Enter the class of 2019, where blackboards, crayons, and textbooks are replaced by social media, cloud computing, artificial intelligence and all things smart. With technology changing the way classrooms work in today’s digital era, it’s become more imperative than ever to embrace the learning models of tomorrow. Which is why it’s no surprise all the cool kids are getting into coding, and it’s only a matter of time before schools start implementing it. But for now, here’s a more fun and accessible way to boost your tech chops.

Cue Coding Lab, a premiere educational institution that prides itself on a MIT-inspired curriculum that helps to develop your computational thinking and problem-solving skills, all while sparking your inner creativity and keeping things relevant to the real world. Think writing your own code, creating your own apps… Always wondered how the Instagram algorithm works? Or how social media advertisements always seem to be tailored to your latest interests? It’s no magic trick; just python applications!

While it may seem like a labyrinth of gibberish at first, coding will be an absolute breeze once you’ve gotten the hang of it, much like picking up a foreign language. The best part about Coding Lab is that they offer a wide range of specialised programmes tailored to your age and skill sets, so whether you’re a tech geek or a complete newbie, it’s a great place to get started.

Don’t just hear it from us; we’ve enlisted three young but super-savvy students to share with us more on their coding journey thus far.

Unlocking His Potential To Success (Elijah, 13)

Elijah

Meet Elijah, the youngest medallist for the National Olympiad in Informatics (NOI) 2019, one of the most prestigious coding competitions organised annually by the National University of Singapore. The 13-year old ACS(I) boy has grown from the then inquisitive Primary Fiver into one of Coding Lab’s most stellar teenage talents, as he flourishes through their exclusive NOI C++ training programme. So if you’re an aspiring coder like Elijah, don’t be afraid to venture into the world of code – think of all the amazing opportunities waiting for you!

Coding A Better World (Ian, 14) 

Ian

If you’re someone who just wants to create for leisure, why not take it a step further by giving back to society? Utilising his coding skills for the greater good, Ian is proud to have conceived a meaningful app for the elderly all by himself. At just 14 years old, the Hwa Chong Institution student has launched his very own app, Silver Plus, which fosters engagement within the elderly community. Elaborating on the concept behind his idea, the passionate student shares, “I came up with the idea as the suggested theme for school projects this year was on giving back to the community. I wanted to match this theme with my love for technology.”

An Unexpected Calling (Sarah, 17)

Sarah

So you think programming, tech and all that jazz are way out of your league? Well, think again – Sarah discovered her calling in code after her first baby steps into the realms of Python. Like most of us, the Hwa Chong International student started out using the laptop for a mere Google search, YouTube videos or simply a routine scroll through Facebook. Little did she expect to get hooked onto coding. “My interest surprised even myself,” she exclaims.

With just six months of training, the budding talent then went on to participate in NOI 2018 and clinched an Honourable Mention. We’re talking someone who started from ground zero right here! And to all the other newbies considering about starting their coding journey, the avid girl programmer advises to not be afraid and give it a shot. “It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the troves of information online, but don’t let this get the better of you. Just take things step by step. Coding is a lifelong journey.” 

This post is brought to you by Coding Lab.

Code your way to success at Coding Lab! For those aged 13 to 18 who are interested in finding out more about what Coding Lab has to offer, head over here to check out the Secondary & JC classes available. Fees range from $445 to $745.

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Learning a new skill or simply taking the time to unwind after the hectic school semester is a great way to recharge for the term ahead. Now that the June school holidays are in full swing, gather your friends and set out on an enriching yet fun adventure with these unique activities in Singapore!

#1 Go wild like hulk at The Fragment Room

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Done with your exams but still feeling a little strung out from the stress? Get some stress relief at The Fragment Room, the first-ever rage room to set up shop here in Singapore. Good for both individuals and groups, this unconventional venue provides you a safe space to let loose and cause as much destruction without any worry. Once you’re decked in the full-body protective gear, get ready to spend up to an hour smashing all kinds of breakable items such as plates, glasses, vases and electronic appliances alongside your own ragin’ playlist.

#2 Drift away at the Palm Ave Float Club

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When your brain has been on overdrive, nothing sounds better than an hour free from distraction. At the Palm Ave Float Club, get set up in a private room with a float pod filled with Epsom salt water and let your sensory deprivation experience begin. This one-on-one personal time is not only beneficial for your mind, body and overall wellbeing, but it’s also a rapid stress reliever that promotes muscle repair, speeds up healing, and lowers your cortisol levels and blood pressure.

#3 Spend a day amidst nature with Kayak Asia

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Take a break from city life and enjoy a quiet day with like-minded people on a kayak adventure. Instead of exploring other islands around Singapore, follow a friendly, professional guide from Kayak Asia as they lead you to lesser-known rivers and seas through waterways, lagoons and tunnels, all quietly hidden away from sight by the concrete jungle we live in.

#4 Engage in a galactic workout at SaberFit

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If you’re a Star Wars fan, here’s your opportunity to get in a good workout all while unleashing your inner Jedi. SaberFit combines physical combat with saber striking techniques and fitness exercise to bring you a sweat-inducing mix of cardio, calisthenics and conditioning routines. The result: a full-body toning experience that’s also perfect for those who are looking to explore a fun way to exercise.

#5 Try your hand at pottery at Thow Kwang Pottery Jungle

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Discover beauty in its simplest state at one of the oldest surviving brick-built kilns in Singapore. Built in the 1940s, Thow Kwang Pottery Jungle is a dragon kiln known for wood-firing their pottery wares. During this process, the items are engulfed in a river of fire where its remaining ashes will react with the glaze to produce unique colours and textures. Through their two-hour pottery workshops, you’ll be able to challenge your craft skills while cultivating a deeper appreciation for this disappearing art form. 

#6 Defy gravity at Starz Aerial Dance School

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Unlike your usual style of dance, Starz Aerial Dance School is home to instructors well-versed in Aerial Arts – a dance form that uses silks, hoops, static trapeze and hammock in the practice of flying with strength, endurance and grace. Besides being able to remain above ground, you’ll also learn to build a strong foundation in upper body and core strength as well as challenge your fears and develop your creativity.

#7 Put your F1 skills to the test at The Karting Arena

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Though you may or may not have your driving license yet, it’s not too early to start practicing. Featuring a combination of hairpins, long sweepers, tight corners, a chicane and ninety-degree turns, The Karting Arena presents you with an opportunity to conquer the driving track like a race car driver. Designed with important safety pre-cautions, this fun go-karting track is Singapore’s first electric go-kart track that enables better handling of the electric-powered karts. You’re in for an exhilarating ride!

#8 Experience Polynesian culture with ‘Ori Tahiti Singapore Dance School

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Immerse in the tradition and passion of Polynesian culture through dance. More than just any ordinary hula dance, ‘Ori Tahiti Singapore Dance School is all about embodying the Polynesian spirit through beautiful dance moves that seem to move in sync with the energetic drumbeats and toe-tapping songs. If you’re unsure but interested in checking it out, you could sign up for a free trial to experience the wonders of Tahitian dance.

#9 Learn the art of modern calligraphy at The Workroom SG

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With bullet journaling being all the rage now, the art of typography has been something that many have tried to master in an effort to create aesthetically-pleasing pages. One popular technique is modern calligraphy, which is not just great for journals but also for penning messages on cards, invitations and notes. The Workroom SG will introduce you to the tools as you systematically learn how to artistically compose your favourite quote as your ‘graduating piece’.

What are your plans for the June holidays? Tell us in the comments below!

More related stories: Fill Your June Holidays Calendar With These 12 Exciting Events12 Feel-Good Netflix Shows And Movies To Watch During The June Holidays6 Unconventional Part-Time Jobs To Make Quick Bucks This June Holidays

First-year diploma student Wu Zi Liang may be young, but the aspiring business mogul’s certainly got the entrepreneurial drive to succeed.

Building a successful business is what this young enterprising guru set out to do – all he needed was a push in the right direction. And that’s where East Asia Institute of Management (EASB) comes into play, which provides students with resources that can bring their ideas to life and prepare them for a myriad of careers after graduation.

Wu Zi Liang

A first-year student who’s currently pursuing a Diploma in Business Management, Wu Zi Liang is one of the many business-minded individuals who are hoping to turn their entrepreneurial dreams into reality at EASB. “I hope to take over the family business with my brother in the future when I graduate,” said Zi Liang, whose family runs a company that specialises in audio products and sound systems.

Zi Liang credits his time at EASB for helping to sharpen his business and computing skills across all spectrums, from learning how to analyse statistical data to understanding the concepts of digital marketing. And while the folks here take academics very seriously, it doesn’t have to be a boring affair.

Wu Zi Liang

At EASB, classes aren’t restricted to just numbers and stats – students get to take up interesting modules such as artificial intelligence which equips them with relevant AI knowledge; and management information systems which teaches them how to utilise current FinTech applications in a real-world setting. Zi Liang’s favourite class? International Business Environment, which seeks to provide him with a solid foundation in all aspects of international business.

Although there’s still some time left till his graduation, Zi Liang plans to make the most out of his years at EASB by further honing his craft while being involved in extracurricular activities, such as joining the basketball club. Upon graduation, he has also expressed his desire to expand his family business by introducing new headphone technologies into their product range. One thing’s for sure: he has a bright future ahead!

This post is brought to you by East Asia Institute of Management.

More related stories: How This SIM-UOL Student Met Donald Trump At The Trump-Kim Summit During Her InternshipHow One Student Sailed Around The World On A Year-Long Internship

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Long gone are the days when navy sailors are made up of men in uniform. Today, a rising crop of fearless female warriors are taking the seas by storm and dispelling masculine stereotypes along the way.

Over the years, more and more women have stepped up to challenge traditional perceptions on the military frontline. Not afraid to prove their capabilities, these inspiring naval leaders are taking on responsibilities and roles that are of equal importance as their male counterparts. Think you have the grit and determination to make it in this dynamic field? Don’t let self-doubt hold you back from taking the plunge into unknown waters – we debunk common misconceptions about women serving in the Navy.

Myth #1 Women lack the skills to be in the military

CPT Marilyn Sim

It’s a man’s thing, says the myth. But who’s to say that females aren’t qualified enough to make it in the military? To equip them with the necessary skillsets, officers and engineers are groomed at the Officer Cadet School, while experts are required to go through the Naval Military Expert Institute. This means each individual, whether male or female, has to undergo rigorous military training, often working under tight pressure to push themselves beyond their mental and physical limits. Everyone’s here for one purpose: to serve and defend our maritime nation.

Myth #2 Women aren’t down to do the dirty work

ME1 Chua Kia Cher

While girls are often assumed to be more suited for lighter tasks, women in the military are expected to take charge on the front lines and be just as hands-on as their male counterparts. Life in the Navy can be unpredictable – one day you might be coming up with strategic plans at the headquarters, other times you could be found braving the choppy seas for a mission on board a warship. Whatever it is, it’s an opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and experience the adventure of a lifetime.

Myth #3 There are fewer opportunities for women 

LTC-Lim-Huay-Wen

Regardless of your gender, there are no lack of opportunities here in the Navy. If you possess good leadership and management skills, the role of a Naval Officer might be up your alley as you’re expected to take charge of all aspects of the organisation, from operations to planning and training. Keen on growing your engineering expertise? As a Naval Warfare System Engineer, you get the opportunity to work on advanced naval technology on board warships, submarines and naval aircraft. Or you can choose to be a Naval Warfare System Expert – a vital role in ensuring that the ships are always ready for combat by keeping key military systems in top condition. The possibilities are endless!

Head over to www.navycareers.gov.sg for more information.

Myth #4 Women can’t balance work and family

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In this day and age, it’s totally possible to have a fulfilling career while excelling at parenting. If you’re worried that starting a family may end up derailing your career ambitions, fret not – although you’ll need to be prepared to make sacrifices while in the Navy, you don’t have to give up on family commitments to be a competent working mum. In case you’re thinking of settling down after completing your trainee and cadet phase, you have the option of being assigned to a shore posting and returning to the ship once you’re ready for combat. Now, who says women can’t be successful on both fronts?

At the end of the day, it’s all about being willing to try, knowing and proving your worth, and most importantly, not being afraid of failure. Now you’re all ready to set sail!

This post is brought to you by the Republic of Singapore Navy.

Interested in coming on board the Navy family? Head down to the Navy Women’s Career Seminar on 1 June 2019 at the Suntec City Convention & Exhibition Centre from 12.30pm to 3.30pm to explore a career with the Navy. Register your interest here!

Nestled away in a little corner of the bustling streets, a familiar tune fills the air as throngs of curious spectators began to gather along the sidewalk – some prefer to admire from afar, while others would stop for a moment to listen.

That’s just a day in the life of 22-year-old busker Lee Yee Kien, who not only performs on the streets but is also equally talented in beatboxing and has even bagged a couple of awards from local and regional competitions. A Mathematics and Economics student by day and street musician by night, Yee Kien is part of a small, emerging group of passionate individuals who aren’t afraid to challenge the conventional in this highly sterile society. To them, the city is their stage.

Yee Kien

“I like the freedom that the streets give. I can play music when I want without having to answer to anybody or live up to any expectations,” he shares. “I don’t have to be famous or have musical qualifications to be qualified enough to share my voice. Just like any average 22-year-old out there, I have an equal voice as others and I’m happy to be able to show myself to the world on a more humble stage.”

And now, Yee Kien is given the opportunity to bring his unique brand of ‘mouth music’ into the world of theatre. As part of Toy Factory’s outreach programme for inclusive theatrical sharing, the talented lad will be performing a curated set while retelling personal stories that are close to his heart. Ahead of his show this weekend, we caught up with Yee Kien where he shared with us about his love for music, experiences as a street musician and more.

Hi Yee Kien! When did you first discover your passion for music?

I first discovered my passion for singing when I was in primary school. It was a pretty peculiar story – my mother used to teach mother tongue in my primary school and she had high expectations for my oral exams, so she would get us to record ourselves practicing for it on an audio recorder. However, I recorded myself singing instead and that was when I realised I wasn’t that bad of a singer (laughs).

What kind of music did you grow up listening to?

I grew up listening to many different genres of music – classic music from Luciano Pavarotti and Andrea Bocelli, Mandarin pop songs from JJ Lin and Jay Chou, and acapella tunes from Pentatonix and Home Free, EDM tracks from Zedd and Avicii… the list goes on. I wouldn’t say I have a single artiste who influenced my style of music, but being exposed to all these genres helped me to figure out my music tastes along the way.

So how would you describe your personal musical style?

My personal style in music is pretty niche; even though it covers a wide range of genres, my style of delivery is all through my vocal chords. Beats, you got it. Guitar, coming right up. Er-hu? Violins? Electric guitar? All me! I use this arsenal of sounds I’ve picked up over the years, input it into my looper and fit it into the songs I sing. I’m essentially a one-man acapella band!

What are some of your favourite songs to perform?

I usually like to perform groovier songs like ‘Billie Jean’ by Michael Jackson and ‘Red Bone’ by Childish Gambino because I like the influence the groove brings to the audience when I hit the set. You start to see everyone’s heads bobbing along and that’s the kind of good vibes I like to bring to the world.

What was the most interesting audience interaction you’ve ever had during your performances?

There was once I was busking in Punggol, and a young girl approached me asking if I knew the song ‘甜蜜蜜’. Usually, I would reject impromptu requests because of the nature of the looper, but she was holding a $1 coin ready to slot it into my box while giving me the puppy-eye look, so I looped a beat and sang it. She instantly flashed a megawatt smile, and I overheard her telling her mother that she wanted to sing when she grew up. My heart melted!

Another time, I was busking near the residential area and I think someone complained so two police officers came down to investigate. I thought my busking license was going to be revoked, but to my surprise, the police officer gave me a pat on the back and said, “Bro, you were awesome man! Keep doing what you do.” Those words of encouragement really meant a lot to me and it inspired me to keep going.

What’s the most important life lesson you’ve learned from being a street musician?

I’ve learned that passion is what makes the world go around. Buskers may be on the streets for different reasons, but they are all there with one common purpose: to spread their passion to the world. When you actually stop and listen to a busker, you can most definitely feel their passion, and that drive is what makes people do what they do. 

What’s a piece of advice you would like to give to youths who want to try busking but never have the courage to do so?

It sounds cliche, but I would say: just do it. It gets easier after you sing the first song, so take the courage to make the first step. If you’re hungry and you wanted food from the coffee shop across the road, but you chose not to because of the fear of getting run over by a car, you’ll never get your food. Remember, there will always be people stopping to watch you perform and that’s all that matters.

This story is part of a brand new series in #TEENAGEPORTFOLIO where we spotlight youths taking on unconventional hustles. For more inspirational stories, be sure to pick up a copy of our latest issue!

Interested in watching him play? Catch Yee Kien at A Slient Hour: Buskers of Singapore on 5 and 6 April 2019 at [email protected]! Tickets are available here – head down to show your support!

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