2 ASMSA teams advance in governor’s coding competition

1 year ago

Two teams from the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts advanced to the state level in the first Governor’s Coding Competition.

The teams garnered the top two spots in the Dawson Education Service Cooperative region competition in Arkadelphia on Nov. 7. It was one of eight regional sites in the Governor’s All-Region Coding Competition. Two teams qualified for the All-State Coding Competition at each regional. The spring date and location for the state competition will be announced at a later date.

Seniors Martin Boerwinkle of El Dorado, Brock Davis of Hot Springs and Joe Sartini of Benton comprise one team for ASMSA. Members of the second team to advance in the competition are seniors Carson Cato of Bryant, Brandon Cox of Bryant and Jackson Gregory of Hot Springs.

The three-hour competition consisted of a multiple choice section and a set of programming challenges, said Nick Seward, the teams’ sponsor and a computer science instructor at ASMSA. The programming challenges were very similar to challenges in other programming compeitions, he said.

“Both ASMSA teams were very close to completing all eight programming challenges,” Seward said. “It was an impressive feat for three hours. The teams had to work together with only one computer. We practiced dividing and conquering at home to help them work efficiently once they got to the competition.”

The 16 teams selected for the state competition will compete for individual cash awards as well as a monetary award for their school. Each member of the first-place team will receive a $2,000 award that will be deposited into a 529 College Savings Plan, according to a news release from the Governor’s Office on Tuesday. Each member of the second-place team will receive a $1,000 award deposited into a 529 College Savings Plan, with each member of the third-place team receiving a $500 award deposited into a 529 College Savings Plan. In addition, the school that produces the competition’s winning team also will receive a technology award of up to $20,000.

Other schools selected to compete in the state competition are from Conway High School, Hamburg High School, Star City High School, Eureka Springs High School, Lead Hill High School, Manila High School, Paragould High School, Bentonville High School, Springdale Har-Ber High School, Arkansas High School in Texarkana, Nevada High School, Little Rock Central High School and North Little Rock High School.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson and the Arkansas Department of Education extended their congratulations to teams who qualified for the state competition.

“Congratulations to the sixteen teams advancing to the First Annual Governor’s All-State Coding Competition! Dozens of students from across Arkansas have demonstrated exceptional computer science and coding skills in the All-Region Coding Competition, and I look forward to seeing even more of the students’ coding creativity and ingenuity as they compete in the upcoming All-State Coding Competition,” Hutchinson said in a statement.

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