By Geraldine Ho
Back by popular demand, Girls In Tech Singapore (GITSG) presented its third edition of Mom Can Code, I Can Too! – an annual coding event to commemorate Mother’s Day.
This afternoon of mother-daughter bonding through simple coding and music making was conducted at PIXEL LAB in Tampines Regional Library last Saturday (19 May) – each mum and kid pair built their own e-ukelele to take home!
It’s been an exciting year for GITSG – and Mom Can Code, I Can Too! marks the start of a partnership with the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA). IMDA recently launched its Digital Maker Programme, where it introduced a pocket-sized codable device called the micro:bit – these were kindly sponsored for Mom Can Code, I Can Too!
IMDA’s Digital Maker Programme aims to nurture a new generation of digital natives, who are passionate about creating with technology. The partnership with GITSG is a step towards this, encouraging girls and their moms to discover STEM together.
Designed as an introductory workshop for those who are unacquainted with coding, the e-Ukulele workshop welcomed a group of 20 mom-kid pairs, ready to get their code on. Some were new to coding, while others attended last year’s event and returned for more.
While you might expect a mother to bring her young daughter to a Mother’s Day event like this, it turns out that daughters were actually bringing their mothers! They came with a keen interest in tech and coding, eager to explore and learn more. It’s encouraging to see these young girls getting excited about coding, with the youngest being only 7 years-old. Mom Can Code, I Can Too! also attracted a handful of teenage girls, and a mother-son team joined in the fun too!
The participants first built their ukuleles, using simple wooden parts. A bit of fixing here, a bit more fiddling there and – voila! – a ukelele took shape.
But what makes the ukulele electronic is the micro:bit, which needs to be attached to the instrument with magnets and conductive threads.
The micro:bit is how the hardware is coded, to determine how the instrument sounds. Enter Microsoft Block Editor, a drag and drop code editor that allows you to snap together blocks of code – a great beginner’s tool to learn the concepts of coding.
Mothers patiently guided their daughters; each pair’s problem-solving skills put to the test as they tried to solve some technical issues with the micro:bit. It was a lesson in patience, perseverance, and not being afraid to try, fail, and troubleshoot! Despite the challenges, many girls were unfazed and enjoyed the process. Their enthusiasm for coding was simply unstoppable!
Mom Vidhya, who’s also just completed our ABC of Digital Talent workshop series, said “It definitely tested the kids, but I would recommend it.”
At the end of the day, each pair had their e-ukelele as a momento and tool to further their coding journey. It truly was a pleasure for us at GITSG to see our young ones become passionate about coding, and 10 year old participant Amelia gave us a glowing review of “Two thumbs up!”
We can’t wait to see what these budding coders will come up with in future 😊
GITSG thanks IMDA for their kind support and Ripplecreate for facilitating the workshop.
About our community writer:
Geraldine is an assistant brand manager at the Gryphon Tea Company, and has built her career in lean marketing for SMEs. Her passion is in learning how people tick, and telling their stories to inspire readers.