Ephrata SD holds inaugural computer coding contest
K-8 students participated in the inaugural Ephrata Area School District Code Contest in March 2016.
Over 300 students voluntarily worked in small groups to create projects that demonstrate the use of code. Projects will be presented to parents, district staff, and the community in the Ephrata High School cafeteria.
“Almost every machine we interact with now is built with code. Our children need to learn how machines work to be best prepared for the future. Plus, computer science is a top-paying college degree, and computer programming jobs are growing at twice the national average,” stated Dan Mahlandt, district coordinator of virtual education.
Ephrata Area SD has participated in the Hour of Code, a global initiative designed to highlight the importance of coding and computer science, for the last three years. During one week every December, more than 4,200 district students join over 145 million other students in more than 180 countries to participate in at least one hour of hands-on coding activities. Coding activities include creating computer games, programming applications, building robots and much more.
“This year, we wanted to extend the Hour of Code opportunities by offering a student Code Contest. Students who chose to participate had the chance to utilize, progress and present their coding skills and collaborate with their classmates with a fun and supportive contest,” said Ben Rossman, district technology integration specialist.
The Ephrata Area Education Foundation supplied funds for all Code Contest participants to receive t-shirts and contest winners to receive prizes, including code robots and Ephrata Main Theatre gift cards.
The district plans to make this an annual event. In addition, the Ephrata Area Education Foundation agreed to make the Code Contest a signature project they will fund.