VCU Engineering’s Department of Computer Science hosted high school students from across Virginia for its High School Programming Contest. Students used their knowledge of Python and Java to solve 10 problems that became more challenging as they advanced. The teams consisted of four students with three hours allotted to complete the contest. For each completed objective, teams were awarded a colored balloon to help keep score.
“The High School Programming Contest has historically attracted some of the best high schools in Virginia, “ Alberto Cano, Ph.D., associate professor at VCU Engineering’s Department of Computer Science, said about the contest. “It’s an amazing and challenging experience where students have so much fun.”
Contestants were presented prompts with backstories which included espionage and pirate tales. One problem, “Decoding classified messages across unsecured lines,” included a story about the 007 agent James Bond. Students were tasked with developing a system to decode the agent’s anagrams.
The contest concluded with a pizza party and awards ceremony. At the end of the day, three winning teams emerged (listed below).
- First place: Team One from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology from Alexandria, Virginia.
- Second place: Team Two from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology from Alexandria, Virginia
- Third place: Team One from New Horizons Governor's School for Science and Technology from Hampton, Virginia
The top-ranked team received an award for their school and aerial photography drones for each team member.