I have a dream.
I dream that one day soon, my son or daughter will create an App that will be bought over by one of the Tech giants and earn him/her millions and millions of dollars…
Well, whether this dream will become a reality or not, I have to start them on the path first… so when I received an invitation to a App Jamming workshop, I answered “YES!” without even consulting the kids…
Conveniently located in the familiar downtown Stamford Court building, my kids and I found ourselves walking down a long corridor towards First Code Academy on the fourth level.
Like any tech company, the classrooms at First Code Academy had a nice, clean, modern feel to it. The woodsy parkay flooring lends a warmth that complements the white walls and glass partitions. We were greeted by a team of friendly staff and a slew of enticing gadgets that the kids jumped to play immediately.
This is one place where kids are not restricted to play but are openly encouraged to have fun and try out the gadgets. The Blue Dash and Dot (picture above) are toy robots that moves according to the programs on the iOS and Android devices provided on site. Created and designed by two ex-Googler and ex-Apple engineers, Dash and Dot was an immediate hit with the kids.
Below picture (left) is my daughter on the Google Cardbox, which basically has a smart phone inside. According to my IT Guru (my son), this is basically a cheaper version of the Samsung Gear VR.
On the right picture below, my son is experimenting on Makey Makey. This is his explanation to his not so tech savvy mom: “By tapping on the conductors of electricity, we can activate certain keys on the computer through Makey Makey. Using our body parts like our fingers, we can complete the circuit and produce music or play games.”
Alright then. I think I will stick to taking photos.
App Jamming Workshop
Michelle Sun, the CEO and co-founder of First Code Academy, personally welcomed us and introduced the programs to us. My kids, at 10 and 12 years old, were allocated to the Creator group. And they were personally taught by Michelle. Yay!!
The kids are truly natives of the modern technology. They took to it like ducks on water. While I struggle to understand the foreign language of coding, it was easy-peasy for them.
Why learn to code? Michelle explains that in our modern world where technology is paramount in all aspects of our lives, teaching kids how to code transforms them from consumers to creators.
She shares the inspiration story of 15-year-old Nick D’Aloisio who created the app Summly to help himself and fellow students read summarized version of the massive amount of reading material required of students, and later sold his app to Yahoo for a whopping 30 million dollars!! Read more about Nick here.
Having suitably excited us and our roomful of future app-creators, Michelle instructed us to log onto the website MIT app inventor 2.
I like the way Michelle spoke to the kids. She was very patient and encouraging when she address the kids. And I think the kids felt a kinship with her as a fellow techno-fan.
Some kids like my son adapt to the digital world like a fish in water. Others, like my daughter need a helping hand or two. Michelle and her team were very attentive and patient with their instructions. It helps too that the class size was not too big. There were only 6 students to a class.
I am so psyched that I could be empowering a potential multi-gazillionaire, what I like about this workshop is that kids are ALLOWED, even encouraged to ask questions, to develop a curiosity to solve problems and to try and find solutions. I also noticed that in coding or apping, they have to follow instructions or input specific logical instructions in order to achieve their outcome.
The Woman & The Company
A native from Hong Kong, Michelle studied and graduated from the University of Chicago before beginning her career at Goldman Sachs as an equity analyst. She is passionate about women entrepreneurship and empowerment, resulting in her cofounding a community for women in technology, Women Who Code (Hong Kong Chapter).
Prior to starting First Code, she graduated from the inaugural class of Hackbright Academy and held various technical roles in high growth startups in Silicon Valley.
First Code Academy Singapore launched its first program in early 2015. Beginning with a cluster of students, First Code Academy has since grown from one class to its current campus in City Hall with five classrooms. In addition to teaching regular programs and holiday camps, First Code also partners with schools and organizations such as PayPal and Google to empower young generation to become creators of technology through community events such App Jamming Summit, Girls Can Code and Moms Can Code.
|Kids Tech Camps|
|Age 6 – 8||
|Age 9 -11||
|Address:|| 61 Stamford Road
#04-13, Stamford Court
Tel: 8446 5058
Till our next post, love yourself, love one another.