Tech meets creativity at camp


Having fun: A student demonstrating to his classmates his game on Scratch.

THIS coming school holidays, there is a new way for children to have an insightful and productive time with out-of-classroom activities.

CreativeTech Camp Sdn Bhd, a technology education provider that aims to inspire young Malaysians to be creators and not just consumers of technology, is organising a Tech Hero camp for children aged between eight and 14 to spend time exploring and inventing with technology.

The camp, which will be held between July 13 and 17, as well as Aug 3 to 7 in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur, is a programme developed from previously well-received CreativeTech holiday camps organised by the company.

The programme comprises five days of creative play using various digital tools to create video games, build mobile applications and make robots. Children are given the tools and the opportunity to think critically and explore possibilities leading to their “A-ha!” moment every step of the way.

Children in the programme will be equipped with the basics of coding and programming using web-based tools such as Scratch and AppInventor.

Kids aged eight to 10 years will learn how to apply the logic of coding to create their own games with a drag-and-drop method in Scratch, and witness their games come to life.

Those aged between 11 and 14 will use AppInventor, an open source web-based coding tool, to create their own Android software applications with their creative interpretations of the Iron Man vs Missile game.

A popular part of the programme that has children brimming with excitement is when they get to design their own world in the game Minecraft.

They can pick up Java programming skills through Minecraft modding and gain freedom to design and customise their own elements in the game.

“I never knew I could do this — build my very own Minecraft world! I can’t wait for tomorrow’s class already,” said Jing Wei, 11, who attended another camp organised by the company.

Children will also get to bring their ideas to life using littleBits, a system of tiny electronic modules that snap together with magnets to carry out specific tasks.

Inspired by the Nasa Grappler, older students will get to design their own grappler that with the ability to grab objects of unique shapes.

The five-day camp is supervised by technology veteran Dr Ewe Chun Te and co-founder Audrey Ng, both graduates of Imperial College in the UK.

“Our aim is to get children to enjoy learning, be comfortable with the building blocks of technology and be playful and creative in using them.

“We recognise coding and programming can sharpen children’s critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and we want to make learning this a natural process for everyone,” Ewe explains.

The camp will also prioritise hands-on activities that challenge and cultivate design thinking with exercises such as the Marshmallow Challenge, a fun and instructive design exercise.

“This challenge helps them understand the concept of constantly testing their prototype, then refining their ideas,” Ewe says.

To sign up for the camp, log on to www.creativetechcamp.com or call 019-335 4507 for more details.

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