Teacher Takes On Code Quest Competition

May 18, 2018

Competitions come in all types and forms and have been around since the beginning of our existence. Needless to say, competitions are a huge part of us, coming in massive forms such as the Olympics, to smaller and simpler things such as two best friends racing each other in a backyard. Considering how competitive the human race can be, it comes as no surprise that computer programming would be used for a competition.

Teacher Teresa Hodge’s students recently took on a competition called Code Quest. Code Quest is an annual computer programming competition hosted by Lockheed Martin on 500 Bad Foot Drive North West. This year was the first for our own students to compete. Other high schools involved besides our own were Bob Jones and James Clemens. The competition, sponsored by CS Teachers.org, had almost 40 people attend.

“There were about 20 teams all against each other,” junior Karson Knoll said. “We [were put into teams of three.] Noah [Schafer] was the only other member [in my group]. Eric [Nguyen], Michael [Muffins] and Adam [Barr] were on the other team [from our school].”

The groups were given 20 problems to solve which were created by Lockheed Martin engineers and computer programmers. The languages in the competition that the students could choose from included Java, Python and C++.

“We had to program as many [problems] as we could in two and a half hours. We got to choose what language we used [so] we used Java. Our other team also used Java,” Knoll said.

Upon completing a problem, the groups are required to submit it to a judge, where they are given the possibility of being awarded points. The team that ranks up the most points wins and gets to take a trophy home with them.

“They are awarded points if it works,” Hodge said. “The problems range from simple programs worth five points to more complex [problems] worth [up to] 70 [points].”

No two problems were exactly the same, and they all varied in type. The ideas for problems are potentially and theoretically endless. It was possible for the problems to be anything from a word scrambler to a chess game.

“One [of the problems] was to create a tic tac toe game, [another] was a word scrambler [and] one was taking out certain letters and returning a string without them,” Hodge said.

Knoll and Schafer were a two-man group, rather than some of the other groups, which consisted of three people. Despite this, they were still very successful and managed to get as many points as 1st place. In the end, they ended up getting 2nd place in their division, the novice division.

“[In novice, our school] won first [and second while] James Clemons won 3rd,” Knoll said. “In advanced, Bob Jones won first and second.”

 

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