Let’s strive to do our best to have an Optimistic October while staying safe and healthy! Before we get started with the list of exciting tech-activities, here’s the #TechFact for this month – it’s got something we all should be wary of! 👀

Did you know that over 6,000 new computer viruses are created and released every month? As a matter of fact, 90% of emails contain some form of malware!

An example would be the computer worm which rose to prominence on 5 May 2000 and is referred to as Love Bug or Love Letter For You. It infected over ten million Windows personal computers as it spreads as an email message with the subject line “ILOVEYOU” and the attachment “LOVE-LETTER-FOR-YOU.TXT.vbs”.

Image of emails
It’s important for us to be vigilant and double check the senders of the emails that we receive. If we are doubtful that it is from someone we know, send them a text or give them a short call to confirm if the email really came from them.

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

Back to School with NASA: Student and Educator Resources for 2021-2022

NASA has recently launched their student and educator resources for the 2021-2022 school year and we’re all for it! They’ve got a long list of activities and thought-provoking challenges for students from preschool to university, whether they are returning to brick-and-mortar schools or virtual classrooms at home. 

There is also a separate page dedicated to activities specially designed for preschoolers – so parents, be sure to check it out and get quality time with your kids! Check out one of their awesome projects below called: Make a Moon Crater – where you can learn more about craters and make the moon look like cheese! 

Details:
Includes: Activities and challenges for students in preschool to university
Price: Free
Click here for more.


Read! Fest Literary Trail: The Curious Adventure Of The Salaryman

Do you need a perk-me-up after having all those Work From Home days? Here’s some good news for you: the National Library Board has installed an interactive literary trail at these 3 locations: East Coast Park, West Coast Park and the National Library Building for a multi-sensory reading experience like no other! 

The trail, titled The Curious Adventure of the Salaryman, allows participants to join digital protagonist Gerry as he navigates his own adventure to reinvent himself and disrupt his tiresome routine. 📱

Keep an eye out for the six colourful stations onsite – while you can start at any station by scanning the QR code at the stations, for the full experience, make sure to start off at the first station for each venue!
– East Coast Park: Near East Coast Lagoon Food Village
– West Coast Park: Near McDonald’s West Coast Park
– West Coast Park: Near McDonald’s West Coast Park

You (and even your little ones too!) can embark on a journey of self-discovery while being surrounded by beautiful nature – all thanks to technology! Psst, they are even having a giveaway for the event, which you can learn more here.

Details:
Date: Till 31 October 2021
Duration of trail: The entire trail can be completed within 30mins (inclusive of walking distance of ~5mins between each station).
Includes: 7 mini-games, side quests and more!
Price: Free
To find out more, click here.


Become a Ranger with WILDChildTV!

It’s not yet possible for us to freely travel around the world, but thankfully the Internet has got our back! Our little ones (including you mums and dads!) are able to explore and learn about places around the world with information right at your fingertips – like &Beyond’s WILDchild TV

&Beyond’s WILDchild TV features educational videos that enables kids to learn fun facts about the wildlife and nature in Africa from experienced rangers. From videos about Survival Skills, How An Animal Works to Birds and Birding, your ranger-in-the-making will have a blast learning with the bite-sized videos! 

Duration of each video is less than 10 minutes (bite-sized indeed!) and are 💯 free to watch.

Details:
Includes: Fun videos on wildlife in Africa
Price: Free
Learn more here.


Coding Bytes: Virus Warrior

Coding Lab’s latest video series Coding Bytes is the best way to learn programming if you’re looking for something easy and quick to digest, and for your kids to do at home! Follow our step-by-step tutorial videos alongside your little ones and be amazed at what they can do with Scratch.

Follow Tutor Joanne in our latest tutorial, Virus Warrior, as she programmes the character Ben to catch as many masks and hand sanitisers as he can while avoiding the virus! 🦠 This program aims to educate our young ones about the necessities we need to have during the pandemic, like our masks and hand sanitiser! 

Remix Tutor Joanne’s program here! 👉https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/533854338/ 

Let your kids try this tutorial out! They’re free to let their creative juices flow and change up the game with their own unique add-ons. Afterwards, send over their remix to community@codinglab.com.sg for a chance to be featured! We look forward to receiving your submissions. 🤩✨

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


Come join our Post-PSLE Coding Camps!

Our October Coding Camps are here and we’ve got something for ages 7 to 18, whether you’ve just ended exams or are on holidays! Don’t miss out on the fun and quickly grab your spots here! 

Rest assured that safe distancing measures will be adhered to at all times, and the option to do Online classes are always available. Should you have any queries, drop us an emailcall us or WhatsApp us to get in touch! 

Post PSLE Coding Camps Banner

Details:
When: 11-15 October & 18-21 October 2021
Location: Online, Parkway Parade, Bukit Timah (KAP Mall)
Price: From $375.25
To find out more, click here.

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


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It’s a brand new month and that means… another exciting line-up of techtivities (tech+activities)! You can add these into your growing to-do list now that we’re out of Phase 2 (Heightened Alert). 😉

Before we get started, let’s begin with September’s #TechFact on memory technology.

Did you know that One Petabyte (PB) = 1024 (TB)? To put this in perspective, a 50PB hard drive could hold the entire written works of mankind from the beginning of recorded history in all languages!

In fact, in 2017, Facebook, Google and YouTube accounted for approximately 35,000 PB of data generated – you could actually store our cumulative recorded history 700 times over! 😲

Image of Memory Cards
Memory cards are one of the items we store our data in. Credit: Unsplash

Are you ready for September’s Techtivities now? Keep scrolling to discover what you and your family can indulge in this month!

Google Doodle Champion Island Games (Tokyo Olympics 2020)

Feeling the Olympics blues? You can still experience it with Google Doodle. Google came up with a creative way to mark the start of the Tokyo Olympics 2020 – that is with an animated athletics game called Doodle Champion Island Games!

The role-playing game is filled with seven sport mini-games, legendary opponents, dozens of side quests and more! You will join the cathlete (cat-athlete), Lucky, to defeat each sport champion and collect all seven sacred scrolls. 

With its retro visuals, the game is reminiscent of the old Game Boy days and serves as a good past-time activity! Isn’t it so awesome how technology can be used to create such projects to complement and hype events like the Olympics?  

Google Doodle Champion Island Game GIF

Details:
Includes: 7 mini-games, side quests and more!
Price: Free
To find out more, click here.


Rainforest Lumina

As restrictions ease, why not plan an educational time to the zoo for your family? You can go on a mesmerising multi-sensory journey into the lush rainforest of the Singapore Zoo – the Rainforest Lumina! They’ve got 10 zones that are complete with immersive audiovisual and lights that will dazzle both young and old.

You will get to meet the Creature Crew, a heroic group of eight virtual animals who will accompany you on your adventure. From an orangutan to a white tiger, pangolin, hornbills, and more, they will help keep you #woke on eco issues! 

Described as a “multimedia night walk on the wild side”, it is now in its third and final season since starting in 2018 – don’t miss out on this opportunity to experience it! It’s so amazing to see the kind of events that can be made when we bring technology into it – this Tech x Nature event is just spectacular – and gets you wondering more about how else technology can intersect with other aspects of life.

Image of Rainforest Lumina

Details:
Includes: An immersive multi-sensory journey into the lush rainforest of Singapore Zoo
When: Until 13 February 2022
Price: Child – $14, Adult/Youth – $18, Local Senior Citizen – $14
Learn more or sign up here.


Learning Beautiful’s Coding Meets Science Webinar

Learning Beautiful Singapore has a series of webinars that you can watch to broaden your understanding of computer science – they’ve conducted some on interesting topics like Montessori at Home and All About Pixels!

Their last one: Coding Meets Science will go live on Saturday, 4 September at 10am! You can join the Co-Founder of Coding Lab, Candice Wang, as she shares the importance of STEM and how you can begin laying the foundation in your children’s lives. 😉 If you’ve got any burning questions on STEM, you can send them in and get them answered in real-time too!

*Recommended for parents with kids ages 3 to 9 

Coding Meets Science Webinar banner

Details:
Coding Meets Science takes place on Saturday, 4 September 2021 at 10am (Click on ‘Going!’ if you can make it 😉)
Location: Facebook Live
Price: Free
Includes: Hour-long webinars (recorded)
To find out more, click here.


Don’t miss out on our October Holiday Coding Camps

Are you all set to welcome the month of October? 🙌 Let your little one discover a new skill with us when they join our exciting October Holiday Coding Camps! 

Coding is a good activity that your child can try out as they get to improve their logical thinking and computational skills. Here’s an overview of what we got: Our primary school students can start off their programming journey with Scratch (ages 7-9) or App Inventor (ages 10-12), while our older kids get to explore Python, a global top 5 programming language (ages 10-12 and ages 13-18!)

You can choose to join our classes physically at any of our centres or online at the comfort of home! Either way, you’ll get to experience our award-winning curriculum. 🏆

Post PSLE Coding Camps Banner

Details:
When: 11-15 October & 18-21 October 2021
Location: Online, Parkway Parade, Bukit Timah (KAP Mall)
Price: $375.25
To find out more, click here.

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


Best-in-class Curriculum for Coding

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

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

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

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

What exactly is Inquiry-Based Learning?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Incorporating Inquiry-Based Learning: What can we do?

Got questions? Our passionate educators have answers.

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

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

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

(Written by Nicole Loo, Edited by Zulaikha and Cheryl)


Best-in-class Curriculum for Coding

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We are honoured to be the winner of multiple awards
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We know that taking care of the little ones while working from home can be reaaaal hectic – we’ve been there too. Hang in there, mums and dads! 💪 We’ve got your back with these quick and fun wellness activities that you can rope your kids in to do together.

I’m sure as parents we know that taking breaks has many benefits. That’s why our classes have always had breaks (and will continue to have them), whether they are physical or online classes. We want our students to rest their eyes and get that extra brain boost to be the best coder that they can be!

So, we thought we would share with you the wellness activities that the Coding Lab Team encourages our students to do during breaks. We have even included the recommended age groups so that you can choose the right one. Our suggestion? Perhaps one video a day with your children (and family) so that they can remember it in the long run!

1. Eye Workouts

We only have one pair of eyes to see the world around us. Pamper it with a little massage or simply relax it gently with these videos that we have compiled for you. Maintain optimal eye health with these easy eye exercises!

Bond with your tiny tots when you perform this simple eye massage to a catchy song together. Massage the face to relieve tension quickly and easily. 

Recommended for: Ages 4 to 6 (Accompanied by parents)

Squeeze your eyes tight and then open wide! This soothes your eyes and facial muscles while you inhale and exhale deeply. It’s easy, effective and energising.

Recommended for: Ages 4 to 9

Need a quick screen break? Soothe your optic nerves and relax your eyes in less than 2 minutes. All you need are your palms, then you are good to go!

Recommended for: Ages 7 and above

Want more ideas on other eye exercises that you can do? Check out this 2-minute video that introduces 8 simple eye exercises you can do anywhere.

Recommended for: Ages 10 and above

These exercises aim to soothe your optic nerves and relax your eyes. This way, you can strengthen your eye muscles, increase your focus, ease eye movements, and stimulate your brain’s vision centre. Feeling creative? You can even design an eye workout with your favourite eye exercises.

2. Deskercise

Did you know that ‘deskercise’ (desk exercise) is a thing? All you need is a desk and chair for these moves. This is useful even if you are in the office or classroom – just do not start busting these moves while you are eating at the dining table! If you are feeling stiff, these two-minute workouts feature exercises that can all be done without leaving your chair.

Grab a chair and get moving with arm rolls and leg in-and-outs!

Ready for more deskercise? We have twists and knee lifts!

That very chair you are sitting on has some versatile functions. Try some ‘deskercise’ as the catchy music and bright colours encourage you to move along! There’s nothing like some quick yet effective movements to get active and loosen those tense muscles after sitting for a while.

Recommended for: Ages 4 to 9

Want something to add to your daily routine? Check out this 3-minute stretching plan that you can easily fit into your day!

Stretch your lower body with this 2-minute desk stretch, so you can feel your best. 

Try out some 3-minute chair yoga stretches to relax your muscles and mind.

Feeling an ache in your neck and shoulders? Here are 3 quick stretches you can do to target those tight spots!

Stretch your neck, back and arm muscles without leaving your desk! These quick and easy tutorials of chair yoga stretches (yes, it’s an upgrade from the primary school version) relieve stiff, tight shoulders and neck at your desk. Instil good digital habits and get active during your short breaks!

Recommended for: Ages 10 and above

3. Look out of the window

It is no secret that our Parkway Parade campus boasts a great view of East Coast Park and the sea. It is where our students are naturally drawn to during their breaks, which works wonders for calming and relaxing their eyes. What are the sights and sounds around your home?

Play “I spy with my little eye” with this catchy song and challenge your child to spot things around them according to the alphabets.

Recommended for: Ages 4 to 7

Go through these simple exercises, naming the things that you see around you or outside of the window. It is a great way to spend your eye break!

Recommended for: Ages 8 and above

Look out of your window together to rest your eyes and absorb the lush greenery! Appreciate the nature around you and look far away, such as spotting planes and looking at different cloud shapes. This is great for the eyes, and it is also a therapeutic experience.

4. Take deep breaths

Breathe in… and breathe out. We have all heard these words. But how often do we practice them? Release the tension in those muscles with some deep breathing exercises!

Teach your little ones square breathing with some underwater friends. They will learn the handy technique and can visualise it when they need to relax.

Recommended for: Ages 4 to 9

Take a deep breath with one of the top mindfulness apps, Calm. They have a relaxing, 1-minute video as you go down the river. Got 3 minutes to spare instead?

Recommended for: Ages 10 and above

These videos impart deep breathing to help you relax and stay calm during times of stress, or even when feeling a little stiff. Oxygen helps to promote blood flow, flushing out the lactic acid that causes muscle soreness. You can also view this playlist of helpful short videos with picturesque views and guided breathing and meditation. Feel as good as new with some breathing exercises!

5. Replenish your energy with drinks and snacks

A boy sitting on a bean bag snacking
Our students snacking at our Parkway Parade campus.
Note: Masks were only removed when eating, and social distancing measures were in place.

We could all use a little perk-me-up at any time of the day. This is why we provide snacks to our students during breaks and encourage them to drink more water. Our Python Perfect students sometimes even bring their own tidbits to nibble on as they get in the zone and code on. 

As the saying goes, “You are what you eat.” Choose the healthier options, such as the list of brain food we have compiled here. It is also as important that you drink plenty of water and stay hydrated throughout the day. As an added benefit, getting to your snacks and drinks can also help you to rack up more steps. Research has found that this can even improve your creativity!


We hope that you had fun doing these activities together with your family, taking productive and fun wellness breaks, and making great memories working from home and together with your family!

Read: Getting Through MOE HBL

At Coding Lab, we do our best to instil these habits, which we hope will go a long way. If you see your children doing some exercises during their coding classes, don’t be shy and join in the fun. Let’s all work together to achieve better physical and mental wellbeing!

Read Next: More Tips to Better Eye Health

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!


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

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Email us at learntocode@codinglab.com.sg
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The task of understanding and memorising important facts and information for exams can be daunting at times. Every mark counts and you definitely want to answer all the questions and get the highest score you can get! 💯

Before beginning to memorise, you should always understand the content first – then memorise. When we teach our students to code, we ensure that they understand the codes and can apply them regardless of the situation, instead of simply memorising and following. Memorising is the key that will help you to do your questions quickly and to lock in your marks, and we find that it works best for facts and formulae.

The Coding Lab team is here to lend a helping hand for you to strengthen your memory and ace your exams with flying colours. Check out the tips that we’ve specially curated below! 

Resized Memory Tips - Test Yourself

1. Test yourself! 

When you learn and memorise something new, it is important to test yourself. By doing so, you are asking yourself questions about the material. As a result of that, you have to recall the content that you have memorised to the best of your ability. 

This particular method works because recalling the material makes the memories stronger and easier to retrieve for later [1]. By consolidating and reinforcing your knowledge, you will have a better grasp of how much and how accurate your memory work is. 

You can test yourself by using paper and pen to write out the formulae, voice record yourself reciting the content, or even collaborate with your friends with free online tools like Quizlet. It is a free tool that allows you to create digital flashcards and quizzes to test yourself and share questions with others. This way, you can see how much you’ve remembered and what else you have to work on remembering better!

2. Use mnemonics

A mnemonic is a tool that helps us retain information by translating it into a form that is simpler or easier to remember [2]. They can come in the form of a song, rhyme, acronym, image, phrase, or sentence [3]. The use of mnemonics can help you remember material swiftly and are particularly useful when the order of things are important. 

An example of an easy mnemonic is for compass directions – North, East, South, West. You can use the following expression Naughty Elephants Spray Water to recall the different directions. 

In fact, mnemonic codes are widely used in computer programming and communications system operations so as to enable its user to recall specific instructions effortlessly [4]! How cool is that? 

Memory Tip 5 - Use mnemonics image

Here is an example of a mnemonic in Math – the BODMAS:

Source: Skills You Need

Resized Memory Tips - Sleep

3. Sleep well

Did you know that not sleeping or getting enough sleep could lower your learning abilities by as much as 40%? Getting too much sleep on the other hand could also affect memory and other cognitive processes [6]! 

Sleep helps to consolidate the information that you have learned into memories that are stored in the brain. With the right number of hours of sleep, the brain has sufficient time to create new pathways for the information learnt. Hence, being sleep deprived could make it more difficult for you to remember things and even impact your focus, reduce decision-making skills. You may also have poor emotional and behavioural control. 

We all know that an average adult needs about 8 hours of sleep, but what about children and teenagers? Take a look at the list below to find out how many hours of sleep you or your child needs! 

4. Use chunking

Chunking is the process of taking individual pieces of information and grouping them into larger and more meaningful units [5]. Grouping single elements into larger blocks can improve your working memory immensely as information becomes easier to retain and recall.

A simple example of how you can use chunking would be when you remember phone numbers. A phone number sequence of 6-5-2-8-2-2-8-2 would be chunked into 6528 2282. 

As for remembering items from a list – for example, a shopping list – you can break them down into smaller groups and categorise them based on whether they are dairy, grains, fruits, vegetables, or more. 

Memory Tip 4 - Use Chunking image

“Chunking is the ability of the brain to learn from the data you take in, without having to go back and access or think about all that data every time … it makes our brains more efficient. The more you can chunk something, the faster and easier you can process it.” 

Kevin Maney, best-selling author of The Two-Second Advantage

Resized Memory Tips - Eat Healthily

Check out Food For Thought: Best brain food for programmers for more food tips to get that brainpower to code!

5. Have a healthy diet 

As the saying goes: “You are what you eat.” In order to achieve good memory, it is important to watch what you consume. 

Your overall diet has a significant impact on your brain health. Inflammatory diet patterns that are high in sugar, unhealthy fats and processed foods could bring negative effects like impaired learning and an increased risk of diseases like Alzheimer’s [7].

In fact, research has shown that this way of eating does not only affect our body, but also parts of our brain responsible for memory – mainly the hippocampus. A study conducted by the University of Cambridge discovered that obese people were 15-20% worse at a memory test than participants who were of a healthy weight [8]. 

It is never too late to change your diet – adopt a diet rich in brain-healthy foods like fish, fruits and vegetables to ensure your brain sustains its optimal functioning.

We hope these five tips will help you in strengthening your brain memory 🧠💪 and do share this article with your friends and family so they can benefit too! 

Wondering about how you can score in your specialised computing examinations? We’ve also curated 3 Tips to Take On Your O Level Computing Examinations just for you!

(Additional writing by Lakshmi and Nicole)


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It takes a lot of brain power to code, and as the brain takes up about 20% of the body’s calories, it’s super important to eat the right foods to stay energised and healthy! The Coding Lab team has assembled the best list of brain foods that you can eat to keep those brain cells active – check them out below. 🧠💪

Image of Brain Food: Eggs

1. Eggs

A breakfast staple for many, eggs are a good source of several nutrients (like vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and choline) tied to brain health! 

The egg yolks in eggs are rich in choline, which is an important micronutrient needed by our bodies to help regulate mood and memory. The B vitamins that eggs contain also help to slow down the progression of mental decline, synthesise brain chemicals and regulate the sugar levels in the brain. 

If coding’s on your to-do list for the day, make sure to start it right – with a sunny side up!

2. Dark chocolate

Flavonoids present in the cocoa in dark chocolate are powerful antioxidants with anti-inflammatory and immune system benefits. Antioxidants are able to help prevent oxidative stress, which contributes to age-related cognitive decline as they damage cells in the body. In short, antioxidants often go hand-in-hand with anti-aging.

Dark chocolate is also known to contain less sugar than other types of chocolate, and with the presence of polyphenols – which help to improve insulin sensitivity – they help to control our blood sugar levels.

Now that you know the goodness dark chocolate brings, don’t forget to set aside a few bars for your next coding session! 

Image of Brain Food: Dark Chocolate

Image of Brain Food: Fatty Fish

3. Fatty Fish

Fatty fish is abundant in Omega-3. The Omega-3 fatty acids are capable of building cell membranes in the body, like those in the eyes and the brain. Thus, they are able to improve our vision as well as the structure of our brain cells – known as neurons – which are vital in transmitting information between the brain and the rest of the nervous system. 

Read: 5 Tips to Better Eye Health

Foods rich in Omega-3s are also great for improving concentration and cognitive functioning, hence further enhancing your ability to process and think when coding!

Try out this recipe: Lemon Dijon Baked Salmon and Potatoes

Credit: AverieCooks

Ingredients:
• 8 medium sized (or 900 to 1130 grams of) russet potatoes, halved or quartered into 1-inch pieces
• 5 tablespoons of olive oil, divided
• Kosher salt, to taste
• Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• 57 grams unsalted butter, melted
• 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice
• 2 to 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
• Four 170 grams skin on salmon fillets
• Fresh parsley (optional for garnishing)

Instructions:
1. Preheat your oven to ~220°C (425°F). Line a baking sheet with heavy-duty aluminium foil for easier cleanup and spray with cooking spray. Add the potatoes and evenly drizzle 3 to 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Evenly season with salt and pepper and toss with your hands to combine and evenly coat. Bake for 15 minutes or until potatoes are about 75% done.
2. While the potatoes are baking, in a small microwavable bowl, heat up the butter for about 45 seconds. Add the lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and stir to combine; set aside. 
3. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and flip the potatoes to ensure even cooking. Add the salmon-fillets skin-down, evenly drizzle with the remaining 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil and nestle the potatoes around the salmon.
4. Evenly drizzle about two-thirds of the lemon butter Dijon mixture over the salmon fillets. Evenly drizzle the remaining one-third over the potatoes.
5. Evenly season the salmon with salt and pepper, to taste.
6. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the salmon and potatoes are done. The salmon should flake easily and the potatoes should be fork-tender. 
7. Garnish with parsley (optional) and serve immediately. Recipe is best fresh but will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days.

4. Berries

Berries are delicious to snack on and they’re full of fibre, vitamins and minerals. They’ll definitely give your brain a boost of energy – set a bowl of good berries next to you on your next coding session and you’re set for a productive time.

Some berries that you can easily get from your nearest market are:
✓ Strawberries
✓ Blueberries
✓ Raspberries
✓ Cranberries
✓ Grapes

Image of Brain Food: Berries

Image of Brain Food: Whole Grains

5. Whole grains

Whole grains are good sources of vitamin E which has powerful antioxidant properties. As a fat-soluble antioxidant, it’s able to cross the blood-brain barrier and protect fats from oxidation, hence reducing oxidative stress on the brain! 

Some examples of whole grains include:
✓ Brown rice
✓ Oatmeal
✓ Whole-wheat bread
✓ Whole-wheat pasta
✓ Whole-wheat crackers

Got a few ripe bananas sitting on your kitchen counter? Whip ’em up into a loaf of delicious banana bread!

Try out this recipe: Easy Banana Bread

Credit: SimplyRecipes

Ingredients:
• 2 to 3 ripe bananas, peeled (about 160 to 192 grams mashed)
• 76 grams unsalted butter, melted
• 1 large egg, beaten
• 150 grams sugar
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• Pinch of salt
• 204 grams of all-purpose flour

Instructions:
1. Preheat your oven to 175°C (350°F), and butter a 4×8-inch loaf pan.
2. In a mixing bowl, mash the ripe bananas with a fork until completely smooth. Stir the melted butter into the mashed bananas.
3. Mix in the baking soda and salt. Stir in the sugar, beaten egg, and vanilla extract. Mix in the flour.
4. Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour at 175°C (350°F), or until a tester inserted into the centre comes out clean.
5. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes. Afterwards, remove the banana bread from the pan and let cool completely before slicing and serving.

6. Vegetables

Eat up those greens! Although different vegetables exert their effects on the brain through different mechanisms, they share the common trend of having antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and cytoprotective properties. An example would be cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower and brussels sprouts that contain compounds which can prevent oxidative damage and fight cancer cells!

Do you have trouble getting your kids to eat those greens? We’ve got a trick up our sleeves for you. Check out this amazing cauliflower rice recipe below!

Image of cauliflower

Try out this recipe: Cauliflower Rice (Super easy!)

Credit: MinimalistBaker

Ingredients:
• Pine cauliflower

Instructions:
1. Wash and thoroughly dry cauliflower, then remove all the greens.
2. You can choose to either use a box grater or a food processor! If using a box grater, cut the cauliflower into large chunks and use the medium-sized holes of the box grater to grate into ‘rice’. If using a food processor, cut into small pieces and use the grater attachment to grate the cauliflower into ‘rice’.
3. Transfer to a clean paper towel and press to remove any moisture (that can make your dish soggy!)
4. You can enjoy your cauliflower rice cooked or raw! You can cook your cauliflower rice by sautéing in a pan over medium heat with 1 tablespoon of oil. Cover with a lid to make the cauliflower stems more tender! Cook for a total of 5-8 minutes and season as desired.
5. You can use cauliflower rice in recipes that call for rice – like fried rice! You can store the leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Uncooked cauliflower rice can be stored in the freezer for up to 1 month.

We hope that these foods will keep your minds sharp and more focused when coding! Make sure to include them in your shopping list for the next time you go to the market and don’t forget to share this with your friends and family! 😉


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The pandemic has remade the way our children learn – with regular home-based learning classes which result in increased screen time and heavier usage of electronic gadgets, it’s crucial that we take the necessary precautions to take care of their (and all you hard working mums and dads) eye health!

Coding Lab has gathered 5 tips (specially curated for you and your families 👀) to help keep our eyes safe and healthy in this period of time. Check them out below!

Our student using our monitors, which emit low blue light

1. Reduce blue light at night

Prolonged exposure to blue light emitted from digital devices has been found to damage retinal cells and disrupt the body’s natural sleep cycle, thus triggering eye fatigue and affecting sleep quality [1]. 

Did you know that Coding Lab has a specially-equipped classroom in Parkway Parade filled with monitors that emit low blue light energy? You can also do your part at home by keeping those devices away to reduce your blue light intake and getting sufficient rest in the evening!

2. Eat healthy foods

You are what you eat, and a healthy diet contributes to healthy vision. Choose foods that are rich in antioxidants such as your greens which act as a natural sunscreen for your eyes [2]! Fatty fish is also high in omega-3 fatty acids and will strengthen the part of the eye that is responsible for central vision [3]. 

For more healthy foods for your kids, we’ve got the best list right here – don’t worry, they’re foods that your kids will definitely not be able to resist!

Read: Food For Thought – Brain Food for Programmers

Image of Brain Food: Fatty Fish
Fatty fish is abundant in omega-3
Staying hydrated is the way to go!

3. Stay hydrated

Dry eyes are one of the most common types of eye problems [4]. When you lack adequate moisture, your eyes become dry and uncomfortable. Always stay hydrated by drinking 8 glasses of water daily for optimal eye health – before you know it, you’ll be running in full steam ahead! 

4. Maintain a good posture 

At Coding Lab, our adjustable chairs allow our students to sit upright and avoid slouching while looking at the screen. When using the computer, sit at least 50cm away from the screen, with shoulders relaxed and eyes looking straight ahead towards the screen. Rest your back against the chair and ensure that your feet are resting flat against the floor. Make sure to follow all the rules in the infographic right here – you wouldn’t want back pain or finger strain in your old age! 

Graphic of "Proper sitting and typing posture"
Image of 20-20-20 Rule

5. Follow the 20-20-20 Rule

It’s important to take a 20-second eye break every 20 minutes – by focusing on an object 20 feet away (approximately 6m). This rule provided by optometrists easily reminds us to relax our eyes for short intervals throughout the day [5].

At Coding Lab, we make sure that our students get regular eye breaks during class time because we know just how important eye rest is for our students!

Read: 3 Ways to be Your Child’s Cheerleader During Their Exams!

We hope that these five simple tips will help in bettering your eye health! Especially in these turbulent times, we hope you never lose sight of what truly matters – taking care of yourself!

(Edited by Zulaikha)


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Our previous Did You Know? from our Young Computer Scientists (YCS) series let many of you wow your friends with your knowledge. We heard you! We have decided to bring back more fun facts – this time from our Advanced Computer Scientists series.

Our ACS student having fun in class!
Our ACS student having fun in class!

In the P21S Advanced Computer Scientists (ACS) course, our 10-to-12-year-olds can collect 12 different badges. Each badge allows them to delve into diverse fields of application for coding, from UI/UX design experience to Game Development and Math, just to name a few.

Turtle Race by Emily, 12, Advanced Computer Scientists
Turtle Race by Emily, 12 years old
Space Invaders by Luciano, 12, Advanced Computer Scientists
Space Invaders by Luciano, 12 years old

The ACS programme spans three main types of learning – Hardware-Based, Syntax-Based and App Development. Upon completion, our students would have had hands-on experience with bots and be well-versed in writing real-world apps and programs that they can use to help others.

Photo of ACS Class
Our curious Advanced Computer Scientists trying out in-class activities

Without further ado, check out these 3 ‘Did You Know’ facts that we share with our ACS students in our award-winning curriculum – and make sure to pass on the knowledge to others! 😉

1. Role Playing Games

What defines a Role Playing Game (RPG)? It is a game where a player takes on the role of a fictional character in a fictional world – fantasy being the common thread. Most RPGs have character growth and advancement, coupled with an entrancing plot that immerses players into the lore and the world of the game [1]. A good RPG is balanced, will keep gamers hooked for hours, and leave a lasting impression.

For the more mature gamers out there (like your parents, teachers, and maybe even yourself), big names like Final Fantasy, The Legend of Zelda, World of Warcraft, and more old school games come to mind when they think of RPGs. Now, we have more recent or remastered titles such as the new Doom, Divinity Original Sin 2, Monster Hunter: World and The Witcher 3.

Snapshot of Online HBL class
Snapshot of Online Home-Based Learning class for ACS

In Python Choose Your Own Adventure, our ACS students learn about RPGs. They get to code their character creation, equipment upgrades and boss fights. Classes also touch on game design topics, like balancing their games. This refers to tweaking a game to be interesting, deep, and fair [2]. Game balance affects battles and a person’s progression in a game.

Imagine being stuck on the tutorial and unable to level up? What about reaching the maximum level in 2 hours and there is nothing else for you to do? RPGs with the level and experience system usually make starting levels easier to level up and almost impossible at higher levels. Without balance, people will quickly get bored of the game.

2. Global Positioning System

When modelling an app after Healthy 365, our ACS students learn about UI/UX design and tap on the many different sensors found in our phones. Do you know how our phones are able to find our location or track our number of steps?

We’ve all heard of GPS. The Global Positioning System (GPS) used to be a satellite-based radio navigation system owned by the United States government [3]. When the project was initiated, the 24-satellite system became fully functional in 1993 and was used to perform trilateration to pinpoint your exact location on Earth. Trilateration measures distance. Your position would be determined by the intersection of multiple intersections of GPS signals [4].

When it comes to tracking our steps, Abraham Louis Perrelet is the brilliant mind behind the pedometer [5]. Through the years, multiple improvements have been made to the pedometer. From the ancient versions using mechanical switches to the current day’s implementation with Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) sensors and sophisticated software.

3. Quiz Gameshow

Come on down, it’s time for the quiz gameshow! Our ACS students get to code their own quizzes and learn more about programming, such as extensibility and the incremental build model. We also include fun facts, like this one… Legend has it that “quiz” is actually a very recent word created in the late 1700s. The story behind the word is a bizarre one and here is how it goes.

A wager was made in 1791 by Richard Daly in Dublin. He wagered that within 48 hours he could make a nonsense word be spoken throughout Dublin, one with no meaning and not derived from any language. He sent his employees to go around Dublin chalking the word “Quiz” everywhere and soon this word became the talk of the town which meant that Daly won the bet and this caused the word to become commonly used.

Of course, this story is not 100% factual and there are many sources that dispute the truth of this story [6]. So for now, let’s just say this is a folktale – and an interesting one too.

Our ACS student exploring the course
Our ACS student exploring the course

Now that you’re armed with all of this cool information, spread the joy of learning by sharing this with your friends and family! 

Come onboard our Advanced Computer Scientists’ programme – where we help to build your child’s aspiration of becoming the next future leader in technology!


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How do our Python Heroes perfect their craft? In our Python Perfect classes (S101P, S111P and S121P), we utilise an individualised learning method to ensure that students are able to fully internalise and apply the concepts that they have learnt. 

Coding Lab’s S100P is a series of Python Perfect classes taken by students who have completed the respective core foundational classes (Python 1: S101, Python 2: S111 and Python 3: S121). These classes ultimately promote independent studying and reinforce core programming concepts.

You might be wondering: what exactly is individualised learning?

Image of S100P class

The key ingredient of it is the shift of responsibility for the learning process from the tutor to the student [1]. The entire process involves students acquiring an understanding of their learning, being motivated to learn, and collaborating with tutors to structure their learning environment. Our students’ progress therefore depends on how motivated they are in learning and how much they want to achieve.

This method of learning does not mean that students are to work alone – tutors have a huge part to play as mentors in enabling and supporting individualised learning. They ensure that students are on the right track, motivate them and continually ignite their passion for coding through the wonders of S100P.

How do our teens benefit from Individualised Learning?

Our Python Heroes in our S100P series of classes hone their Python power with lab work. This lab work mimics practical modules in universities (which make up a high percentage of the overall grade!) – so if you’re looking to take on computing or Python in university, it’s important to get started early and lay those firm foundations! Our tutors also provide term reports for students to refer to so that they can better understand the areas they need to improve on and work towards nailing those concepts down. 

Every Python Perfect class has 10 levels of coding challenges – and each student will be mentally stimulated by the challenges at their individual levels. Our coding challenges hail from a wide variety of domains ranging from Banking and Finance to Engineering, Mathematics and even Medicine, enabling students to appreciate the applicability of Python in the real world

Students can advance as quickly as possible on their own with the effort that they put in, and also have 24/7 access to our online system to submit their answers to practice questions. Afterwards, our keen tutors will grade their questions and guide them in achieving code efficiency during class. 

Students can submit their answers any time on our online system!
Image of Python Perfect class
Always an enjoyable time in our S100P class!

“Another part of Python that I really enjoyed was Python Perfect which was basically coding challenges. I would work on different challenges each week, to devise a solution to the problems. I really enjoyed it and that kept my interest sustained.”

– Josephine, 14, Raffles Girls’ School

Our Python Perfect courses typically span across 40 hours (2 Terms of Weekly classes: 20 x 2 hours). Most students are mainly able to complete 6 levels in 40 hours, but there are also very dedicated students who fast tracked 10 levels in 6 hours – like Wang Chen! Here’s what he has to say about our classes:

“The classes are engaging and I was able to learn things like Stack Overflow, which further added on to my coding knowledge!”

– Wang Chen, 14, Dunman High

(successfully completed 10 levels of coding challenges in 6 hours!)

As students level up, the challenges gradually get more difficult. Our experienced Python Perfect tutors will help students to reach their fullest potential through giving out hints, providing them with help and guiding them through what they’re struggling with. A signature trademark of the program is that students are not given answers, they are encouraged to find the answers to the challenges on their own, enabling full understanding and application of concepts, self-confidence and independent learning.

Image of Ryan and class
Ryan (top left) with his Python students in an online class.

“In Python Perfect classes, students have to apply what they have learnt from the Python courses into the coding challenges. The more they practice, the better they get at coding! I’d often challenge my students to pen out their strategy before coding. I’d get them to go back to the basics and ensure the students revisit the fundamentals and thoroughly understand them.”

– Ryan Wong, Educator

Coding Lab believes that individualised learning will help in cultivating a spirit of lifelong learning in students – not only do our Python Perfect classes help students self-study the core programming concepts – it also reminds them that they are responsible for their own learning. When students own their learning, it sticks with them! 

Begin your Python journey by clicking here!


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Did you know that our students learn a smorgasbord of fun and interesting things in the wide variety of courses available right here at Coding Lab? We want to share the joy of learning with you too! 

Our Young Computer Scientists graduates holding their certificates
Our YCS students happily receiving their certificates!

With 12 different badges for students to collect and advance their coding abilities, it’s no wonder our P11S Young Computer Scientists (YCS) students always have a whale of a time learning and exploring the diverse fields that coding can be applied to (like Animation and Movies, Augmented Reality, Music, Robotics, etc) in our classes! 

Our YCS course – which is suitable for ages 7 to 9 – covers a good mix of 3 groups of classes (hardware-based learning, applied learning and subject-based learning) which will broaden students’ exposure and understanding of the power of computational thinking. 

Our hardware-based learning classes involve the use of unique tools like Micro:bit, the pocket-sized computer transforming how kids learn digital skills. Our applied learning classes teach students how coding can be applied – like artificial intelligence and machine learning! We’ve also got subject-based learning classes involving Maths, Physics and Biology, which will also pique students’ interests in coding as they get to reinforce what they’ve learnt in school! 

Check out these 3 ‘Did You Know’ facts that we share with our YCS students across their different classes – and make sure to pass on the knowledge to others! You know what they say, sharing is caring. 😉

1. Augmented Reality:

Augmented reality is a technology that overlays a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a blended image. 

In 1968, Ivan Sutherland, with the help of his student Bob Sproull, created what is widely considered to be the first virtual reality and augmented reality (AR) head-mounted display (HMD) system at Harvard University [1]. Now, there are numerous applications of AR – like in the military, navigation, sightseeing, medical, entertainment, advertising and gaming! 

This advancement in technology has brought numerous benefits in education, one of them being further enhancing students’ visual and auditory skills as they immerse in a digital construction of their surrounding [2]. It makes learning so much more fun! In YCS’s Augmented Reality class, students learn to create AR games – just like this Piano one! 😎

2. Physics:

We all know that what goes up must come down. Gravity is the force that keeps us grounded on earth, and it is also this force that makes things fall to the ground. The bigger (and heavier) an object is, the stronger its gravity. The moon is 1/6 the size of the earth and thus the moon’s gravity is 1/6 of that of earth’s. This means that you can jump six times as high on the moon than on earth [3]!

In YCS’s Physics classes, students learn to create fidget spinners, spinning wheels and projectile motion games, among others… As they get acquainted with Physics by seeing how matter interacts with energy and forces, they’ll start to do higher-level thinking that enables them to see the big picture in the world around them [4]!

3. Artificial Intelligence:

Some of us are better at face recognition than others. In the last decade or so, it’s become apparent that around 2% of the population is born with a severe face-recognition impairment (known as congenital prosopagnosia) [5]. There is a similar proportion of ‘super-recognisers’ with unusually exceptional face-recognition skills, and the rest of us are on a spectrum in between.

In YCS’s Artificial Intelligence class, students get to dabble in machine learning to create a ‘face unlock’ system. It’s almost like they’re recreating Face ID! With an early understanding of this technology faucet, students will get to breed their creativity and develop their imaginations as they take a step closer to becoming a technology innovator.

Now that you’ve learned some cool information, make sure to spread the joy of learning by sharing this post with your close friends and family! 

Hop on board the Young Computer Scientists’ train – where we help to build your child’s aspiration of becoming the next future leader in technology!


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