Microbit Workshop by Kayden

A coding enthusiast, our member Kayden was wildly excited to share his love for programming with all the other members. With this zeal, he helped to plan and run our first ever member-led workshop, setting a great precedent for many more to come!

Meet Kayden!

Kayden is our resident coding enthusiast, having developed a keen interest in programming ever since he was young. He loves how programming allows him to create many things like apps or websites from scratch, turning his ideas and imagination into reality. In fact, he mentioned that was a huge part of why he wanted to join Vivita—he saw us as a place where he can continue building this interest while also having space to explore other fun making activities like woodworking or 3D printing!

When asked for his favourite memory at Vivita, he shared he’s enjoyed everything he’s done, since the people at Vivita are really friendly and create a comfortable environment for him to “go out of this world and explore more things”! It was this warm and supportive environment that actually spurred him to take on the challenge of helping to conduct Vivistop Orchard’s first ever official workshop back in August 2019, just shortly after our opening.

Kayden’s Pioneer Efforts in Running a Workshop!

The story of how this workshop came about is one of sheer chance and spontaneity. After seeing Su Yuen in the midst of planning a Microbit workshop in Vivistop, Kayden excitedly asked if he could help. We greatly value the initiative and motivation of children, so Su Yuen didn’t hesitate to pull Kayden on board this exciting journey! At first, he was concerned because although he is passionate about programming, he hadn’t used Microbit before and wasn’t familiar with the interface. But Kayden was so excited about introducing members to the fun of programming that he read up more on Microbit by himself. When he ran into difficulties understanding the content and conveying it through the presentation slides, he worked with Su Yuen to break it down into more easily digestible pieces, which allowed him to learn along the way too!

Kayden setting the registration form for the workshop!

As this was our first workshop, we decided to plan and design everything from scratch. Gladly, Kayden saw it as a chance to start on a blank slate and be as creative as possible! From the workshop slides to the registration form and even the marketing materials, Kayden put in a ton of effort to make sure that they were engaging and clear. Of course, this was easier said than done, and he spent many days at Vivistop experimenting and refining the content with Su Yuen, and even continued the discussions at home over Skype at night.

What’s really admirable is that Kayden didn’t just want to push content out to the participants, but also wanted to make it enjoyable and inclusive for everyone, regardless of their skill level. From his experience taking other coding classes, he felt that a straightforward, content-heavy approach was too boring, and could not adapt to the difference in skill levels. Su Yuen then suggested gamifying the experience and together, they brainstormed ways to make it more fun: renaming coding tasks in the workshop to “missions”, introducing a scoreboard system, and including “help cards” into the mix. On his own, Kayden constantly ran through the workshop plan to think about how to bump up the excitement, eventually coming up with fun extra mission cards for bonus points and to keep things lively!

On the workshop day, Kayden was really nervous as he felt shy speaking in front of people. But his eagerness to see all his hard work come together gave him the boost he needed to overcome this worry. We’re no strangers to the jitters that come with public speaking, so we’re really glad that Kayden was able to conquer his nerves by letting his enthusiasm shine through.

Hints and help are always around the corner!

Along the way, there were definitely a few bumps and hitches – some participants couldn’t complete their missions within the time limit, some ran out of help cards, sometimes Kayden stumbled a little over his script or when teaching the codes. But that didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits, as Kayden was quick on his feet to take such snags in his stride and overcome them with the assistance of the Crew members present! In fact, a 10-minute break was scheduled for midway through the workshop, but everyone was having so much fun that they just decided to continue with the workshop! It’s the little spontaneous moments that make every activity memorable, and we couldn’t have asked for a better way for our first workshop to unfold!

An Exciting First Experience to Learn From

Following this Microbit workshop, Kayden went on to conduct a Scratch programming workshop with our Crew member Hoi Leong, and furthering his digital skills by working on various individual projects like coding up websites and even a funny little script that can send WhatsApp messages at 2.15am! Outside the realm of tech and coding, Kayden also finds fun in designing and building interesting pieces of furniture, such as this storage box for bags that he made with our ShopBot in Vivistop Orchard.

Kayden shared that he’s grateful for the space to further his interests. He greatly appreciates the support given by the crews at Vivita and how they help to ignite the spark of creativity and accelerate the journey towards the final product, while also giving him free rein to direct and implement his ideas. It strikes us as incredibly mature that he mentioned that he is thankful for all the feedback given, especially when it points out limitations or areas for improvement, because he is able to take all that, sit on it, and come up with something that he is even prouder of in the end. That’s really what we love to see, the growth that comes with such stories, and how our members emerge from each experience with more confidence and skills to propel them onwards towards greater things.

To fellow members that are thinking of planning their own workshops, Kayden sagely advises them that during the presentation, be sure to “read from the heart” as it allows for more spontaneity and genuine feelings to shine through. We definitely could see Kayden’s heartfelt commitment during his workshops, and we’re glad that he’s now passing on these words of wisdom to others and serving as a great inspiration for them!