3 Key Takeaways from First Code’s Silicon Valley Launchpad Study Tour

Every summer, parents are faced with the challenge of helping their children make the best of their holidays. At First Code, we agree that summers are precious months for students in middle and high schools to be taking SAT prep classes, volunteering, joining camps, doing internships. All of these activities are helpful for when students apply for colleges. With so many activities to check off the list and so many providers for each of the activities, we aim to take a bit of the load off your shoulders. If you are looking for a study tour with an emphasis on coding, read on to find out what our students had to say about their experiences.

For five days in July 2018, through workshops, presentations, tours of top technology companies, and science/technology museums, ten students came together to experience one of the top innovation hubs in the world, Silicon Valley. They were all joined by two things in common: A passion for coding and the goal to learn something new about innovation. We gathered feedback from our students and here are their 3 key takeaways from joining our summer study tour.


1. Getting first-hand knowledge from speaking with the employees of the top tech companies directly.

Not only did the students get to tour the top technology companies, but they had the opportunity to engage with their employees by hearing their personal stories and asking them questions.

My favourite memory was listening to the life stories of employees at Microsoft. It taught me a lot about the industry in general and the stories were very interesting. – Vincent, age 14


2. Learning about the path to becoming a successful entrepreneur.

We invited David, Phillips, a serial entrepreneur and angel investor, to share with our students how he got to where he is today and what it takes to become an entrepreneur.

During this trip, we learned a lot about the tech industry and how companies operate in general. However, I feel that the most important thing that I learned from this trip is that the path to success has many ups and downs, public speaking is very important, you should try to be able to work efficiently with anyone, and time management is a very important skill.

– Oliver, age 12  

Launchpad was an amazing experience, full of unique experiences some people can only dream of, but this trip had a purpose for us, a goal. We wanted to discover what it really takes to become the next Zuckerberg, the next Bill Gates, the next big Entrepreneur. We accomplished this in Launchpad.

– Oliver and Vincent

3. Top tech companies have really fun offices and we want to work there in the future.

One of the key features of First Code’s study tour, Launchpad, is bringing students to tour the top technology companies. For this trip, we brought students to tour the global headquarters of Facebook, Google, and Microsoft. They had known about these companies and used their products for years, so seeing their workplaces was an especially eye-opening, inspirational, and fun experience for the students.

My favorite memory was the crazy unique office at Facebook on day 1. It had arcades, gaming lounges, free food, and sleeping pods! You could live there if you wanted! This would definitely be the sort of office I want to work at. – Oliver, age 12


Looking for a Coding-Focused Study Tour for Your Kids? Learn more about First Code’s Launchpad 

Launchpad is a one to two-week holiday camp where students have a unique opportunity to experience lie in a global innovation hub, meet like-minded innovative individuals and create code up projects to solve real-life problems in the community. Launchpad started in summer 2018 to bring students who are interested in coding to see how real world innovation works. Registration is now open for Singapore in Easter 2019 and Silicon Valley in Summer 2019 – limited seats still available! For more information, check out our Upcoming Programs or contact us at launchpad@firstcodeacademy.com

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