Success at the 2019 Premier’s Coding Challenge

Somerville House Year 8 students, Suhani G and Alexandra (Zandy) D have recently taken out the Years 7 and 8 Open Pairs category of the 2019 Premier’s Coding Challenge in the School’s first year of entry. The competition, under the 2019 theme #cybersafeqld, challenged students across Queensland to create an innovative coding solution to raise cyber safety awareness and help make Queenslanders safer online.

Head of Digital Solutions and Technologies, Mr Paul Herring said that Year 8 Digital Design and Technology (DDT) students worked on this challenge as one of their assessment tasks.

“This is the first year we entered teams from Somerville House, and we decided to enter our Year 8 DDT students,” Mr Herring said. 

“As a part of their assessment, they were asked to submit their projects, which involved them creating a cyber-safety game utilising the program Tynker, as well as producing a short video explaining the game and how it met the relevant criteria for the challenge,” he said. 

“Suhanai and Zandy worked on their winning entry in class as well as their own time over a few weeks. They are a credit to themselves, and I am very proud of their achievements.”

On the quality of the entries at this year’s competition, Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk praised the digital literacy of the next generation of Queenslanders stating that “Digital literacy is a skill that is essential to equip our students to successfully navigate the emerging economies of a globally connected world. For the students of today, and for all Queenslanders, cybersafety is a critical element of our online engagement. That’s why the 2019 theme, #cybersafeqld, builds and expands on last year’s Stand Up to Cyberbullies competition message”.

Awarded their first-place certificates at a ceremony held at Ferny Grove State High School, Education Minister, Grace Grace said the twenty-four successful students shared in over $10,000 worth of robotics and electronics prizes, either as individuals or members of two-person teams.

“This is the third year of the Premier’s Coding Challenge, which goes from strength to strength,” Ms Grace said.

Reflecting on a competition such as this, Mr Herring said encouraging our students to embrace coding is one of the main benefits.

“Coding helps develop both a continuous learning mindset and the ability to adapt,” Mr Herring said. 

“In relation to this particular competition, cybersecurity is one of the most highly paid and in-demand skillsets in the Information Technology industry, and much of this involves good coding skills,” he said. 

“Given Suhani and Zandy’s success I plan to continue our involvement in 2020 and perhaps include other year levels as well.” 

Photograph courtesy of the Queensland Department of Education.