General Information | Computing For All

General Information


Schedule

The schedule for the May 14th competition is now available at here.


Eligibility

Students from all Washington State Elementary and Middle Schools are invited to participate in this competition. The competition is primarily designed to challenge students from grades 5, 6, 7, and 8 but we will accept younger students who have programming experience. The competition is designed to test their computer programming skills, general knowledge of computer science, and basic problem solving skills.

Most students compete in teams of 2-3. Due to space concerns, no organization may send more than 5 teams to the competition, Students may also apply to participate as affiliated (i.e. affiliated to a competing organization) or unaffiliated individuals, who participate officially in the individual rounds and on unofficial teams (formed day-of) in the team and design rounds


Events

The competition will be divided into three parts: (a) Individual- (b) Team- and (c) Original Project- Contest, each administered differently. The Individual and Team contests will be separated by age: 5th and 6th graders will compete together Group A) and 7th and 8th graders (Group B) will compete together.


  • Individual Contest (30 minutes):These questions will test the student’s abilities with Scratch, general knowledge of computer science, and basic problem solving skills. The test will include approximately 36 questions separated into 3 sections of equal length. The first section will show Scratch code and ask questions about how it works, what it does, what is wrong with it, etc. The second section will be on pseudo code, which is code written as if spoken out loud. Example: “if x is less than 5: change x by 1“. You will be asked to read and write pseudo code. The third section will ask for solutions to logic problems. In each section, problems start simple (1-point problems) and gradually increase in difficulty (to 5-point problems.) Participants may answer questions in any order, but we recommend starting with the easy questions in each section before moving on to harder questions that could take more time to answer.
  • Team Contest (90 minutes): The Team contest will be a 90-min test where all members of the team work together on a programming problem. The competition will most likely include a game design challenge. Teams will build their game on a computer. (additional details below)
  • Original Project Contest: Individuals or teams can bring their Scratch projects for consideration for an award in the Best Original 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.



Reference Material

In the individual competition contestants may not use books, notes, calculators, pocket organizers, slide-rules, abaci, or any other computational aids. In the team competition there will be no such restriction

Coaches should click here and students should click here for more information


Awards

Prizes will be awarded to the top three competitors scoring the highest points in the Individual Competition category and to the top three teams in the Team Competition category. Additionally, two prizes will be awarded in the Original Project category. All students will receive a certificate for participating in this competition.


Computer and Software

You do not need a laptop computer for participating in the Individual Test Contest. However, for the Team Test Contest, the team will need a laptop computer with Scratch 2.0 Offline Editor installed. Internet access may not be available so please do not rely on being able to download Scratch on-site. Also, contestants will not be permitted to use the browser version of Scratch. Bottom line, if you want to compete in the Team Competition, please bring a laptop computer with Scratch 2.0 installed. For the Original Project Contest, students should bring their laptop loaded with the project they intend to demo to the judges. Finally, please make sure that your laptop computer is fully charged.


Workshops

We are organizing multiple workshops to help students prepare for the competition. These workshops will be held in different locations at different times. In these workshops and coaching classes instructors will use the competition problems, which are designed to encourage computational thinking, to teach students a variety of programming and logical thinking skills. Instructors will 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. Our hope is that this additional coaching will help students perform better in the competition thus raising their confidence while providing motivation for them to invest in their learning. Depending on the timing of these workshops we will endeavor to provide snacks (salad, fruit, veggies, etc.).

While participation is optional, these workshops tend to be popular and they 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.. if you are not registered we will not be able to accommodate your student(s).


About Individual Test

Contestants will be given 30 minutes to complete the individual test. The test will include approximately 36 questions separated into 3 sections of equal length. The first section will show Scratch code and ask questions about how it works, what it does, what is wrong with it, etc. The second section will be on pseudo code, which is code written as if spoken out loud. Example: “if x is less than 5: change x by 1“. You will be asked to read and write pseudo code. The third section will ask for solutions to logic problems. In each section, problems start simple (1-point problems) and gradually increase in difficulty (to 5-point problems.) Participants may answer questions in any order, but we recommend starting with the easy questions in each section before moving on to harder questions that could take more time to answer.


About Team Test

Students participating in the team test will be assigned a team work station where they will set up their fully-charged laptops. Each team will have 90 minutes to complete the team challenge. Students must work in the desktop Scratch 2.0 application. This is NOT the same as the browser version. The team will be disqualified and their project will not be considered for grading if anytime their Internet browser windows is opened.

GRADING
When time is called, students must leave their laptops in the testing area and return to the common area while the judging takes place. After judging is complete, a representative from each team can come back to pick up the laptop. Laptops will never be unattended – a CFA volunteer will be present at all times. If competitors are uncomfortable leaving their laptops, they may bring a USB drive labeled with their team name to leave behind for scoring. They will need to save their projects to the drive before time is called (we will give a 5 minute warning), because as soon as the 90 minutes are up all hands must be off the computers and students must leave the room immediately.

SCORING

  • Points for each feature will be listed on the worksheet. Some items will be required and will be labeled with a negative point value – these points will be deducted from the final score if the feature is not present in the submitted project. All other features are optional, and more difficult tasks are assigned higher point values. You should plan ahead to maximize your score.

  • Partial credit may be awarded if the students finish most of what is required, for example if a feature is present but there is a software bug

  • In case of a tie, the judges will break the tie by giving each of the projects a subjective score based on design and technical merit and good programming practices.

  • All scores will be final and not subject to appeal