New computing competition opened eyes to computing careers

Area high school students competed in first RIT-sponsored programming contest April 9

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A. Sue Weisler

Rochester area high school students sampled careers in computer programming during a competition at RIT last Friday.

Thirteen teams from Fairport, Irondequoit, McQuaid Jesuit, Victor and Webster high schools participated in the contest. The competition required each team to write programs that met particular specifications and details. The problems ranged from simple mathematical computations to complex puzzles.

“There is a high demand for skilled computer scientists in the national workforce and outreach activities such as the high school programming contest play an important role in attracting more students into this field of study,” says Reynold Bailey, an RIT assistant professor and chair of the computer science department’s outreach committee.

While students competed in the competition, their teachers participated in a professional development session. Wanda Dann, director of the Alice Project at Carnegie Mellon University, introduced teachers to a unique teaching tool for introductory computer programming.

McQuaid Jesuit took first place in the competition, with Webster Thomas finishing second and Fairport coming in third.