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This spring Computing For All is once again organizing a computer science competition for elementary and middle school students in the great state of Washington. According the directors of the competition “this competition will challenge young students to collaborate with one another as they apply their rapidly evolving intellectual abilities towards solving problems that require computational thinking.” Referring to the idea popularized by Dr. Jeanette Wing (Corporate Vice President at Microsoft and former Head of the CS Department at Carnegie Mellon University), the directors went on to say, like reading, writing, and arithmetic, computational thinking is a fundamental skill for everyone, and not just for computer scientists.”

Students from all Washington State elementary and middle schools, 5th – 8th grades, are invited to participate in the competition, which is designed to test their skills in computer programming and basic problem solving, as well as their general knowledge of computer science.

The competition is comprised of three separate events: the individual test, team test, and the original project contest. Individual and team tests will be judged in two separate age divisions: 5th/6th grade and 7th/8th grade.

  • Individual Contest: This is a paper-based 30 min. test including approximately 36 questions. The questions will test the student’s knowledge of Scratch, basic problem solving skills and logic using computer science methodology (computational thinking).
  • Team Contest: This is 90 min. test including teams of 2-3 students. The test will challenge students to recreate a popular game on the computer. Students will receive points for each feature of the game they successfully recreate.
  • Original Project Contest: Individuals or teams can bring their Scratch projects for consideration for an award in the Best Design Project category. At check-in, contestants will be required to hand in 6 copies of a single-sided 8.5″ x 11″ flyer describing their project. During the contest phase, contestants will present their project in front of a panel of judges. Entries will be judged on aesthetic and entertainment appeal, originality, technical merit, and good programming practices. Contestants should be prepared to answer technical questions about the project.


CFA has organized four 3-hour workshops to help students prepare for the competition. The workshops will be held at the following locations:

– 4:30 PM – 7:30 PM, Wednesday, April 26, 2017 – Chinook Middle School, Bellevue
– 4:30 PM – 7:30 PM, Friday, April 28,2017 – Kimball Elementary School, Seattle
– 4:30 PM – 7:30 PM, Wednesday, May 3, 2017 – McClure Middle School, Seattle


We will endeavor to provide snacks (salad, fruit and veggies) and have 2-3 (depending on student attendance) instructors to go over full-length sample tests. Students will have the opportunity to take an individual test and participate in a team test, and the instructors will provide in-depth explanations of the solutions. While participation is optional, these workshops tend to be popular and fill up quickly. if you would like to attend you must register for the workshop before you show up. You can register for a workshop when you register for the competition.

Registration closes at 5:00 PM PT on Friday, May 5, 2017.. Click here to register. (due to space constraints we may not be able to accommodate all registration requests, first-come, first- serve will apply. Please register as soon as possible.)

– Individual: $20

– Team: $45 (up to 3 students)
– Workshop: $10 / student

A limited number of registration fee waivers are available for students who are facing financial hardship. Please contact us at info@computingforall.org in case you would like to be considered for fee waiver.


University of Washington Computer Science & EngineeringWashington Technology Industry AssociationWashington STEMSIGCSEAssociation of Computing MachineryIEEE Computer Society