The schedule for the two-day Liftoff workshop is given below. This schedule is still tentative and subject to change. The workshop is compulsory for those doing the program unless you have prior permission to be excused. We will try to put as much of the material online as possible for your reference.

The aims of the workshop are
– To introduce you to the platform, tools and methods that you can use for the program. This is mostly familiarization and is enough only to get you started. You should expect to self-learn more as you do your project.
– To allow you to find a partner if you have not already done so. You may use to help you find a partner.
– To allow you to find a mentor if you wish to be mentored.

Please bring your own laptop (or at least have a shared laptop with your partner). Let us know if you are unable to do that.

Location: SR1

Day 1 (13 May)

  • 9:00-9:15 Opening
  • 9:15-10:45 Design Thinking (LeeWS)
  • 10:45-12:30 Python (Google)
  • 12:30-13:00 Lunch / Partner finding (on your own)
  • 13:00-15:00 CSS/HTML/Javascript (Google)
  • 15:00-16:30 Google App Engine (LeeWS)
  • 16:30-18:00 Templates (KanMY)

Day 2 (14 May)

  • 9:00-10:00 Git and collaboration tools (TBD)
  • 10:00-11:00 Talks by Silicon Straits and GoldenGate (TBD)
  • 11:00-11.30 ECommerce (PayPal)
  • 11:30-12:00 How to present your ideas (Google)
  • 12-13 Lunch (On your own. You should complete your partner finding after this.)
  • 13-16:30 Launch Window (Hackathon). Ideally you work on the idea that you’d like to do in the program, but you are not required to continue on the same idea.
  • 16:30-17:00 Briefing on Orbital schedule and peer grading (LeeWS/KanMY)
  • 17:00-18:30 Ignition (1 minute madness). Present what you did in Launch Window, elevator pitch style.
  • 18.30-19:00 Speed mentor matching (Only for those looking to be mentored)

Hi all:

At this point, all students that have told us that you’re interested in Orbital have been added as guests into IVLE’s module for Orbital.  Don’t worry if you later decide not to join Orbital, the module registration is largely just to help us form a channel to communicate with all of you.

A quick few things:
– You’ll need to attend the Liftoff 2-day workshop (13 and 14th May).  This is a mandatory requirement, but if you cannot be present due to a conflict, we can grant exceptions on a case-by-case basis.  Please bring up your case to Prof. Lee Wee Sun if you wish to ask for an exception.  Note that if you cannot attend the Liftoff workshop, you cannot ask for mentorship by senior students or industry professionals.
– Please go ahead and start learning Python.  We’ve posted a link to Codecademy and will be posting a video and sample exercises for python, but the best way to learn python is to practice it (through Codecademy or other sites).
– If you find other great sources for learning, please post them on askbot.  This is an important way of helping yourself and others, and peer involvement is a cornerstone of the Orbital programme.

You are required to do the Orbital Programme in teams of twos. If you have already found a partner to work with, great!
If not, you can go to, log in, and provide details that you’d like to share with potential partners.You can then search for a partner based on details provided by others who are looking for partners. Based on the details, you can email potential partners to continue your discussion.
The app at is built on Google App Engine using Python. You can find the source code at

You are expected to have finalized your groups by the Launch Window hackathon session on the afternoon of the second day of the workshop (Tuesday 14 March), so that you can do the final hackathon together. Some of the sessions in the workshop will require you to work with partners, but you are free to work with anyone and continue to look for partners during the workshop until the hackathon session.

Did you watch the video teaser from that was posted in Orbital’s blog a few days back?  Well, now you can get started on learning what you need for the Vostok beginners programme by learning Python on your own.

Simply create an account with CodeAcademy and start learning Python.  We think you find Python an elegant and straightforward language for many tasks (including other advanced classes within SoC).  [Disclaimer: NUS SoC has no interest nor is it affiliated with CodeAcademy]

Screen Shot 2013-03-27 at 2.43.38 AM

CodeAcademy and its ilk (websites for learning hacking by doing) are becoming a leading way to learn programming for the masses (we’re in the mass too :-).  You may find many of the fundamental tracks useful for your Orbital projects (we’re excited about the Web Fundamentals and the Javascript tracks.  Anyone up for API lessons?).

There will be a short briefing about Orbital on Thursday 21st Feb (this Thursday) from 6:10-7:00pm in Seminar Room 1. Please come with your questions, or if you can’t make it in person, attend the Google+ Hangout (named “NUS Orbital” at the same time.)

If you cannot be there physically or virtually, please fill out this form to register your interest and ask other questions: