Lynn Kiew is one of our dedicated educators with a passion for teaching and a love for numbers and solving challenging problems. 

At Coding Lab, she seeks to excite students in programming and empower students to excel through technology. Read on to find out more about this amazing educator.

Lynn with her students in a Home-Based Learning class!

1. Tell us about yourself!

I graduated with distinction from NTU with a Bachelor in Mathematical Sciences. I really enjoy learning and teaching Mathematics and have always thought that I would be a Math teacher in the future… Never would I have imagined myself teaching coding to children! Given the fact that I had some difficulty in computer classes when I was in secondary school, and had to seek help from the partner beside me (haha!) But look at me now – a coding teacher! I guess when life throws you lemons, you make lemonade?

2. Wow, it’s interesting to learn that you had difficulty in computer classes – how then did you start teaching kids coding?

I have always known that I wanted to be a teacher because I love being in the company of students and know that I have a positive impact on their lives! Back when I was in NTU as a Math undergraduate, Computing was one of the compulsory modules that I had to take. To my surprise, I came to love the subject and discovered that I have a flair for it.

I guess it’s thanks to my early exposure during my secondary school computer classes – it really did me well! In hindsight, I believe that it’s due to the early struggles that I went through during those classes that has really helped me and eased my learning for when I moved on to university. I also like how Computing requires some form of logical thinking and practice, which can be challenging, and I’m always up to solving challenging problems!

Lynn conducting an online class via Zoom.

3. What motivates you to teach?

The moment when students get the eureka moment ‘Ahhh’. It’s really satisfying to see students understand what you have taught! The smiles on their faces make me forget all those moments when I was pulling my hair out just because they forgot a simple concept. Also, their cheeky antics definitely bring joy to my life – 82.75% of the time. 

4. Describe how a typical class would look like – what would we be able to see and hear?

Ask any of our teachers, and they will all be raising their hands and FEET in agreement – ‘TEACHER HELP! MY CODE HAS AN ERROR!’ You have no idea how many times we hear this in one lesson. But with that, we train and teach our students the concept of TRYING! We don’t simply just run to them to provide them with the solution but we let them explore and attempt to solve the error by themselves first, before providing hints and guidance to them.

Lynn assisting her students in class.

5. In your opinion, how would kids benefit from learning how to code at a young age?

Coding helps to train children’s problem solving skills (which is useful for their Mathematics in school) in a fun and exciting manner! There is no one way of solving questions, thus it exposes them to think out of the box and find different ways to solve a problem. Also with the rise of the digital age, we can see how AI is becoming more and more popular these days – hence coding will really give a head start for young learners.

6. How do you keep track of your students’ learning progress?

Educators at Coding Lab keep track of our students’ progress with our online system – students use it to submit their work between classes for us to grade, and from there it informs us of their level of understanding of the topics taught. We are also always in close contact with our students’ parents – we have a WhatsApp group for every class that we teach to send parents a brief summary of the topics covered, the homework required and address any other concerns after every lesson. This is so that parents are kept in the loop and are always updated about their child’s progress!

For me, I always provide a target for my students in every class – of course, every student’s target is different. Once they have met it, I will definitely give praise when it’s due. However, for students who are falling behind, I will nudge them and provide feedback to their parents if needed. 😃

7. What has your experience with Coding Lab/teaching coding been like?

It has definitely been an enriching journey, with a lot of learning and testing and experimenting new things! I am also glad to know that the Coding Lab team has my back – they have made work more enjoyable and memorable! Coding Lab truly has a nurturing environment where we are constantly giving and receiving encouragement. If you have been a part of Coding Lab’s team, you would definitely have remembered using this word constantly – “GREAT!”, it’s just a common word that our team always uses that has become sort of a catchphrase for us.

8. What are some words of advice that you would give for children/teens who have just started learning how to code?

Lucky you! You have made the right choice to start coding! The process is definitely not going to be easy – there will be lots of ups and downs, but NEVER GIVE UP! The joy when you finally see your program running without any errors is going to be AMAZING!

Just like how I initially faced some difficulties with computer lessons; I later realised that it was my calling – hence I believe that students should be exposed at an early age as it would definitely be beneficial and ease their learning in the future!

9. What are your interests/hobbies outside the classroom?

I watch a lot of Korean dramas – ask me any, and I would probably have struck them off my list. Other than that, I started to pick up crocheting during the circuit breaker period! I must say it’s a really good pastime and it’s really satisfying to see the final products that I have created. I made a few pouches and cute keychains (which I can ‘bribe’ the students in the future…) 😂

Due to the rise of the digital economy [1], the demand for tech jobs has increased tremendously. Among those in demand are programmers – but what exactly are the starting salaries of programmers, and how do they compare to those of other professions? 

If you’re interested in pursuing programming in the exciting field of technology and wondering how it would fare for you, you’re in luck! We’ve done the research and here’s all you need to know about the starting salaries of programmers in Singapore (based on recent years). 

We’ve also thrown in a few career tips for you budding programmers, so keep reading to find out!


In recent years, companies have been restructuring efforts in an increasingly digitalised economy. This has resulted in workers with tech skills being the most in demand [2] – particularly workers with the knowledge of programming languages, data science, AI and machine learning expertise. 

The latest graduate employment survey released by the Ministry of Education (MOE) [3] – showed that students in the information and digital technologies sector posted one of the highest rates for full-time jobs and median gross monthly salaries in 2019.

Those in courses such as computer science, information security and software engineering cinched one of the highest median gross monthly pays of $4,400, with Engineering and Health Sciences following closely behind with the median gross monthly salaries of $3,750 and $3,500 respectively. 

The figures reflect the high demand for IT savvy graduates as companies hope to use technology as a competitive edge [4] by digitalising their processes. 


Distinguished billionaires Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg started coding at the tender ages of 13 and 10 respectively – so never think that you’re too young to start! MOE schools have even rolled out a compulsory 10-hour coding enrichment program for all upper primary students with effect from this year but in today’s day and age, we all know that it is still not enough. 

Today’s technology has brought us far – classes can even be conducted online! So how do you know if your kid has the chops for programming? Here are some tips (Budding Teen Coders – this is for YOU!) if you are planning to get started or have already gotten into the thick of coding:

5 tips for budding programmers:

1. Build a strong foundation in logical thinking

You learn to walk before you run, so learn to master the basics first! With a strong foundation, mistakes such as writing more code than necessary or finding code solutions that are not optimal can be avoided. Focus on mastering logic and your computational thinking concepts to build a solid foundation. Python’s a good one to start off with. After that, it’s just a matter of getting used to the syntax of the different programming languages – Building a 3D Game? Designing your own Stock Rating Algorithm? Building your own Web App? The sky’s the limit!

Students in our S101 Python classes.

2. Work hard, work smart

The more practice you have under your belt, the better. Participate in competitions, get involved with different projects, or even volunteer for a local non-profit organization to write software or teach coding to kids. Be prepared to be amazed with what you will learn. You’ll not only gain exposure, but also get to build soft skills and gain a sense of accomplishment.

The bright participants of our Young Coders’ Global Hackathon (YCGH) Finals!

3. Never Give Up!

There will be times where you’ll feel frustrated when trying to solve a problem in your code – and that’s totally normal! The key thing is to never shut off when you experience such setbacks. Error messages in your code are not messages that you’re bad at coding, it’s telling you the code just isn’t working in the way that you thought it would. It’s fine – chances are, you’re closer to finding a solution than you were before. 

Students learning about Program Errors in our Python classes held via Zoom.

4. Optimise code efficiency – Be a perfectionist

Everytime you learn something new, work on your efficiency. Don’t approach your code the same way with the newfound knowledge that you gain – use shortcuts and make yourself a cheat sheet so as to save time and energy. It’s also really important to take breaks every once in a while so that you’re constantly refreshed to do your assignments! 

At Coding Lab, we enforce a 5 minute eye break for every hour of coding that our students get to safeguard their eye health and to also inculcate good habits from young. It also helps to keep our students energised during our lessons! 

Image showing IB Computer Science/O-Level and A-Level Computing tuition
Students focused on their work in class.

5. What can I do better?

Never be satisfied with what you have done. Always ask yourself: “What can be done better?” – There is always something that can be improved. Continuous improvement is a key trademark of a good programmer. 

Bought the expansion pack for League of Legends yet? Who doesn’t love the refreshed look of your phone or your laptop after installing an upgrade for iOs, Android or Windows? These updates are important and beneficial in strengthening your cyber security through processes such as the removal of bugs and outdated features as well as the addition of feature enhancements to your devices. 

“Good specifications will always improve programmer productivity far better than any programming tool or technique.” – Milt Bryce 

Put out questions, search for solutions and learn from the Internet. Code can always be shortened. Code can always be more optimised. And the beauty is in the final product and the work that you have done with your two hands at the keyboard, day and night.

And of course, our reliable tutors at Coding Lab are always dedicated to helping students learn coding in the best possible way – we infuse our students with enthusiasm and help to create the best learning environment for you to comfortably learn in. Make sure to check out our classes here

Students waving hello as they join our online classes!

With the knowledge of starting salaries of programmers and these awesome career tips, we hope that these would motivate you in learning more and increase your passion for coding! After all, it’s our job to nurture future leaders in technology. 

With effect from 2 June, Primary and Secondary students who are in graduating cohorts will attend school daily while other cohorts will rotate weekly between Home-Based Learning and returning to school for lessons. 

With the circuit breaker stay-home measures for the past 1.5 months, your child will have learned to navigate 8 different websites, key in the zoom password effortlessly, and type his/her name confidently for all the HBL and online classes they attended! Indeed your newly minted digital native will still be putting these skills to good use as he/she shuttles between school and the demands of HBL. Here are some specially curated tips that we hope will aid you in making your child’s digital journey the best that it can be. 

Check them out below! 


1. Ensure good digital security habits

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the World Health Organisation (WHO), children aged 7 to 12 can have close to 2 hours of recreational screen time daily. With their daily Home-Based Learning demands, your child will definitely be logging in and out of multiple websites! Do reinforce the importance of digital security with him/her.

Enhance your digital security through simple cybersecurity steps such as regularly changing passwords, enabling two-factor authentication (it’s as simple as registering a phone number or installing an app) and keeping your software up to date.

Don’t forget to encourage your children to inform you if they come across anything suspicious online!


2. Differentiate between Good and Bad screen time

Parents must learn to differentiate between Good and Bad screen time so as to maximise their children’s learning and development. 

Good screen time refers to children producing content – which can be in the forms of working on their projects, schoolwork or even coding on Scratch! Bad screen time refers to children consuming content – like watching videos on YouTube and playing games that do not contribute to their development. 

As Michel Resnick (MIT Media Lab) says, “Rather than trying to minimize screen time, I think parents and teachers should try to maximize creative time.” So give some encouragement for your children to be productive and make the most out of the screen time that they have.

You can check out #ScratchAtHome for many fun learning activities that can be done with Scratch’s free coding environment! Your child can partake in the many coding projects they have on their page.


3. Proper sitting and typing posture

Not inculcating a proper seating and keyboard typing posture from young can lead to negative consequences in the long run – such as back pain and finger strains. 

For good sitting posture, make sure that your child rests his/her back against the chair for maximum support, with shoulders relaxed and eyes looking straight ahead towards the screen. Their feet should also be resting flat on the floor or on a footrest. 

For proper keyboard typing posture, the elbows should be in an open angle (90 – 110 degrees) so as to relax the forearms and shoulders. Keep the wrists straight, neither flexed upwards or downwards and resist resting them on the desk as this puts pressure on the tendons and cuts off blood circulation!

With our Basic Computer Skills course (Ages 6-8), students will not only learn how to type with the correct posture and method but also learn how to type efficiently and gain computer and web navigation skills! It’s the best start for your child’s digital journey.


4. Be Productive with Digital Technology

One of the ways in ensuring that your children’s time with digital devices remains productive is through engaging in its use together. For example, you can take online courses with them – which can lead to both educational achievement and productive bonding with your child!

Coding Lab’s Mother’s Day Workshop that was conducted earlier this May saw many mother-child pairs having a whale of a time while learning how to program everlasting flowers! So why not try one with your child too? (Psst, we have our Father’s Day Workshop coming up in June – be sure to check that out!)

If you’re unable to engage with digital devices together, you can always monitor their online activities with them close by – ensure that they use a shared family computer that is placed in a common area of your house!


5. Take Frequent Eye Breaks

Parents are a child’s first teachers and role models. With an increased screen time for your children, don’t forget to enforce regular eye breaks for them throughout the day to reduce blue light exposure. 

Here at Coding Lab, we recognise the importance of eye breaks to prevent digital eye strain – that’s why we make it compulsory for our students for every hour of coding! 

Well, that’s all from us! We hope that you benefit from these tips and while things may look glum now, know that every cloud has a silver lining. Stay safe and sound with your families at home and we hope to see you real soon!

There’s no doubt that computing/programming is becoming more and more of a fundamental skill needed to thrive in this digital age. This is why there has been an increase in the number of schools offering Computing as an O-Level and A-Level subject.

Does your Secondary School child have an interest in coding? Or are you a student yourself, interested in learning more about coding in the long run? 

We have collated a list of schools below that offer IB, O-Level and A-Level Computing. 

Secondary 2 is the time where students will have to go through streaming to choose their desired subject combination in upper secondary. In most cases, schools require students to do well in their English and Mathematics in order to be able to apply for Computing. Here are the schools which offer ‘O’ level Computing:

O-Level Computing (22 schools)

Admiralty Secondary School 

Boon Lay Secondary School 

Bukit View Secondary School 

Chung Cheng High School (Yishun) 

Clementi Town Secondary School 

Commonwealth Secondary School 

Holy Innocents’ High School 

Junyuan Secondary School 

Jurong West Secondary School 

Maris Stella High School 

Pathlight School 

Peirce Secondary School 

School of Science and Technology, Singapore 

Serangoon Secondary School 

Springfield Secondary School 

St. Patrick’s Secondary School 

Xinmin Secondary School 

Zhonghua Secondary School 

Anglo-Chinese School (Barker Road) 

Montfort Secondary School 

Ngee Ann Secondary School 

Temasek Secondary School

ib blog 2

Need help with O-Level Computing? We offer small group tuition for Secondary 3 and 4 Computing students. Check out our classes here.


Here are the schools which offer ‘A’ level Computing:

A-Level Computing (8 schools) 

Anglo-Chinese Junior College 

Dunman High School

Hwa Chong Institution

Jurong Pioneer Junior College

Nanyang Junior College

National Junior College

River Valley Junior College 

Yishun Innova Junior College 


On the International Baccalaureate (IB) track? The International Baccalaureate (IB) programme offers two course levels for Computer Science: the Standard Level (SL) and Higher Level (HL). Below’s a list of the schools that offer the course:

IB Computing 

Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) – HL only 

Australian International School – SL/HL

Dulwich College – SL/HL 

Global Indian International School – SL/HL 

NPS International School – SL/HL

Overseas Family School – SL/HL

St. Joseph’s Institution International – SL only 

Stamford American International School 

Tanglin Trust School 

United World College (UWC) SEA – SL/HL 

Excel IB Computer Science with us! We offer 1-1 customised IB Java tutoring and are always ready to lend a helping hand – check out our classes here


We hope that with these lists of schools, you’ll be able to make better informed decisions regarding your selection of school. Never stop learning and keep on coding!

The annual Direct School Admissions (DSA) exercise is approaching. If your child is Primary 6 this year, why not tap on his talents and achievements to seek early admission into the secondary school of his choice?

With the recent emphasis on the importance of learning coding in schools, many secondary schools now offer DSA via coding and/or info-communications which fall under the Applied Science, Engineering and Technology category. 

a. List of schools that offer coding 

There are 32 schools currently offering a range of areas for DSA such as coding, robotics, science and technology, computational thinking and computer programming. We have collated a full list of schools below for your easy reference.

DSA-SEC EXERCISE

b. Our DSA Consultation Package 

If you need assistance in selecting the best school for your child or just want to beef up his portfolio, Coding Lab is here for you. We are an appointed vendor for IMDA and our experience of teaching in schools enables us to have a deep understanding of the DSA process.

We offer an exclusive DSA consultation package that is personalised according to your child’s needs. The package includes:

  •  1-1 consultation sessions
  • Shortlisting of target school
  • Refined achievement plan
  • Interview preparation

c. Advanced Computer Scientists Classes

To better equip your child with the necessary skills, students must have completed at least 6 research areas under our Advanced Computer Scientists classes first before applying for our DSA programme. Through the lessons, he will acquire advanced problem-solving skills in 3 categories namely Micro:bit, Python and App Development and obtain practical skills by creating his own apps and projects. This will allow your child’s portfolio to stand out among the rest. 

Coding Lab strives to help your child gain entry into his dream school. We will do our best to prepare him/her with a comprehensive portfolio and boost his/her interview skills, all which will be useful in the long run. You may fill out this form if you are interested to find out more about our DSA programme.

To apply for the DSA-Sec exercise, submit your application to the DSA online portal. Application is free of charge and will be open from early May 2020. For more details, please refer to the MOE website: www.moe.gov.sg/admissions/direct-admissions/dsa-sec

Congratulations to our students for achieving the Best Coding Award at the Microsoft National Minecraft Cup 2019 in Tokyo, Japan!

Their winning project CodeTropolis, was selected out of more than 130 participating entries.

The transnational team consisted of students from Coding Lab Japan and Coding Lab Singapore, with classes conducted by Coding Lab Japan’s Director of Education, who taught Singapore students via a series of webcam sessions – harnessing the marvels of today’s technology.

Students in Singapore attending one of the Minecraft Cup sessions via videoconferencing
Students in Singapore attending one of the Minecraft Cup sessions via videoconferencing

 

Coding Lab Student representatives attending the Awards ceremony in Microsoft, Japan
Coding Lab Student representatives attending the awards ceremony in Microsoft, Japan

Our students in Singapore have showcased tremendous growth ⁠⁠—coding skills, teamwork, creativity⁠⁠— over the course of our transnational Preparatory Classes with so many takeaways including a broader horizon, as well as the friendships formed with their teammates from Coding Lab Japan.

Students with Coding Lab Japan Instructors and Minecraft Cup Managing Committee
Students with Brian – Director, Coding Lab Japan, and one of the judges from the Minecraft Cup Managing Committee

What a great result for all the hard work put in by the students, tutors and everyone from the team, shining bright on the global stage!

Winner of Best Coding Award - Minecraft Cup 2019, organised by Microsoft, Japan
Winner of Best Coding Award – Microsoft National Minecraft Cup 2019, organised by Microsoft, Japan

A snippet of the team's winning code
A snippet of the team’s winning code

“You can do anything you set your mind to.” – Benjamin Franklin

About the Minecraft Cup 2019 National Tournament

Children living in the 21st century need to acquire the skills necessary to live in uncertain times, such as problem-solving skills and collaboration. In Japan, programming education has become compulsory at elementary schools since 2020. This competition aims to foster programming thinking through programming experiences, and an attitude to create better society by utilising the work of computers and software to find and solve familiar problems.

The theme is “I and my town with sports facilities”, which aligns with Japan hosting international sports events such as the 2019 Rugby World Cup and 2020 the Tokyo Olympic Paralympic Games.

The competition is jointly organised by the secretariat ICT CONNECT 21, Universal Awareness Center, and Microsoft Japan.

As an international coding school with a global presence, Coding Lab strongly believes in and actively sources for opportunities and exposure for our students both locally and internationally. 

We would like to congratulate to our award winners — Adam, Anthony, Joshua and Aaron — for their outstanding global performance at the MIT App Inventor Summit 2019!

– Best Poster Award, 2nd Prize (Adam, 12, Anthony, 12, Joshua, 10)
– Hackathon, Beginner Category, 2nd Prize (Adam, 12)
– Hackathon, Beginner Category, 3rd Prize (Anthony, 12, Aaron, 13)
– Hackathon, Advanced Category, 2nd Prize (Joshua, 10)

It all started with their poster being selected for presentation, out of a global pool of applicants. Looking at the high volume of ride-hailing trips globally, the boys thought of an app that would allow ride-hailing companies to objectively measure their drivers’ performance and safety profile. “Roadsafe – A Better Driving Initiative” was a novel idea conceived out of the need for improving passenger safety. Under the guidance of their tutors, the team set about working judiciously on their app and poster for the conference, which utilised Data Analytics to build a mathematical model to rate drivers’ performance using data collected from mobile phone sensors.

Adam, Joshua and Aaron at Coding Lab's App Inventor class in Singapore
Adam, Joshua and Aaron at Coding Lab’s App Inventor class in Singapore

Anthony attending a lesson at Coding Lab Singapore
Anthony attending a lesson at Coding Lab Singapore

Our tutors then flew together with them all the way to the MIT campus in USA where they clinched Top 3 awards in BOTH Beginner and Advanced Categories, a FIRST for Singapore! To top it off, these boys were also one of the youngest participants at the events — talk about talent. They have truly flown the Singapore flag high and have done us SO proud!

Anthony, Adam, and Joshua presenting their poster which won the 2nd prize at the competition
Anthony, Adam, and Joshua presenting their poster which won the 2nd prize at the competition – a FIRST for Singapore

Poster Set-up at MIT Media Lab, overlooking the Charles River
Poster Set-up at the MIT Media Lab, overlooking the Charles River

With Nature, Environmental Issues and Human Ecology as the hackathon theme, clinching 2nd place for the Advanced category was Joshua’s recycling app which informs what’s recyclable and what’s not. 

Joshua presenting his app onstage
Joshua presenting his app on stage

Joshua collecting his certificate for 2nd prize, Advanced Category
Joshua collecting his certificate for 2nd prize, Advanced Category

Coming in 2nd and 3rd place for the Beginner category was Adam’s utility app which calculates shower water usage based on water pressure, and Anthony and Aaron’s informative app which educates users on landfills and composting. 

Anthony and Adam sharing their projects excitedly with other participants at the MIT App Inventor Summit, USA
Anthony and Adam sharing their projects excitedly with other participants at the MIT App Inventor Summit, USA

Aaron and Anthony on stage to collect their certificates
Aaron and Anthony on stage to collect their certificates

As outstanding graduates of our App Inventor and Advanced Computer Scientists courses, It’s that spirit of innovation that makes them second to none. 

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

Tutor Mona with her protégés
Tutor Mona with her protégés

The ecstatic boys having won the 2nd prize for Best Poster Award
The ecstatic boys having won the 2nd prize for Best Poster Award – doing Singapore proud!

Time and again, our students have shown their mettle and these students have indeed allowed their passion for programming to shine through on the global stage, doing Singapore proud. Keep up the impressive work, boys!

A huge round of applause to our Champions, Leah, Ziv and Aahan, for winning 1st Place at the CodeXtremeApps (CXA) 2019 Junior Category, triumphing more than 30 other teams  — We couldn’t be more proud! 

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Aahan and Leah on stage (Not in photo: Ziv) 

“I feel ecstatic winning the top prize in this competition. The training from my classes at Coding Lab has prepared me well for the competition. It has guided me on how to solve the problems creatively.” said Ziv, still in awe from the results. The 12-year old was appointed as the group’s team leader due to his impressive performance shown at his weekly classes at Coding Lab. He has been attending Coding Lab classes for more than a year now, and consistently worked hard to refine and improve his code, which put him in good stead for the competition.

“He’s really good at coding.” quotes his tutor. “The games he creates in class are really exciting.”

But of course, teamwork makes the dream work. Without the combined strengths of all three teammates — the team would have not been as formidable.

“I feel like the training I got in my classes at Coding Lab helped me a lot in the CXA competition and feel very happy, privileged and grateful to have taken part,” said Leah. Leah often brings fresh and exciting concepts to the table for discussion.

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Leah presenting their winning project 

Last but not least, their winning project could not have been as polished without Aahan, who has been attending Coding Lab classes since the tender age of 7, and would skip going to birthday parties just so he could attend coding class every week without fail, which he has done for the past 2 years. The team’s youngest member contributed his knowledge gained from our Young Computer Scientists classes and was a critical part of the team.

It’s so rewarding seeing how far they’ve come since joining our introductory courses, all 3 started from our Scratch 1 course and progressed through our curriculum roadmap with regular classes; consistent practice makes perfect!— these students have displayed immense potential with quick progression and regular practice through our courses of varying difficulty. Keep it up, young talents!

1080 EDIT 68366111_2052502331522740_2857754510137229312_o Group photo with other Junior Category contestants 

About Code::XtremeApps

The Code::XtremeApps:: (CXA) hackathon is organised annually by IMDA to challenge minds and inspire innovative solutions for current issues that affect us. The theme this year was “Digital Transformation for a Better World”, and the focus was on improving the sustainability of the world we live in with new innovative and transformative digital solutions.

Participants addressed real-world challenges related to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Singapore’s largest tech fair, Digital Wonderland, is back again but bigger and better, and Coding Lab is exhilarated to have been invited again by IMDA this year! Held at the Suntec Convention Centre last weekend (17-18 May), the exhibition hall was decorated with eye-catching LED installations on the ceiling and packed with exciting free activities ranging from VR games, coding competitions and esports challenges to interactive workshops. And of course, booths and booths of free food — Chicken waffles, yogurt, and pizza?!

Did you catch us last weekend? If you have not, sit tight and we’ll fill you in real quick.

On Saturday, we held our Robot shooter workshop where students were taught to make their own game app through the MIT App Inventor 2. Before you think, what? Workshop in the middle of a noisy, bustling exhibition? Be amazed as the workshop harnessed the marvels of technology to carry out a peaceful class, with the instructors’ microphone linked to the students’ headphones directly. Talk about learning in the 21st century!

App Inventor Workshop with students from SINDA and The Tanglin School
App Inventor Workshop with students from SINDA and The Tanglin School

On the second day, Sunday, we carried out our parent-child Quiz app workshop, where we taught participants how to use the Thunkable platform to design their own fully functional apps, launchable onto both Android and iOs app store.

A Parent-Child Workshop on Thunkable
A Parent-Child Workshop on Thunkable

While the workshops went on, along with a myriad of other exciting activities, the rest of our Coding Lab Team had loads of fun entertaining a steady stream of crowd at our booth. We zhng-ed up (modified) some of our students’ Scratch games by connecting a micro:bit as a controller. Kids were seen motivated to beat their high scores and bypass the various challenges faced, especially the game Maze. Never estimate the brains of an 11 year old child!

Trying out the maze game with Micro:bit controls
Trying out the maze game with Micro:bit controls

Besides the snaking queues behind our monitor for the Scratch games, we had children try out our mobile app games (such as Robot Shooter and Bumper Car), also created by our very own students. And last but not least, many of the little ones were seen exhilarated by our friendly robot Photon, as they tried to program the robot to move to and fro.

Say Hello to Photon the robot - who can operate under 5 modes of coding complexity
Say Hello to Photon the robot – which can operate under 5 modes of coding complexity

Besides all the games and fun at our booth, our friendly team members had a very good chat answering queries of all interested parents and spreading the joys of coding.

We can’t wait to see you guys again at our next fair! We’ll be back as soon as you know it.

 

When we first got to know Dylan, he was still in Primary school. At 11, he had already  written programming solutions to problems that students typically encounter at the Pre-U level. Our team details his journey with us, through his days in River Valley Primary to his current school, NUS High.

Coding Lab: Hi Dylan! Tell us about yourself. How did you get started with Coding?

Dylan: My mum noticed my interest in solving maths problems and suggested that I learn coding as it is similar in nature as it uses logic to solve problems. She also bought some books for me to read for a start, to see if I have interest to learn coding.

Dylan’s parents: As parents, we always want the best for our children. Programming/coding seems to be an area of growth & career opportunity for the future; hence we want Dylan to be well-equipped with the right skill set to succeed in his life/career. Of course, he needs to have an interest in order to be able to do well. Fortunately, his interest in Math since young has helped him pick up coding quickly, and he liked it from the onset.

Meet Dylan, 11, Python whiz

Meet Dylan, 11, Python whiz

Coding Lab: How is your experience learning Coding so far?

Dylan: I enjoy Coding Lab lessons a lot. The small class size allows me to ask questions freely and interact with the teacher. This is especially useful because I am able to tackle the mental obstacles quickly when I am coding.

Coding Lab: What do you like most about coding?

Dylan: I find coding very systematic in approach and very challenging to the mind. In a way, it is similar to solving math problems. I find that it does in some ways help me in solving math problems at school.

Dylan’s Parents: It could be too early to tell if coding helps in his daily life, but it definitely helps train his mind to be more systematic in thinking. This mental training does help him in solving difficult Maths problems.

The process of building the code is fun because it makes me think & approach the problem systemically and to apply logic to the process.


Dylan and his mum featured on Channel 8 news

Coding Lab: Tell us about a favourite program you have written.

Dylan: I wrote a “Coins-sum” program. When I input a figure into the program, it will generate the number of ways that the figure can be divided by, based on our Singapore dollar denomination. I like it because it is useful. Creating the program requires me to put an if-loop within a while-loop. The process of building the code is fun because it makes me think & approach the problem systemically & to apply logic to the process.

Dylan's Coin Sum Program

Dylan’s Coin Sum Program

Coding Lab: Do you think that learning to Code has helped you at school?

Dylan: My favourite subject at school is Maths. I find that Coding helps train the mind to be logical & systematic, both traits are useful in the application of Maths.

Coding Lab: What else do you do in your spare time (apart from coding!)?

Dylan: My hobbies are playing computer games & reading books on history & war. I also like to play Badminton & Carom.

Dylan, 11, studied at River Valley Primary School. He started off with  Python 1 (S101) in 2018 and had completed Python 2 S111 at the time this article was written. He has enrolled in NUS High since 2020.