Gift Ideas for Christmas - Ages 4 to 6

STEAM Gift Ideas for Christmas - Ages 7 to 9

STEAM Gift Ideas for Christmas - Ages 10 to 12

STEAM Gift Ideas for Christmas - Ages 13 to 18


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

Tiny Hands, Mega Minds. At Coding Lab, we believe that age and size do not matter when it comes to coding and tinkering. At preschool ages, it’s important to select educational toys for our budding tots to achieve their key milestones in life. Here are some great ideas for a headstart in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM)!

Read: STEAM is the new STEM

Photon Robot

Educator holding an iPad with junior coders surrounding her and in front of Photon robot
Our Educator passionately sharing with our Junior Coders how Photon Robot works

Photon robots are an adorable introduction to hands-on robotics for tiny tots, and that’s exactly why we include it in our Junior Coders Programme curriculum.

With an iPad, little ones can tinker and program their interactive and educational Photon companion to make sounds, lights and go on a treasure hunt! It’s perfect to improve their logical thinking skills and build up the basic computational skills – all essential life skills and basics of STEAM.

Find out more here.

$318 when you order from Coding Lab (U.P. $348), call us at +65 6528 2282

The Learning at Home Set from Learning Beautiful

Let your kids learn how computers work… without using a computer.

Developed in and inspired by Montessori classrooms, these wooden toys designed at MIT impart computational thinking. The hands-on materials ethically manufactured in USA include a wooden binary tree, pixel boards, a handbook with more than 30 activities, and more – all to impart computer science concepts. You’re never too young (or too old) to start learning the basics! With this, you can truly learn beautifully with your tiny techie. 

Find out more and get FREE activities here.

$268.30 (15% off for December when you subscribe to their mailing list) at Learning Beautiful Singapore (U.P. $315.65)

Magna-Tiles

Hands-on, screens off! Think building blocks – tiles – but magnetic. You have Magna-Tiles. 

These 3-dimensional magnetic building sets stand by encouraging and integrating math, science, creativity and imagination. The vibrant tiles have magnetic sides that come in various shapes and sizes for your child to connect them together with a ‘click’ sound.

A butterfly, a castle, your child can build anything! The simple idea behind Magna-Tiles is that if you can click it, you can create it. 

Find out more and get FREE activities here.

$29.90 to $249.90 at Playhao, Pupsik Studio, The Children’s Showcase and Le Petit Society

Read: Tech Gift Ideas for Christmas

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

We believe that everyone should get acquainted with STEAM (including coding!) – and that it should be fun for everyone. Here are some presents that can help you with that, and maybe even jazz up learning for your young ones:

Wild Singapore Comics from Piqolo Kids

What better way to discover Singapore and STEAM than through a local comic series?

June Techtivities - Piqolo Kids STEM Comic Book

For the ones who love to read, do activity books or collect cards, Wild Singapore comic series will keep them occupied! Join little space explorers Peppy and Lili on a mission and learn about local wildlife, wilderness and explore Singapore. Recommended for ages up to 9, they even have a Young Explorer’s Journal with over 50 curated and open-ended exploration activities.

Find out more here.

From $8 at Peppy and Lili. Get 5% off all products when you use the code CODINGLAB2021 (valid until 31 January 2022).

Snap Circuits JR

Introduce your children to electronics with this exciting, hands-on box with more than 100 projects to work on!

Easily create working circuit boards by sliding switches, snapping wires, an alarm circuit, a speaker and more to recreate what you would find in televisions, doorbells, and other everyday electronic devices. Your children will get to experiment and witness first-hand how electronics work (without soldering or tools) – it’s just a snap.

Find out more here.

$56.83 from Amazon

mBot

Looking for a fun and affordable robot for a beginner programmer? You’ve got the mBot. 

This four-wheeled STEAM education robot lets children learn about machinery and electronics, fundamentals of programming, and develop their design and logical thinking skills. The cute mBot comes with an instruction manual (so it’s easy to set up and pair with the app, Scratch and Arduino) and also motivates kids to experience the joys of making, which is why we have it as part of our Young Computer Scientists curriculum.

Find out more here.

From $109.90, available in blue and pink, from Toytag and Playhao.

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

Coding is the new literacy. We’ve all seen the might of technology and coding seems to be the next ‘it’ thing. Here are toys that can help to pique your child’s interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM).

Read: STEAM is the new STEM

STEAM Crystal Science

Fancy having some crystals that you can call your own? This is a learning experience for both kids and parents!

Embark on a science and geology experiment together as you learn about the complexity of growing gorgeous crystals of your own. This kit has everything that you’ll need to grow over 10 crystals (including glow-in-the-dark ones!) and can last indefinitely. Display your finished work and tell your guests all about the wonderful time your family grew crystals together! 

From $42.86 at Amazon and My Toy Shop

Arduino Starter Kit

This kit is for the more serious tech tinkerers to dip their toes in STEAM and to self-learn even more with Arduino. 

We often have curious parents asking if we teach Arduino here. Our answer? If they can do basic programming (Scratch included!), then they can transfer that knowledge to Arduino. These kits have hardware (i.e. programmable boards, sensors, mechanical parts) and open-source software, which introduces concepts such as electricity and Arduino code. Activities and tools include sensors, buttons, and more! 

Find out more here.

Access free tutorials here.

$128 for the Starter Kit from Duck Learning

Micro:Bit

Take coding one step further with one of the world’s smallest programmable computers. 

Image of children trying out the maze game with Micro:bit controls

Pop two AAA batteries in, and you’re ready to create your projects. The pocket-sized computer has an LED light display, buttons, sensors and a compass, which you can work with Scratch, Python, Microsoft MakeCode, and more. Created by news agency BBC, it was distributed to children in the United Kingdom – Singapore is following suit with select schools – to heighten curiosity and interest in coding. Join in the fun! Make a random number generator, light-up compass and more – like what we do in our Young and Advanced Computer Scientists courses!

Find out more and get FREE activities here.

$30 from Coding Lab, call us at +65 6528 2282

Read: Tech Gift Ideas for Christmas

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

We nurture future leaders in technology, so we recognise that it’s important to be tech-literate in today’s world. Here are some tech gift ideas to keep our teens curious and hungry for more knowledge:

Raspberry Pi

Nope, we’re not talking about raspberries or the magical 3.14 number. 

The Raspberry Pi is an affordable, pocket-sized computer that could be the key to unlocking the door of physical computing. You can connect it to a monitor, keyboard and mouse. Learn with Scratch, use Python, make websites and more!

It makes picking up computing more accessible and seamless, so people are able to harness the power of computing to solve problems and express themselves creatively.

Find out more and get free learning materials here.

From $35 from Argon and Cytron

Laptop or Tablets

Remember the moment you first got your own desktop or laptop? 

Our ACS student exploring the course

Perhaps now is the time for your teen to experience that moment too. Many of us have fond memories of tinkering with our own blogs, using Microsoft Word and PowerPoint, playing Maple Story, navigating Friendster and the old Facebook. Whether it’s a laptop or tablet that you purchase, it will be a great time for your teen to take on the responsibility of a device, hone his or her typing skills, get familiar with technology and have knowledge and information at his or her fingertips! 

Psst, Apple fans! Tertiary students (University, Polytechnic, JC, ITE) can get Apple Education prices.

Kiwico Crates and The Afterschool Club Boxes

At a complete loss as to what fun and enriching presents you should get, and you only know the child’s age? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

The STEM projects and kid-friendly content by KiwiCo is delivered in a crate. Whether you’re interested in Science and Tinkering or Art and Design, monthly, 3-month, 6-month and annual subscriptions, they have it all! With so many crate choices, they have filtered it by ages and various interests for you to narrow down the perfect one.

Or #SupportLocal and get curated STEAM boxes from The Afterschool Club. Whether it’s a one-off or subscription that you choose, each box aims to provide educational and fun activities for kids to do – and their boxes are also broken down into the different ages and categories if you’re spoilt for choice. 

From $20.16/month from KiwiCo, $28/box or $29.67/month from The Afterschool Club

Read: Tech Gift Ideas for Christmas

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

How time flies! We’ve already reached December, the month filled with festivities and new year preparations. Stay tuned for the exciting family-friendly techtivities we’ve prepared for you to make your December even more meaningful! 

Let’s start off with December’s #TechFact, which answers the question: What are the applications of coding/programming?

Find out more about its many broad benefits in the infographic below! 😉

Image for #TechFact (December Techtivities)
Image for #TechFact (December Techtivities)
Source: Our very own Coding Lab Educators!

From Robotics, Artificial Intelligence to Web/App Development, there’s no doubt that coding/programming has enabled us to achieve many advancements in technology!

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


Wild About Twilight 2021: A Pangolin’s Tale 

In this Walking Trail by Mandai Night Safari, your little techie can reinforce what they’ve learnt about Augmented Reality (AR) into real life! Together with Berani (which translates to ‘brave’ in Malay), a Sunda pangolin, you can discover hidden AR animals and learn how you can play a part in fighting against their extinction! 

Visitors need to download the Animal Quest app and complete the challenges in order to find where the AR animals are located. It certainly is an exciting digital experience for the whole family! 

Wild About Twilight Night Safari Banner

Details:
Includes: A fun Virtual Reality (VR) journey through the world’s first nocturnal wildlife park
When: 28 October – 31 December 2021
Where: Mandai Night Safari
Price: $32.40 for children, $47.70 for adults, $22 for senior citizens
Learn more here.


Nature Walks with Young Nautilus

Every young techie deserves a good day out in nature every once in a while. They can even go a step further and become mini Marine Scientists for a day! 

As Marine Scientists, they get to explore Singapore’s nature biodiversity, discover the mysteries of the squid in a dissection class and keep our coastal areas clean with a beach cleanup! We are sure that with awesome adventures like these, your aspiring little coder will become even more familiar with STEM and grow into eco-conscious techies.

Image of Nature Walk with Young Nautilus

Details:
Includes: A one-of-a-kind experience of being a young Marine Scientist for a day!
When: Selected dates from 5 November – 26 December 2021
Where: Multiple locations
Who: 6 years old and above
Price: $172 for “1 Child + 1 Adult” Promo / $89 for adults / $87 for children
Learn more here.


Brickosaurs World at Singapore Zoo and River Wonders

Apart from meeting the newly born zebra foal and giant panda, visitors have another reason to visit the Singapore Zoo and Mandai River: there are more than 60 life-sized dinosaurs (made out of roughly 1.5 million bricks!) 

Brickosaurs World is sure to catch your little one’s attention as they discover all about these magnificent creatures. They’ll learn more about animals at the brink of extinction, and the importance of conserving the wildlife and biodiversity of today! There are also 8 exciting workshops that your little techie can participate in, like using their crafty hands to dig up T-Rex bones and also put their thinking caps on as they find their way out of an a-maze-ing race! 

Brickosaurs World Banner

Details:
Includes: Showcase of more than 60 life-sized dinosaurs
When: 13 November 2021 – 3 May 2022
Where: Singapore Zoo and River Wonders
Price: Free with admission into Singapore Zoo and River Wonders
Learn more here.


Coding Bytes: Space Blast

The latest addition to our Coding Bytes series is Space Blast, our first-ever App Inventor tutorial! In this step-by-step tutorial, Tutor Luke teaches us how to program a fun game in space! In the game, you’ll have to navigate a fast rocket through space to reach Mars. 🚀 As the rocket has finite fuel and the distance is far, players have to collect power-ups to top-up fuel and avoid asteroids that decrease the rocket’s health! 🔋

Added your own twist to the program? We’d love to see it! Tag us @codinglabasia on Facebook or Instagram and stand a chance to be featured! 😉 Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel too to get notified on our latest videos. 

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


End the year well with our Year-End Coding Camps

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

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

Year-End Coding Camp Banner

Details:
Date: 20 November – 31 December 2021
Location: Online, Parkway Parade, Bukit Timah (KAP Mall)
Price: $401.52
For more information, click here.


Image for #TechNews (December Techtivities)

This month’s tech news is about the use of robots in Singapore – specifically 5 of them! So the next time you go out to explore Singapore, keep a lookout for these 5 robots:
1. Safe distancing ambassador O-R3 at Bedok and Pandan Reservoir 
2. Coronavirus-zapping Sunburst UV bot at Northpoint City 
3. PAL, Decathlon Singapore’s inventory whiz
4. Cleaning robots Yi-Wei and Ella at Jewel and National Gallery Singapore / Alexandra Hospital
5. Rapid Automated Volume Enhancer (RAVE)’s speedy coronavirus testing

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


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Total Experience, X Analytics, Arm Technology… Are you in the know of these emerging technologies? Believe us; technology is fast-advancing and these top trends are bound to impact our lives, careers, and more. In fact, you might’ve already encountered some of them without knowing it. 

We’ve asked our Coding Lab Team to share their tech expertise on the hottest technology and here’s what you need to keep an eye out for in the Artificial Intelligence era. Be in the know so you can stay ahead of the game!

Students in Singapore attending one of the Minecraft Cup sessions via videoconferencing
Yes, Minecraft is a Virtual World too! Here are our Best Coder winners creating their impressive Virtual World in the Microsoft National Minecraft Cup 2019 in Japan.


Trend 1: Virtual Worlds

What games do your children play? Well, apart from letting your child have fun, it turns out that it’s also getting them acquainted with tech that’s brimming with potential – Virtual Worlds! 

What is it?

Virtual Worlds are computer-simulated environments with sensory and spatial characteristics, where users may utilise avatars to explore the environment. You’ve definitely heard of games like Second Life, The Sims, Habbo and World of Warcraft. These virtual worlds allow users to design, explore and interact with others.

Why should we look out for it?

While this technology tends to be widely used in gaming, technology has heralded diverse advancements, including Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, further extending its utility. (Virtual Reality immerses the user in a simulated environment, whereas Augmented Reality is an overlay of technology in the real world.) As discovered in recent years, and with the COVID-19 pandemic, Virtual Worlds now hold significant value in the education, medical and even the commercial spheres!

  • Education: It provides an interactive space for students to attempt tasks without financial and geographical constraints for greater student participation. This has proven to be especially useful during the pandemic!
  • Medical: It offers a mental and physical outlet for people to try out activities through their avatar. From confronting phobias to distracting patients during painful procedures, the list is only growing.
  • Commercial: It acts as a platform for collaboration for businesses, reducing costs from office rentals and electricity and allowing employees to interact easily with one another despite working from home.

Gif of our educator Lynn and her Young Computer Scientist student having fun with the Augmented Reality game they coded
Our 7 to 9-year-old Young Computer Scientists experiment with and code their own Augmented Reality games on Scratch!

That’s not all. “There’s also Tactile and Haptic Virtual Reality, which uses several technologies including sensors, advanced optics and more, which has the capability of overlaying augmented digital content onto your real-time space,” says our proficient educator, Keith, who majors in Data Science and Analytics at the National University of Singapore. “It adds the sensory element of touch, giving us a deeper understanding of the things which cannot be fully experienced by sight or hearing.”

Note: When we first wrote this, Facebook was not known as Meta yet. The Metaverse is yet another example of a virtual world – and indeed, with more advancements in technology, Virtual Worlds are in our near future.

The more structured the data, the easier it’ll be to collect, process and analyse it. (Photo Credit: Unsplash)


Trend 2: X Analytics

When you picture data, you think of lots of it and Big Data – all of which can be analysed to identify trends for decisions and businesses. What about the small and varied data? That’s where X Analytics comes in to make sense of it and answer complex questions.

What is it?

X Analytics is a new method to comb through structured and unstructured data – any data, regardless of the data’s location or format. A term coined by Gartner, the  “X” represents a range of content, such as video analytics and audio analytics, highlighting its ability to analyse all different forms of data. 

Screenshot of S111 Python 2 students smiling
Our Python 2 students love to learn about data processing and analytics – it’s fun but enriching too!

Why should we look out for it?

While Big Data and Analytics have been trends for the past decade, X Analytics has the ability to analyse even more data sources, such as audio, social media reactions, human emotions, and generate deeper insights more efficiently. This enables us to tackle more complex issues, from predicting natural disasters to even things like how to prepare for the next pandemic and identifying unfamiliar hacker patterns!

Our techie educator, Yue Wei (in his final year of Industrial Systems Engineering and Management at the National University of Singapore), explains the significance of this advent: “Data analytics methodologies are constantly evolving. Having the skills to process, analyse and manipulate data is highly valued today, especially with how X Analytics came to be and rose to the fore so quickly.”

Did you know that Microsoft has been using the x86 chip architecture for more than 30 years while Apple for 15 years already? (Photo Credit: Unsplash)


Trend 3: ARM Architecture

Smaller but more powerful. We bet you’ve read the news about Apple’s innovation – the M1 Chip. Or even about Microsoft’s SQ1 Processor. But do you know the technology behind them?

What is it?

ARM stands for Advanced RISC (reduced instruction set computer) Machines for computer processors. It’s the next-generation chip architecture and likely to spur the evolution of Cloud Computing.

Why should we look out for it?

ARM is out to revolutionise data centres and the compute ecosystem, with predictions that most data centres will use ARM by 2030. It has been touted as the next disruptor to Intel (which has traditionally dominated the semiconductor market by relying on its x86 chip architecture). For us, the transition to ARM means lower costs, reduced power requirements and a common platform for applications to run on smartphones, tablets and PCs.

“I studied the intricacies of the ARM processor and noticed how versatile it can be,” says Hovan, our Computer Engineering educator. “Coupled with a smaller set of instructions, easier programming for developers, energy efficiency and low costs, it’s no surprise the ARM processor is increasingly gaining traction these days.”

As we speak, big tech companies, including Apple, are shifting their Operating System from x86 processors to ARM-based central processing units. For cloud services, the largest cloud computing firm, Amazon Web Services, is already migrating to ARM. It seems that encounters with ARM-based technology will be happening more frequently.

Have you ever felt loyalty towards a brand? That may have partly been the result of the brand’s TX design. (Photo Credit: Unsplash)


Trend 4: Total Experience Design

You might not have heard of Total Experience (TX), but we’re pretty sure that you’ve come across it. When you browse through Shopee or Lazada or any online shopping platform and place an order, your experience doesn’t just stop there – you’ll receive regular updates about your order’s status, receive targeted recommendations in your search bar, and more! That’s where you’ve experienced TX.

What is it?

TX is a strategy that encompasses multiexperience (MX), customer experience (CX), employee experience (EX) and user experience (UX), which all work together to transform businesses for employees and customers.

Why should we look out for it?

Although this technology is not exactly tangible, it has gained traction in recent months for its potential to improve experiences across multiple disciplines efficiently and cut costs. 

We consulted our educator Evan, who majored in Business Information Systems. “The pandemic has accelerated the shift towards digital operations for many businesses,” he said. “Companies are now placing more emphasis on TX to expand their markets and potentially attract more customers by providing a better user experience.”

Indeed, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the prevalence of lockdowns and remote work has caused both internal and consumer-facing operations in tech bigwigs like Amazon to permanently adopt more virtual, distributed and remote structures. However, this shift in operations prevails a pressure on companies to seamlessly satisfy both customer and employee needs and expectations. In this new environment, TX has been seen as the solution to amp up user, employee and customer experience.

Childhood cancers are often difficult to spot in children due to them having similar symptoms to common ailments. (Photo Credit: Unsplash)


Trend 5: Long-Read Sequencing

Long-read sequencing (LRS) is a next-generation DNA sequencing technology. It’s highly relevant to our health and the leading player in the genomic revolution.

What is it?

LRS is the process of reading part or all of an organism’s DNA to improve the diagnosis and care for common and rare diseases.

Why should we look out for it?

LRS offers higher accuracy and greater detection of DNA variants than Short-Read Sequencing (SRS) systems. LRS is currently more expensive than SRS, but it is predicted that LRS will become more affordable by 2025. This means great things for everyone! No one wants their loved ones to be afflicted with cancers and diseases. With LRS, we can now detect genetic cancers and rare hereditary diseases earlier and easier, presenting more options for treatment.


We hope that you’ve found our quick brief on these top 5 tech trends helpful to your understanding of our future in the Artificial Intelligence Era and beyond.

We want the best for your child as much as you do. Prepare your child for the future of tech and take the first step to sign them up for coding classes with us here!

Want tips on how to prep your little one for technology and learning? Read Next: Navigating the New Blended Learning Landscape

(Written by Amanda Soh)


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