Premier's Coding Challenge puts students ahead of the pack

Published: 19 Dec 2018

Premier Gladys Berejiklian has presented awards to NSW high school students who successfully participated in the 2018 Premier’s Coding Challenge, a pilot program preparing students for the jobs of the future by giving them hands-on experience in the basics of computer programming.

The Premier’s Coding Challenge was held in 50 high schools across NSW, with Year 7 and 8 students working through a series of tasks using a ThinkerShield coding kit, developed by the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS).

Tasks included coding the ThinkerShield to play music, become a set of traffic lights and create an LED sign. Bronze, silver, gold and diamond awards were presented.

“From the city to the bush, students have completed a series of fun, challenging tasks to give them a taste of how programming can help solve real-world problems,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“My hope is that this challenge will inspire many of the students to consider a career in a STEM-related field, using technology to solve difficult problems and improve lives.”

As a world leader in robotics and autonomous systems design, NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte knows how innovative thinking and advanced technology can shape our future.

“Australia will continue to face technological challenges demanding imaginative, bold thinking. I was particularly impressed by some of the winners today, who, after mastering the Challenge’s standard tasks, were able to apply these learnings in new and interesting directions,” said Professor Durrant-Whyte.

Tristan Sharp, MAAS’s Director of Programs and Engagement said: “Programs such as the Premier’s Coding Challenge and tools such as ThinkerShield provide a platform for students to build upon their coding knowledge. These are the students who will dream up future solutions and apply them to the world’s challenges.”

The 2018 Premier’s Coding Challenge received $215,000 in funding from the Office of the NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer.

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