If you were to Google the benefits of coding, you will come across tons of benefits as to why you should pursue a career in coding. For instance, coding is said to boost problem-solving and logical thinking skills, and improve interpersonal skills.
Most importantly, having coding literacy can help you understand other aspects of tech, and this can be especially important as we live in a digitally dominated world.
Jaylee Ong, founder of Aimsity, is one who agrees with this. Having worked in the sales department for a tech company, she realised that she wasn’t well-versed in the tech industry and wanted to change.
She started off by conducting her own research on coding and the more hours she spent on it, the more motivated she got.
“I think being a self-taught coder has given me a little insight as to how it feels to start from scratch and work my way up,” shared Jaylee.
Wanting to share what she learnt, the Penangite founded Aimsity in 2018 to encourage children between the ages of 7-17 to learn more about technology.
Starting them off at an early age
Equipping yourself with tech skills is important, but being able to convey or articulate your ideas is equally important.
Hence, Jaylee implements the concept of having group presentations and projects in her programmes. Through this, her students are exposed to working together as a team and they’re able to improve their communication skills.
Currently, Aimsity offers programmes that are of the beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels.
The duration for each programme is conducted between the span of six to eight months and the fees range from RM150-RM300, depending on the programme.
The school also has intakes available every month, but they do keep their classes to a minimum of 10 students.
Recently, the school collaborated with universities such as USM, UM, PBU, and UNIMAS in launching the World Impactors Programme.
“The main aim of this programme is to provide children with a platform where they can obtain the best quality of programmes and mentors that will guide and teach them the skills that they need,” explained Jaylee.
With this, Aimsity hopes that more institutions will participate in this programme to help create a change in the education field.
In being supportive of practical experiences, Aimsity tests their students’ knowledge by asking them to create a project that showcases all that they’ve learned throughout the programme.
She shared that one of the most interesting projects conducted was when a team of three students created a game based on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) No.1, Poverty, and No.3, Good Health and Well-being.
In the game, the team built a factory that provides job opportunities for workers. Part of the factory was dedicated to raising awareness in regards to the pandemic and the students included items that can be used as precautionary measures.
The game also indirectly encourages its players to re-energise themselves by consuming nutritious food to ensure they remain healthy and strong.
“From their idea, you can see that despite being young, they are able to be sensitive about their environment and have empathy towards others,” Jaylee told Vulcan Post.
Lending a helping hand to educators
Some educators would love to help their students learn more about the tech world, but are unable to do so because they lack the necessary resources.
Hence, Aimsity acts as a provider who supports educators by equipping them with the necessary advice, programmes, and trainers to help carry out the lessons.
Educators are generally packed with the backend of their subjects such as creating lesson plans, updating students’ progress, and providing homework guidance. This leaves them with little to no time to conduct their classes.
“We help the educators by conducting the lessons and managing their work for them, so that they can do what they do best,” explained Jaylee.
Aimsity’s vetting process includes looking for educators that are caring and would want to make an impact in the community in a positive way.
When hiring potential educators, Jaylee asks them basic questions in nature as her focus remains more on projects that they’ve created in the past instead of their on-paper qualifications.
“A startup environment is usually quite dynamic in nature, so the educators would need to have grit and the ability to adapt to a dynamic environment,” shared Jaylee.
But as the school does focus on providing tech-related programmes, educators would at least need to be equipped with some basics in coding, and have graduated from computer science programmes, or in any other related fields.
A bright future ahead
Although the school has been around for years, its main challenge is struggling with brand awareness as the team does not have a big marketing budget.
“Luckily we have good educators, collaborators, parents, and students who share and support our mission to help students kickstart their tech journey,” shared Jaylee.
Additionally, Jaylee shared that Aimsity was bootstrapped and funds were raised to support the school during the initial stages.
Over the years, Aimsity has impacted more than 2,000 students and parents through its workshops and classes.
Recognition of the team’s efforts has made it one of the startups chosen to receive the Penang i4.0 Seed Fund, and it is currently one of the top 33 startups in the first cohort of the new MYStartup accelerator by MOSTI and Cradle Fund.
Moving forward, Aimsity has plans to go global. Before that though, the team is looking to expand its horizons to KL and Hong Kong, while finding more educators to collaborate with.
“As for now, our main focus is to still help the 7 to 17-year-olds learn coding, and we are also looking into helping preschoolers start their tech journey,” summed up Jaylee.
Featured Image Credit: Aimsity