Envisioning a future where creativity, coding and computational thinking will be important life skills, Create Lab, an education facilitator headquartered in Singapore provides the essential tools and facilities to assist children to develop digital skills and an inventive mindset, that will empower them to thrive in the 21st century.
Equipped with resources and expertise from educators from Oxford, MIT and Singapore’s top universities, Create Lab Sri Lanka commenced operations in January this year. Its coding and robotic design workshops have been recognized as Singapore’s leading Computational Thinking enrichment programmes and these programmes caters to children in the age groups of five to twelve years. Coding serves as the communication tool or the language that commands computers to execute tasks. It is the core aspect of creating all software including applications, websites and other digital tools. With this ability to instruct computers to complete tasks comes the possibility of inventing virtual worlds inside the devices. Equipped with imagination and analytical thinking, this opens children to a world of unlimited possibilities.
“In an increasingly digitalised world, the skills that will usher in success are going to be one’s ability to imagine, create, empathize and solve problems. Computer programming and coding skills are powerful tools that can stimulate and bring forth these already existing abilities within children. Coding helps children improve their analytical thinking and helps them look at the bigger picture. Empowering children to use technology to create rather than just consume, is what we do best.” commented Create Lab Co-Founder/Chief Executive Officer Thilan Wickramasinghe.
Create Lab workshops and programmes are designed to encourage children to explore possibilities and acquire skills through a ‘hands on’ personalized approach. The learning environment provided at Create Lab includes role-playing, storytelling, art and music which challenge children to tackle everyday problems by developing solution through their own computer programmes and hardware. Commenting on the work that Create Lab has initiated in Sri Lanka, Create Lab Director, Michelle Pinto said, “Our main programme Introduction to Computational Thinking (ICT101) will inspire students to become powerful computational thinkers. During our workshops students can code their own computer games, digital art, programme robots and develop hardware. Our focus is to inspire children to experiment, solve problems, patterns and use their imagination. These are highly portable skills that will help them excel in school and at home, but most importantly in their future careers.”
The children are exposed to some of the state-of-the-art software and hardware solutions available and, Create Lab collaborates with the National University of Singapore (NUS) Enterprise, Google, SoftBank and the lnfocomm and Media Development Authority of Singapore to develop their solutions. Create Lab also provides free cloud based resources to allow children to share their work with family and friends and continue to improve their approaches, outside the classroom.
“Learning to rely on their own ingenuity and problem solving skills will help children become better decision makers with the ability to use available resources to generate the best outcome in any given situation. They will invariably start thinking critically and strive to find creative solutions to problems. Our workshops also encourage children to communicate well and work in teams. This will help them in their academic life as well as in the real world” said Create Lab Co-Founder/President, Dhruv Vohra.
Commenting further on the importance of encouraging girls to develop their coding and computational skills, Vohra added, “We need to break the cycle which limits the admission of girls and women into the world of computer science. These skills are going to be essential tools to succeed in the future and both boys and girls should start developing their digital know-how from a young age to be able to become valuable members of tomorrow’s digital landscape.”