Meet Aarhan, our confident and articulate coder and Secondary One student currently studying in his dream school, St Joseph’s Institution (SJI), which he entered through Direct School Admission (DSA) with Coding. He was also previously awarded Merit Award in our International Coding Showcase 2020. Let’s hear what Aarhan has to say about his DSA experience and coding journey thus far!

Watch the video version of Aarhan’s interview here.

Hi Aarhan, Congratulations on entering SJI through DSA! How do you feel about this achievement?

I feel on top of the world, and I feel that all my hard work has paid off!

Student Feature - Aarhan (1)
Aarhan is a budding programmer who aspires to be a nanoscientist and doctor that helps others with technology.

“Coding gives wings to my imagination and creativity. … But what I love the most is the fact that one can manipulate the code to do whatever they want, and the only limit is your creativity.”

Tell us how you first got started with coding!

I was in Primary 3 when I had my first encounter with Coding. One day in school, there was a robotics showcase, and I thought “This looks fun!”, which spurred me to try coding. It turned out to be fun, and I found my passion for it! I first learnt Scratch and mBot in school, and so far I’ve picked up Micro:bit, Python, App Inventor, and am still in the process of learning Javascript and so much more.

What do you like most about coding?

Coding gives wings to my imagination and creativity. It helps me actualise the blueprint of my ideas on the screen, and I pick up my innovations from the things I use or see in my daily life!

While it is really hard, it is really fun and it allows me to explore new possibilities in the digital world. But what I love the most is the fact that one can manipulate the code to do whatever they want, and the only limit is your creativity.

Catch 11-year-old Aarhan enthusing about coding and his future aspirations in an earlier interview video.

How did you benefit from the programmes at Coding Lab?

The coding programmes at Coding Lab equipped me with the knowledge of various coding languages, block interfaces and a deeper understanding of how to manipulate codes to fit into my projects. The classes helped me to perfect all these skills.

I can’t thank my teachers enough for being approachable, friendly, extremely knowledgeable, and creative at the same time. My ideas were constantly discussed in the sessions, which she elicited from me without spoon-feeding. She helped to boost my confidence and creativity to a whole new level.

What I liked most about my lessons were the teachers as they were always encouraging us to ask questions. Thanks to Coding Lab, I have learnt 3 languages, Python, App Inventor and Java, and my learning experiences have further fuelled my passion for coding.

“Aarhan has always displayed a good understanding of the lessons and takes an active role in discussions. He explains his codes well, which demonstrates a clear thought process, and is one of the important criteria in being a programmer!”
– Educator Rachel

Check out Aarhan’s Obstacle Game that he coded and presented in our ICS 2020, which earned him a Merit Award!

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

There were many times when I had a certain idea in my head, but to apply that, the code wouldn’t fit or a minor improvisation was needed. I realised then that having a mature guidance – even in the simplest project – would take me to my desired result.

What is your favourite project and why?

Student Feature - Aarhan Presentation of Kites on Microbit
A snippet of the light show in Aarhan’s Kites project on Micro:bit.

The last and most recent project that I worked on is titled Kites, coded using Micro:bit. I was inspired to make it based on an international kite festival called Uttrayan that takes place every year in India. The kites fly up in the sky, and the goal is to cut the other person’s kite. Since I have not been able to visit India for 2 years now, I replicated it and created this game to be able to play it.

There are two kites marked by red lights – the player’s and the opponent’s kite. The player’s kite has ten lives and its light blinks while the opponent’s kite light is steady.

When I coded this game, I used the game components for the first time and initially had difficulties with the lives and scores. After a lot of trial and error, perseverance and rearrangement of the code blocks, I was finally able to come to an end product that I was satisfied with!

Student Feature - Aarhan Header
Catch the video version of Aarhan’s interview at our Parkway Parade campus here.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to be a scientist when I grow up, like a nanoscientist, to control everything through nanochips. And then after that, I’m going to become a doctor and use my little microchips to help detect and diagnose diseases in patients.

What advice would you give to young coders like yourself?

Just go ahead. The path may look a little rocky, but trust me, it leads to a whole new world of imagination and wonder. So, don’t give up and keep marching ahead!

Thank you for sharing your programming journey with us, Aarhan! 😃 We are so proud to see you grow from the confident 11-year-old App Inventor student to getting into your dream school at St Joseph’s Institution. We hope that your story inspires many other young coders like yourself to pick up programming, explore the vast world of possibilities, and harness the skill to change the world for the better! 🌏

Aarhan Saluja has been attending classes at Coding Lab since May 2020 – from App Inventor 1 and 2, advancing to Python Junior 1 and 2, and now progressing through our Advanced Computer Scientists programme. He was also in the Portfolio Preparation programme for DSA. Aarhan, who turns 13 this year, won the Merit Award in our annual International Coding Showcase 2020.

Our #CodingLabStudents series features our ambitious students and their ongoing coding journeys – be it the budding coder or advanced Python Pro, we appreciate each and every single one’s efforts as they progress to greater heights. 🌱

Coding Lab offers an award-winning curriculum specially for ages 4 to 18 – check out our courses to begin your own coding journey today!

(Written by Zulaikha and Oliver, Edited by Cheryl)

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