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My Lilbookworm review: The Lab Holiday Camp Program

Looking for a holiday camp this September? AJ from My Lilbookworm has joined us for our drone holiday camp in June and thoroughly enjoyed himself. Here to find out why:

THE LAB – A CODING SCHOOL BACKED BY HIGHLY TRAINED PROFESSIONALS

 Parrot Mambo Fly, suitable for indoor flying

Ever since I watched this documentary about Drones in China during my trip with AJ toShanghai last year, I have been on the lookout for Drone lessons for him. It isn’t because I want him to master Drone Flying or even Drone Programming, it is more of giving him the exposure and letting him experience flying and programming one.

Though drones are getting more and more affordable, learning how to manoeuvre a drone is far more fun and important than just plainly flying one. It is a whole new world filled with challenges to exercise one’s mental faculty, very much a combo of computational thinking and mental adrenaline exercise. Professional drone flying is such a big thing in China that the industry even imposed regulations that users have to pass drone flying licence in order to fly one. In fact, Drone university programs are already starting to pop up all over the world to educate the next generation of pilots. It is indeed a growing industry!

Last June holiday, AJ had the opportunity to try programming a drone and flying it in The Lab. In this workshop, students explored the role as an aerodynamics engineer. They learned the mechanics of a drone, how to fly a drone safely and they were also introduced to manipulate a drone flight through coding.

AJ, using The Lab’s portal to do programming.
The portal enables both parents and teachers to observe individual child’s progress.

The Lab has a pretty impressive core team, with Dr. Oka Kurniawan, a Senior Lecturer for Singapore University of Technology and Design, being the Curriculum Specialist. Checking out their website, you’ll notice the team is a group of highly trained professionals, leaders in their own fields, with many years of experience in education and technology.

The learning environment in The Lab is unlike most of the enrichment centres. As seen on the photos below, the Lab is modeled on the idea of a playground to achieve a technology-rich experience for children. In a playground, children move and explore, they invent games and stories and they collaborate with peers and negotiate conflicts. They are supervised by adults throughout, but they lead their own experience.

The open concept layout is the expression of an educational philosophy that promotes a high level of autonomy for students, who are being given responsibility towards their own learning progression. The tables are structured in groups of 4 and 8 to increase collaboration with peers. Seating arrangement is flexible, and so it allows students to choose where they work and with whom. It also allows them to change their location and positions as needed.

AJ has enjoyed the Drone Flying and programming session but there are still a few programmes in The Lab he hasn’t had the chance to explore. We certainly hope that, if time permits, and should there be any more advanced courses, we could be back again.

The Lab is running some holiday programmes coming September, and I think one of the best ways to check if an enrichment centre suits the child is through attending these short courses, holiday programmes or trial classes. If you would like to sign your child up for Drones, Robotics or Animation for September holiday programmes, kindly click on this link to sign up. The Lab also offers free trial class on their regular programmes, so if you are intending to try their regular classes instead, click on this link to register your interest.

The Lab Singapore is on Cheekiemonkies

The Lab Singapore is highly honoured to have Kelvin – blogger of Cheekiemonkies to review us.

I’m Kelvin, a Daddy Blogger based in Singapore and most recently, an author of two editions of ‘Got Kids, Go Where?’ – a book of 550 activities for parents to do with their kids in Singapore. I have guest written for Yahoo! Singapore Parenting website and was invited as a speaker at Asian Festival of Children’s Content 2015, and a panelist for Singapore Children’s Forum 2015. I was appointed a judge for Singapore Tourism Awards 2016 & 2017, and a Council Member of the Advisory Council on Community Relations in Defence (ACCORD) Family & Community and Families for Life Council.

I also co-founded Daddy Matters – an online community of active dads as well as dads who want to be active in promoting the message of active fathering to everyone.

6 Ways The Lab makes it different for kids compared to other Coding Schools

Let’s face it – coding is the new language of the future.

If you didn’t already know, all upper primary students (Primary 4 to 6) will attend compulsory coding enrichment classes from next year onwards. The 10-hour Code for Fun programme will teach students computational thinking(this is a HUGE thing and I will get to that in a bit, I promise), coding concepts and problem-based learning.

For Ayd, he has always wanted to pick up coding. In fact, he even tried learning on his own through YouTube videos with varying success. I think it was because there was no structure and curriculum so he could not exactly keep track of what he has and hasn’t learnt.

So when The Lab came calling, he was over the moon. Ale was also keen to try coding so together with Ayd, they were signed up for their coding sessions.

The Lab is a coding school with coding programmes for kids aged 4 and above. They are the first Coding and Robotics school in Singapore that runs an adaptive learning management system to personalise each and every student based on their learning abilities and behaviours.

All very good on paper but how about in reality? Ayd and Ale have been attending coding sessions at The Lab for three months now and I have to say I am mightily impressed – by both its curriculum AND learning environment. I have been able to keep track of their progress through The Lab’s portal and one of the projects they have completed so far is to write a coding sequence for a motion sensor. For once, they know something that I don’t! 😂

So if you are considering to send your child to pick up coding, here are 6 ways The Lab makes it different for kids compared to other coding schools:

NO CLASSROOMS

The Lab is big on cultivating an innovative learning environment to foster ideas among its students. Hence, the entire premise is modeled on the idea of a playground where there are no walls separating one kid from another, i.e. there is no classroom setting!

And what do kids do best at a playground? They children move and explore, they invent games and stories and they collaborate with peers and negotiate conflicts. Of course, they are also supervised by adults throughout, but they lead their own experience.

And this is exactly what The Lab is all about.

The open concept layout empowers kids by giving them the responsibility towards their own learning progression. Tables are structured in groups of 4 and 8 to increase collaboration with peers.

And unlike in a clasroom setting, The Lab practices flexible seating which allows kids to choose where they work and with whom. Ayd and Ale could be sitting at one table for one session and at another for another week, depending on the project they are working on. Or even on the floor!

KIDS LEARN AT THEIR OWN PACE

Every child is different in his or her own right. Some will pick up coding faster than others, while some will show more interest in various aspects of coding. But if all kids are lumped together in the same classroom and sit through the same coding class, there may be a risk of some kids being not able to catch up… and eventually, lose interest in coding completely.

It is entirely different at The Lab.

What I love about its sessions is kids of various ages can be attending the SAME session together. That is the beauty of the school whereby it has classes for all ages running at the same time.

So Ayd and Ale could be attending the same session at The Lab, but they will be totally doing different things. It all depends on their individual progress, and teachers will be present to provide any assistance if they should require it.

And parents will be able to keep track of their kids’ progress remotely, thanks to The Lab’s parent portal.

Just log in weekly to get an update of your kids’ weekly projects – I can even see the time taken and number of attempts needed to complete each individual challenge, all while sipping my coffee while waiting for them to be done. 😆

 

And beyond all these data, each student is stringently assessed by a cutting-edge technology system powered by data analytics, supported with highly qualified facilitators. They closely monitor the progress of the student to ensure that he/she is learning in the most efficient way.

PAY A MONTHLY FEE & GO AS MANY TIMES AS YOU WANT

For kids who are aged between 10 and 16, the fees are perhaps the most worth it in my opinion. Pay just $280 per month (on a 12-month term) and the kid can attend the coding sessions as many times as he or she wants in a month. Want to go every alternate day to finish your challenges quickly? No problem!

COMPUTATIONAL THINKING FTW

The Lab is the first coding school in Singapore, if not in Asia, to formalize a Computational Thinking and Programming curriculum for students aged 4 and above.

Wait, so what is Computational Thinking?

Computational thinking teaches you how to tackle large problems by breaking them down into a sequence of smaller, more manageable problems. It allows you to tackle complex problems in efficient ways that operate at huge scale. It helps you go from specific solutions to general ones.

In short, it is an ESSENTIAL skill for the new world that our kids are growing up in. So even if one does not work in the IT industry in future, developing computational thinking skills teaches you a new way to think about the world.

At The Lab, the student not only learns to be proficient in Python, but also builds skills in computational thinking, logic and problem solving, analytical skills, and information processing. Students who learn how to think computationally increase their ability to think logically, solve complex problems and to think creatively. These skills facilitate and increase a student’s analytically power to better solve traditional school subjects such as Science and Math.

EXPERIENTIAL CURRICULUM

Most coding schools’ programmes are not curriculum based and do not have clear learning objectives against which to assess student progress. But The Lab has clear learning objectives and formalized assessment. From the time taken to finish a challenge, to number of attempts taken, all these are captured and recorded in its cloud database, which parents can easily access via the parent portal.

And even better, The Lab’s curriculum is an experiential one as it removes students from traditional classroom setting and allows them to immerse themselves into real-world problems. Its curriculum is well-documented and reviewed by Dr. Oka Kurniawan, who is the Senior Lecturer for Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD).

Kids will learn core computational thinking concepts such as decomposition, pattern recognition, and abstraction as well as programming tools such as flowcharts… stuff which had Ale initially stumped but she gradually picked it up and was writing flowcharts easily. And that really got me impressed!

BEYOND THE CLASSROOM

Equipping a child with coding skills is only one side of the coin but enriching his/her emotional, social, artistic and creative attributes will serve to prepare each child to meet the challenges of the real world. The Lab has in place various programs that aids in student development:

Monthly Members’ Competition
The competition is designed to enhance teamwork and collaborative skills amongst members. The competition requires little coding skills and hence includes members of all levels to learn coding in a fun and competitive way.

Leaderboard
The Lab Leaderboard is to introduce excitement, energy and enthusiasm from students. Gamification is introduced into the curriculum to cultivate a fun learning environment for the students.

Participate in National Competitions
The Lab participates in Robotics and STEM related competitions that places a student’s credentials at an advantage, particularly for DSA-SEC (Direct Secondary Admission – Secondary).

Student Industry Tours
The Lab organizes student industry tours. The Lab ethos behind such tours is to expose the students to a different landscape, variety of people thereby encouraging interaction, ignite career inspirations, exchange of ideas and to acquire the knowledge about the basic functionality of a company.

Mentorship Program
The Lab engages established industry veterans to act as Mentors to guide its students in charting a career path ahead in technology. They work to provide insights to aspiring students on specific career sectors, how to get ahead and gain tips to navigate the job market.

On top of it all, The Lab makes it FUN for kids to attend its classes. Ayd and Ale keep bugging me to remember to register them for the following week’s session and are genuinely disappointed when they have to miss a session due to some events on certain weeks – which I guess is great testament to the great job that The Lab is doing!

FREE CODING TRIAL CLASS!
Let your kids try out for one session at The Lab for FREE! Register for the free trial class at www.thelab.sgEnter the promo code CM$50OFF when you sign up for the free trial to get a $50* off one-time membership fees!

*Not to be applied in conjunction with other discounts

Useful Information

The Lab
Address: Katong V, 30 East Coast Rd #03-15/16, Singapore 428751
and
Wisteria Mall, 598 Yishun Ring Rd #01-35/36, Singapore 768698 (Opening in Nov 2019)
Tel. No: WhatsApp chat (+65) 8767-4557
Email: contact@thelab.sg
Rates: https://www.thelab.sg/membership/
Website

21st Century way of learning: Inquiry-based Learning

Human curiosity has been the backbone to how we have perceived the world and the application of this knowledge. As an education centre, The Lab strive to not just impart knowledge to our students, we use inquiry based learning as part of our pedagogy.

What is inquiry-based learning?

Inquiry-based learning is a form of active learning that starts by posing questions, problems or scenarios. It contrasts with traditional education, which generally relies on the teacher presenting facts and his or her knowledge about the subject. Inquiry-based Learning is often assisted by a facilitator rather than a lecturer. Inquirers will identify and research issues and questions to develop knowledge or solutions. Inquiry-based learning includes problem-based learning, and is generally used in small scale investigations and projects, as well as research.The inquiry-based instruction is principally very closely related to the development and practice of thinking and problem solving skills.

Inquiry based learning is more than just asking students what do they want to learn. In most scenarios, students are unable to tell you specifically what do they want to know at the beginning of the lesson. It is through the analysis of information and finding out, in their own ways, how to best apply the information will students find new questions and scenarios in which they would need guidance to answer. Students will then be able to ask the questions that they really want answered, and the curiosity they foster is the core tenet of inquiry based learning.

What is inquiry-based learning in programming?

In the case of programming, knowing particular data structure or function, commonly known as theoretical concepts, is insufficient for students. It is only when students are able to utilise this knowledge to solve the challenges given to them will the learning take place. Everyone can copy and paste code in the process to consider themselves to have learnt the language, but knowing how to tweak the code will they be able to have mastered it.

Benefits and challenges of inquiry-based learning

Like all concepts of learning, inquiry based learning presents its own benefits and challenges. Some challenges include the lack of coverage of the subject matter, the willingness and readiness of students to be engaged.  Overcoming these challenges would require effort on the facilitator’s parts. To ensure that the students are adequately covered in terms of subject matter, key learning objectives must be set before hand and the focus on these learning objectives will be reiterated during every lesson.

With regards to encouraging students to be ready and willing to ask their own questions, facilitators should ensure that the appropriate questions are first posed, regardless of ability or interest level. The entry level and essential questions would help pique the student’s interest and the onus in on themselves to realise that they are ultimately responsible for their own learning. These would ensure that inquiry based learning can be conducted in an effective and fun manner.

That being said, inquiry based learning does bring about its unique sets of benefits. Putting students on the front bench of their own learning ensures a high level of engagement and curiosity. Facilitators would have then evolved their roles to be feeders of information to be the guardians of information – the students know who to go to when they seek the answers for questions that they have come up with themselves.

In the long run, this method trains students to be critical thinkers instead of sponges of information. This is useful as their role as programmers, or any other role that requires programming. Students will be able to ask the critical and relevant questions whenever needed, which will boost and help on their own learning journey, beyond just programming.

So how does The Lab promote inquiry based learning?

Our facilitators are well versed in the subject matter of programming concepts, and can grasp the key learning objectives in every section. Students will not be taught in a traditional class format, but will instead complete the challenges on their own, consulting the facilitators if necessary. This ensures that students are engaged sufficiently and put in a scenario where they must be responsible for their own learning. The challenges pose the questions that they would need to formulate by themselves, and the solutions derived from it is something that they can take pride in.

 

The “Perfect” Father is at The Lab Singapore

The Lab Singapore is delighted to have one of the most famous daddy bloggers in Singapore, the “Perfect” Father, to visit our lab and have his children attend one of our June holidays camp!

Here is what he has to say about us:

Have you been taking leave to bring the kiddos out during this June holidays? Or had enrichment classes planned for them already? Let you in on a fun 3-day camp that Steffi, Leroy and Stacci attended recently at The Lab Singapore, located in Katong V.

I must admit that the word coding sounds difficult and even alien to this old man, but with our reliance on computers and programs these days, knowledge in coding would no doubt be beneficial to our kiddos. And for my kiddos, learning the very basics using the Tynker app in a fun environment is definitely a plus!

They reminisced how the instructors brought them down to the supermarket to select fruits for their experiment on electricity, and learnt about circuitries and voltages in a way that they would remember for a long time. But it was not all classroom work as they also went on an excursion to HP Learning Academy to learn and see for themselves, the high-tech equipment available.

3D printing is also common these days and the kiddos finally got to experience designing their 3D model and getting them printed in class! They also even got to try their hands at shooting missiles from a drone while controlling its flight! Leroy loved it for sure! There is still one more session with limited slots happening from 17-19 June, you can check out here – https://www.thelab.sg/programs/electives/!

#SGKids #KidsSG #SGSiblings #SiblingSG #ActivitySG #JuneHolidays#TheLabSG #CodingForKids #CodingKids #RoboticsForKids #StemKids#StemEducation #StemEducationForKids #CodingIsFun #SGEnrichment#SmartNationSG #SmartNation #MediaInvite #ThePerfectFather @ The Lab Singapore

Why a Raspberry Pi? Raspberry Pi VS Micro:Bit

Why a Raspberry Pi over Micro:bit

Micro Bit has been commonly known as an entry-level microcomputer. It aimed at very basic, entry-level use cases. Raspberry Pi, due to its economical price and versatile use, it is commonly used for tertiary education.

Raspberry Pi 3 vs BBC Micro Bit – Design

While the Raspberry Pi 3 resembles a rudimentary PC – a board with multiple recognisable connections – the BBC Micro Bit is essentially a 5 x 4cm circuit board with five basic I/O rings for hooking up other devices and even power.

This means that the project that a student can do is limited to five basic I/O rings while a Raspberri Pi has four USB ports, 40 GPIO pins, and an Ethernet port.

Raspberry Pi 3 vs BBC Micro Bit – Power

Raspberry Pi 3: 1.2GHz 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU and Broadcom Videocore IV GPU, 1GB RAM

BBC Micro Bit: 32-bit ARM Cortex M0 CPU, 16KB RAM

We don’t know about the BBC Micro Bit’s specs, but we do know that it runs on an ARM Cortex MO CPU chip, which is the smallest ARM processor available. It’s designed to be extremely small and energy efficient, as well as easy to program for.

Raspberry Pi 3 vs BBC Micro Bit – Connectivity

Raspberry Pi 3: 4 x USB 2.0, 1 x HDMI, Ethernet, 3.5mm audio jack, 40 GPIO pins, Camera interface, Display interface, MicroSD card slot, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

BBC Micro Bit: 5 x I/O rings, Bluetooth Low Energy, Micro-USB controller, edge connector, compass, accelerometer

Once again, the Raspberry Pi 3, despite being very basic, actually has the recognizable connections of a modern computer.

It has an HDMI slot, four USB 2.0 slots, an ethernet port, and a 3.5mm audio jack. It also has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, something which its predecessor, the Raspberry Pi 2, missed out on. That makes it great for using as a media center.

The BBC Micro Bit has a basic set of five I/O rings, meaning you’ll need crocodile clips to physically hook it up to other devices (such as sensors or robots).

Raspberry Pi 3 vs BBC Micro Bit – Software

Raspberry Pi 3: Variety of Debian-based OSs, primarily Raspbian OS, free Windows 10 version

BBC Micro Bit: Embedded software platform, web-based interface

Raspberry Pi 3 is a full applications processor-based device that runs Linux and Windows 10, while the BBC Micro is an embedded software platform that doesn’t run a full operating system. The Pi even features a web-based UI for editing in JavaScript, Python, C++ and Blocks.

The BBC Micro Bit is suited to teach the raw building blocks of coding at the heart of it. It’s highly basic. If students were to purse into more advanced programming, a Raspberry Pi would be more suited. That is the reason why The Lab Singapore uses a Raspberry Pi so that students are able to learn a much more robust curriculum with one of the most powerful and economical microcomputer in the world today.

** The Raspberry Pi is a series of small single-board computers developed in the United Kingdom by the Raspberry Pi Foundation to promote teaching of basic computer science in schools and in developing countries.  

** The Micro Bit (also referred to as BBC Micro Bit, stylized as micro:bit) is an open source hardware ARM-based embedded system designed by the BBC for use in computer education in the UK.

The Lab Singapore Parent Portal

The Lab Singapore is proud to present The Lab Parent Portal designed for busy parents in a digital age. Parents are now able to track your child’s learning progression with us real-time. Available to students ages 10-16 in our The Lab program.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions – Robotics and Programming competitions in Singapore

1. What are the well-known competitions for Robotics and Programming?

For Robotics focused competitions, the World Robot Olympiad (WRO) is generally considered the most popular, while for Programming focused competitions, Singapore has the National Olympiad in Informatics (NOI).

2. What is the difference between these two competitions?

WRO involves designing, building and programming a competition robot. NOI focuses mainly on programming and problem-solving skills.

Image result for wroImage result for national olympiad in informatics
What is it?The World Robot Olympiad is a global robotics competition for young people. The World Robot Olympiad competition uses Lego Mindstorm Robots manufactured by LEGO Education.The Singapore National Olympiad in Informatics (NOI) is modelled after the International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI), the ultimate international competition in computing.
What are the categories in the competition.The tournament comprises of four categories:

(1) Primary for ages 9 – 12;

(2) Secondary for ages 13 – 15;

(3) Tertiary for ages 15 – 19;

(4) Open for all categories

The tournament is broken up into four categories:

(1) Secondary;

(2) Junior College

What is the programming language used in the competition?Lego MindstormsC++, Java, Python
When is the competition held?September AnnuallyMarch Annually
How long is the competition?Typically, across 5 days1 day
Is it an individual or team competition?Team of 3-4Individual

3. How long does it take for a student to train for the above competitions?

Typically, a student is required to be exposed to robotics and/or programming for 1 – 2 years. It would then take approximately 50 hours of training focused purely on the competition. Hence, a high level of commitment from the student is paramount.

4. What is my child learning in The Lab Singapore that will assist in the above competitions?

In the Lab Junior program, students are required to build and program different robots each week using Lego Mindstorms. Lego Mindstorms is the programming language used in WRO. At the end of each term, students are required to complete project work which requires all three aspects, i.e. design, build and program, similar to WRO.

In the Lab program, students start with Google Blockly, enabling them to grasp the concepts of programming and progress on to Python in the advanced stages of the curriculum. Python is one of the programming languages used in the NOI.

5. Is attending The Lab Singapore classes sufficient to participate in the competition?

Unfortunately, no. The competitions are thematic and they vary year on year. Nonetheless, the concepts learnt in The Lab Singapore will assist students in understanding and applying core skills and concepts during the competitions.

As such, we have specially engaged instructors who have experienced in training students for competitions to train our students.

6. What is the suggested learning journey if my child is interested in taking part competitions?

We suggest your child to have at least 6 months to 1 year of exposure in robotics and/or programming before taking part in any competitions. We highly encourage students to take part in their first competition as part of their learning journey and to participate in our internal The Lab monthly competitions. This will allow them to be better prepared when they take part in serious competitions the following year.

A Guide to DSA (Direct School Admission)

As all secondary schools are increasing the proportion of students’ intake though the DSA, more and more parents are considering that route for their child.

Here is a guide to:

What is DSA and how it works?

Direct School Admission for secondary schools (DSA-Sec) allows students to apply to some schools before taking the PSLE. Students apply based on their talent in sports, CCAs and specific academic areas.

How do schools select students for the DSA?

The selection process varies from school to school, and across DSA categories. For instance, they may have to submit a portfolio of their achievements, result slips, CCA records and a personal statement or character reference. The student may also have to go through interviews, camps, trials or tests for that particular area of talent.

Who can apply?

Primary 6 students can apply for DSA-Sec based on a wide-range of talents, including:

  • Sports and games
  • Visual, literary and performing arts
  • Debate and public speaking
  • Science, mathematics and engineering
  • Languages and humanities
  • Uniformed groups
  • Leadership (e.g. prefects)

Which DSA schools are Technology-focused talent area?

As technology related interests are gaining in popularity, so are schools in adopting students who are talented in that particular area. Schools who adopt the DSA program with a focus in technology related talent areas typically require students to have a portfolio and/or go through an interview process to present themselves and their achievements.

Schools that adopted the DSA program with a focus in technology related talent areas:

Schools

Talent Area

Admiralty Secondary SchoolRobotics and Computing
Anderson Secondary SchoolRobotics
Anglo-Chinese School (Independent)Robotics (Boys)
Bukit View Secondary SchoolCoding and Computational Thinking Skills
Changkat Changi Secondary SchoolSTEM
Chua Chu Kang Secondary SchoolRobotics and Automation
Clementi Town Secondary SchoolCoding
Commonwealth Secondary SchoolRobotics
Dunman High SchoolInfocomm and Robotics
Fuchun Secondary SchoolRobotics
Gan Eng SengSTEM
Hai Sing Catholic SchoolRobotics
Hillgrove Secondary SchoolSTEM
Jurongville Secondary SchoolSTEM
Kent Ridge Secondary SchoolComputational Thinking
Loyang View Secondary SchoolSTEM
Manjusri Secondary SchoolScience and Technology
Maris Stella High SchoolRobotics
NUS High SchoolScience, Mathematics
Pei Hwa Secondary SchoolRobotics
Regent Secondary SchoolRobotics
River Valley HighCoding
School of Science and TechnologyComputing, Electronics
Singapore Chinese Girls’ SchoolRobotics
Tampines Secondary SchoolSTEM
West Spring Secondary SchoolInfocommunications
Woodlands Ring Secondary SchoolRobotics
Yio Chu Kang Secondary SchoolCoding
Yishun Town Secondary SchoolRobotics
Zhonghua Secondary SchoolComputer Programming

 

 

 

The Lab Singapore Expands To Central West

We are thrilled to announce today that The Lab Singapore is expanding to Singapore’s Central West region.

Through an exciting partnership with Repton Schoolhouse, our The Lab Infant and The Lab Junior programmes will find their new premises in the Central West starting today.

“The Lab Singapore is focused on high quality member journey and experience,” said Adelene Fong, Managing Director of The Lab Singapore. “With our huge success in Katong, positive feedback and strong validation from existing parents and students, we are expanding to bring about more awareness on the importance of programming/coding in Singapore.”

Free coding bootcamp trial classes will still be held at The Lab Singapore @ Katong V.

The Repton Schoolhouse is located at 321, Alexandra Central Road #03-11 Alexandra Central, 159971.

 

About Repton Schoolhouse

Repton Schoolhouse offers a unique curriculum combining the best of the British and Singaporean education systems and traditions. The combination of these and the finest educational practitioners, enable each child to be guided and encouraged to grow and develop their potential within a nurturing and supportive environment.

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5 Top Questions Parents Ask About Coding For Their Kids

Here are the 5 Top Questions Parents Ask about Coding for their kids:

1. Why should my child learn Coding even though he/ she does not wish to work in the IT industry in the future?

Learning to code is not able being software engineers or programmers, it is about developing computational thinking skills. Computational thinking is how software engineers solve problems. It combines mathematics, logic and algorithms, and teaches you a new way to think about the world.

Computational thinking teaches you how to tackle large problems by breaking them down into a sequence of smaller, more manageable problems. It allows you to tackle complex problems in efficient ways that operate at huge scale. It involves creating models of the real world with a suitable level of abstraction, and focus on the most pertinent aspects. It helps you go from specific solutions to general ones.

2. Isn’t programming too complex for kids? I have heard of C, Java – how can young kids learn those?

Traditionally programming required knowledge of syntax, that is, the use of sequences of text including words, numbers, and punctuation. You are right, this is a complexity that children cannot successfully navigate.

But visual-based programming, such as Blockly, that uses blocks like pre-created code, and ensures kids can focus on the fundamental programming logic, rather than syntax.

Children can easily drag and drop to write a program (that is, build a game, a story) that works. Kids don’t get frustrated with a program not working because of a missing semi colon!

3. When should I start my child to learn how to code?

It’s common knowledge that children under the age of 7 acquire foreign languages extremely rapidly. So why not the computer vernacular?  Researchers have found that the best age range to begin teaching children a second language is between 2 and

Childhood and early adolescence are the critical age ranges for children to learn anything, including programming, because their brains are still developing and learning how to learn.

4. I don’t know anything about computers or programming. How do I know how he./ she is progressing?

Every member of The Lab is meticulously tracked by our system. From the time taken to finish a challenge, to number of attempts taken, all these are captured and recorded in our cloud database. Parents can log in into our system to see your child’s learning progression. Our curriculum is well-documented and reviewed by Dr. Oka Kurniawan, a professor in SUTD.

5. There are so many programming languages. Which one should my child learn?

The easiest coding language to learn for the first time learners is Python. Python is open source and free to use, even for commercial applications. Thanks to its flexibility, Python is one of the most widely used high-level programming languages today.

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