[LINK] National Computer Science School, August 6th $20

stephen at melbpc.org.au stephen at melbpc.org.au
Thu Jul 26 02:00:34 AEST 2012

This is a *good thing* ..


National Computer Science School Challenge 2012

The National Computer Science School (NCSS), the School of IT at the 
University of Sydney, invite teachers and their students to participate 
in the NCSS Challenge 2012.

No programming experience is required.

In 2011, over 2,200 students and teachers from 237 schools from across 
Australia participated in the NCSS Challenge.  

Unlike other computer programming competitions the NCSS Challenge does 
not assume any existing programming experience.  Instead students develop 
their programming skills in a competitive yet supportive environment 
during the event.  The NCSS Challenge is aimed at computing studies 
students, but any student with an interest in IT, science, engineering or 
mathematics is strongly encouraged to participate.

The NCSS Challenge runs for 5 weeks, starting Monday August 6th 2012.  

Teachers and students can register on the website ..


Each week, the competition publish a short (5-6 page) set of course notes 
designed for high school students and a set of problems to be solved 
using the material from the notes.  

The online automated marking system analyses the submitted solutions and 
provides students and their teachers with immediate feedback about how 
they are progressing.  

The system gives hints for incorrect solutions and the competition has a 
forum where students can get assistance from the Challenge Tutors and 
other students.

There are three Challenge streams:

Beginners: is designed for students with no prior experience to 
programming, and includes questions that cover basic concepts.  This is a 
new course pitched at a more introductory level than in previous years.

Intermediate: is designed for students who have either completed the 
Beginners stream in previous years, or have some other prior experience 
in programming.  This is similar to the Beginners stream in previous 

Advanced: an advanced stream for experienced Python programmers or 
students who completed the Intermediate stream previously.  Students who 
are new to the Challenge should not take this as their first course.  For 
more information about the different streams and to view sample problems, 
download our brochure 'Guide to the NCSS Challenge 2012' from 

The cost of registration for each stream is $20 (which includes GST). 

Registration covers the running costs, especially paying the tutors who 
answer questions on the forums and encourage those who are finding the 
Challenge difficult.  

Students who submit solutions each week will receive a certificate of 

Merit Certificates will be sent to strong students and the top students 
will also appear on the Challenge leader board each week.

It is recommended that students enrol in one stream per year.  Students 
who choose to participate in multiple streams will have to pay the 
registration cost for each stream they enrol in. Please note there are no 

All students participating in the Challenge have direct access to 
lecturers from the School of Information Technologies at the University 
of Sydney.  

The students who have participated in the 2011 Challenge found it a 
rewarding and enjoyable educational experience.  

For teachers it is an opportunity to get students excited about computing 
and bolster enrolment in senior computing classes.  A number of teachers 
from around Australia use the Challenge as an in class activity for the 
full five weeks.

Queries about the NCSS Challenge can be directed to Nicky Ringland on 
(02) 9036 9712 or email challenge at ncss.edu.au.

James Curran, Director, National Computer Science School

Add new comment:

Visitor wrote:
24 July, 2012 - 08:21 Comment #: 1 

We've done it with Year 11 SDD since inception. Awesome activity, kids 
love it. My class is excited about doing it this year. Greg Norris

reply.Visitor wrote:
24 July, 2012 - 08:15 Comment #: 2 

As someone who uses this competition as part of their teaching program, I
cannot recommend it highly enough for anyone teaching IT or Computer
Science. The beginners stream is targeted to kids who really have done no
programming, and even the Intermediate stream is achievable for older kids
with no experience.

If you want to learn to program yourself, it is a great challenge for 
$20 - and should count for hours of your PD too ;)

Bruce Fuda

reply.smad2585 at optusn... wrote:
21 July, 2012 - 15:22 Comment #: 3 

My students have participated in this Python competition in the past and 
thoroughly enjoyed it. Highly recommended.

reply.Visitor wrote:
21 July, 2012 - 12:31 Comment #: 4 

This is a very worthwhile event in which to participate. My Students have 
gotten a lot out of it. Highly recommended.

Good luck, especially Oz-teachers Email List Member Bruce's team :-D


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