One hundred of Victoria’s best young thinkers are about to battle it out for the top spot in Australia’s biggest online computational thinking challenge.
The highest scoring Victorian students from the Bebras Australia Computational Thinking Challenge are headed to Monash University in Melbourne where they will compete for first, second and third place in the State final.
CSIRO Education and Outreach Director Mary Mulcahy said these students were the best in the State, having already taken on more than 4000 students from across the state to make it to the final.
“The challenge set for the Victorian final will be much more difficult than what the students have experienced so far and we will be awarding a prize for each age group,” Ms Mulcahy said.
Bebras is an international student challenge that promotes computational thinking for students aged 8 to 18 years.
GE Australia and Monash University are proud to be sponsors of the challenge in Victoria as they understand that the need for future generations to be innovative, creative and computer-literate.
GE Australia Program Leader Emma Milburn explained that computational thinking was a problem solving technique for working out complex problems in an analytical way – like a machine or computer would.
“It involves breaking problems down into parts, identifying patterns and finding solutions using a series of ordered steps (or algorithms),” Ms Milburn said.
“Industry constantly face challenges that are solved using the principles of computational thinking and in this ever digital landscape, it’s important that young Australians are supported to think in this way.
Computational thinking is essential to the development of computer applications, but it is also used in problem solving across all disciplines, including maths, science, engineering and humanities.
The challenge was completed by over 1.3 million students from over 50 countries in 2016 – 30,000 of those were Aussie students.
The participants are usually supervised by teachers who integrate the challenge in the classroom but students can also do the challenge at home.
Bebras Australia supports the digital technologies curriculum and is a great way to get students interested and participating in ICT which could lead to an interest in pursuing a career in the industry.
More from CSIRO.