One Final Programming Contest (or one to keep skills sharp over the summer)

So there have been a few programming competition opportunities this year and a final one for the year is available. For my graduating Computer Science students it could be one final one before the challenges of post-secondary Computer Science, or for my grade 10 and 11 Computer Science students, a chance to practice and improve for next year. A description and links to this contest are below:

The one-of-a-kind Internet Problem Solving Contest is here once again! We eagerly invite you to compete in IPSC 2017. Internet Problem Solving Contest is a yearly online programming competition. Besides normal algorithmic problems, IPSC often features unusual tasks such as processing images or sound, coding in esoteric languages, or even playing chess. The problems range from easy to very hard, so everyone is welcome to compete. You can participate in a team of up to three people, but we also have separate ranklists for individuals and secondary school students. You can use any programming language or even solve problems by hand. This year, IPSC takes place on Saturday, 8 July 2017 at 10:00-15:00 UTC. Visit here to register. While you’re waiting for IPSC 2017, you can also visit here to practice on problems from previous years of IPSC. If you like IPSC, help us spread the word! Tell your friends, classmates, coworkers, internet strangers, et cetera. Good luck in the contest, and have fun!

South Carolina high schools could require computer coding course for graduation

Want a high school diploma? You might need to learn a little bit of JavaScript. All South Carolina public schools could require computer-science training for graduation starting as soon as 2019. A bill advancing out of the state House of Representatives would create new standards for computer science education in grades 9-12, set up summer training for new teachers in the field and require that every high school in the state offer at least one computer science course. The state currently requires one credit of “computer science” for a high school diploma, but that credit can be for a keyboarding class — a far cry from the rigorous and standards-based courses that some state lawmakers say would give students a leg up as they enter an increasingly knowledge-based workforce. “At this rate, we’ll be ahead of the curve,” said Valerie Sessions, chair of the Computer Science Department at Charleston Southern University. She recently signed an open letter in support of the bill along with leaders from Boeing, Google and Bibliolabs. House Bill 3427, the SC Computer Science Education Initiative, passed in the House with a 106-1 vote Tuesday and advanced to the Senate. It includes $1.36 million in new expenditures over the next two years to develop grade-appropriate standards, hire a state computer science education coordinator, fund summer teacher training camps and provide other support. But the bill does not set aside recurring funds to support computer science education or provide school districts with more money to hire additional teachers. The hiring of computer science teachers could cost local school districts a combined $19.2 million in the 2019-20 school year alone, according to an estimate included with the bill. Quinn Burke, an assistant professor of education at the College of Charleston, helped write computer science standards for kindergarten through eighth grade. When it comes to the high school proposal, he’s concerned about the lack of recurring funds for teachers. “To be offering computer science education in South Carolina schools for 2019 but putting absolutely no money behind it — that’s a tremendous problem,” Burke said. “I have concerns that if it’s not properly funded and supported, by 2020 we’ll be scratching our heads saying, ‘This was a waste, it was ill-conceived.'” But if it works, Burke said, students will be prepared for all sorts of tech-centric careers. Some districts already teach block-based introductory coding languages in elementary school. By the time students leave high school, they could have the tools to learn new languages and thrive in whatever environment awaits them. The earlier the head start, the better. “Kids are a lot more willing to tinker at things for longer periods of time, whereas adults, their concentration level peters out,” Burke said. Read the original article here