Education plays a significant role in the lives of children – both as a milestone and as a journey in itself. As Educators at heart ourselves, we understand the challenges that come with each unique learning experience. Therefore, when a student under our tutelage achieves an educational goal, it is our honour to share the celebratory news!

Welcome to another edition of Coding Lab’s Student Features. Today’s precocious guest is 13-year-old Darius Yong, who made us proud by successfully securing a place at the School of Science and Technology (SST) in advance through Direct School Admission (DSA)!

Click to watch the video version of our interview with Darius! 👆

Hi Darius! Congratulations on entering SST through DSA! How do you feel about this achievement?

Thanks for asking, I am definitely excited as I know SST will provide many opportunities to further my interest in coding. At the same time, I am glad that I don’t have to worry about which Secondary School to choose in the Secondary 1 posting.

Meet Darius, who won the Most Innovative Award at the International Coding Showcase 2020!

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

When I was about 9, my father bought me a book that taught me how to program in Scratch. I followed the guide and learnt how to program in Scratch. About one and a half years later, I started lessons with Coding Lab in App Inventor and Python. I had lots of fun exploring different programming languages and platforms.

Watch Darius’ award-winning International Coding Showcase project here!

How did you get started with Coding Lab?

I learnt about Coding Lab from my mum, she signed me up for the App Inventor course, which I really enjoyed. After that, I went on for Python courses.

How has Coding Lab’s DSA Preparation Programme made an impact in your coding journey?

Coding has helped me improve my way of thinking and allowed me to be more patient when there were bugs. Coding has also broadened my exposure as I was able to take part in competitions. I have won the Most Innovative Award from the International Coding Showcase 2020 and also placed within the Top 20 winners for the Coding Olympics 2021.

Could you share with us why you think learning to code is so important?

We are definitely living in an era of technology, learning coding is important because it can help us and the community to solve problems in possibly new, creative and efficient ways. It also taught me to be persistent and not give up easily when I hit a snag.

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

Meeting bugs is definitely part of a programmer’s journey. To overcome them, I would Google for solutions or look through my class notes.

Darius is an extremely motivated and dedicated learner that always gives his best effort in attempting the questions. He has been progressing well, especially for someone of his age, he has shown a high level of understanding of the Python concepts taught and has applied them well in different areas by creating his own projects.

– Educator Evan

Apart from coding, what else do you like to do in your spare time?

I’m still a kid so I like reading as well as playing all types of games from Minecraft, Mario Kart, Game of Life and also Heart Attack! I also go for TaeKwonDo classes and earned my black belt this year.

Outside of coding, Darius is passionate about martial arts, too!

Do you have any advice for young people like you who want to start coding?

Never give up on your dreams in coding or in anything you wanna do!

What is your favourite coding project so far and why?

Definitely my Math Game. During the first circuit breaker last year in 2020, I combined both my love for Math and coding to create a Math Revision & Game project for my peers. I came up with the problem sums myself and coded the project in Scratch. I presented it to my Math teacher in School and she loved the idea and shared it with all my peers in school.

GIF of Darius’ Scratch-based Math Game
Play Darius’ Scratch-based Math Game here! 👆

Who is your favourite Educator? If there is one thing you could say to them, what would it be?

This is really a tough one for me …. I can’t really decide who my favourite tutor is but I want to say “Thank You!” to all the tutors who have taught me at Coding Lab! You are all awesome and I am inspired to be like you!

Image of Darius smiling and waving at the camera
All the best at SST, Darius! We know you’ll excel in your new school!

Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions, Darius! Your Educators are proud of you for all of your achievements – in both coding and academics!

Darius began his coding journey at Coding Lab with P205+P206 – Python Junior, before progressing his way up to S203 – Algorithm. Find your own starting point here with us by browsing our course catalogue today!

(Written by Lixin, Edited by Thinzar)

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