TeamsCode, formerly CodeMIHS, hosted its first programming contest at Mercer Island High School on April 1. Photo via teamscode.com

Two MIHS sophomores organize coding competition

Mercer Island High School sophomores Alan Bi and Chris Elliott independently organized the school’s first coding competition on April 1, bringing more than 100 Puget Sound students together for a day of computer programming and problem solving.

Bi and Elliott started CodeMIHS — recently renamed TeamsCode — because they share a passion for computer programming and a desire to teach others the importance of understanding programming to achieve future success, according to their website.

Elliott said they came up with the idea at a Microsoft Programming Competition, and that they want to “bring more computer science to Mercer Island and encourage more students to enter this field.”

The students want to involve the Island community, as well as the neighboring regions, through biannual programming competitions, and hope to announce the date of another contest in May.

Their first contest had a “great turnout of 103 students, or 41 teams,” from schools including Mercer Island High School, Nikola Tesla STEM High School, Newport High School, Garfield High School, Skyline High School, Odle Middle School, Islander Middle School, Bellevue High School, Mountlake Terrace High School, Willows Preparatory School, Lynnwood High School, Lake Oswego High School, Bishop Blanchet High School, Tahoma High School, Interlake High School, Seattle Preparatory School, Issaquah High School, Catlin Gabel School and Lakeside Middle School.

There were two divisions in the contest: intermediate, for programmers who have recently started programming and/or are in one programming class; and advanced, for programmers with more experience, typically having finished one programming class and are fairly knowledgeable about a specific language, including Java, C++, C# and Python.

The winners of the advanced division were the Dystopic Dynausaurs from the STEM High School. The top represented school was Newport, with eight teams.

Prizes included a Syma X5C Quadcopter, Amazon Fire Tablets, a Pebble Time Smartwatch and an Amazon Echo Dot. The Living Computer Museum, as well as Earl Bergquist, helped supply many of the prizes.

They are also planning to offer tutoring to students trying to learn computer science or study for AP exams.

Elliott said he is currently taking AP Computer Science A, taught by Grant Bower, but that he also learns a lot outside of class by using online resources, including Practice-It, USACO and Coursera.

“Most of those are tailored to students trying to program in Java, but I think that is a great language to start with, as it is pretty intuitive and teaching students about Object-Oriented Programming, which is a really important idea in computer science,” he said.

Though originally naming their organization CodeMIHS, Elliott and Bi are broadening their scope beyond the Island.

The students ultimately “hope to continue to help all students who want to pursue programming and computer science,” Elliott said.

Alan Bi and Chris Elliott hope to involve the community in coding and computer science education. Photo via teamscode.com

More than 100 students on 41 teams competed in the first TeamsCode contest. Photo via teamscode.com

More in News

City of Mercer Island celebrates new safe route to school

New sidewalks and bicycle lanes were constructed on Southeast 40th, near Northwood Elementary.

Mercer Island Rotary announces December students of the month

Katheryn Parkinson and Scott McLellan are recognized for their leadership.

Lisa Anderl appointed to fill Mercer Island City Council vacancy

Anderl, one of the 12 applicants for the position, will be sworn in by the end of the year.

Mary Lynn Pannen, founder and CEO of Sound Options, has consulted thousands of Washington families on geriatric care for 30 years. Photo courtesy of Sound Options.
Elder abuse cases are on the rise in Washington

Local agencies and geriatric care managers aim to increase public awareness about the epidemic.

The Mercer Island chapter of NYLM collected a total of 6,840 items for YFS. From left: Gabe Gottesman (MIHS freshman), Augie Byers (MIHS sophomore), Halen Otte (MIHS freshman), Ian Phan (MIHS sophomore), Harry Brown (MIHS sophomore) and Conner Blumenthal (MIHS sophomore). Photo courtesy of Daniel Hankes
NYLM collects 456 bags of groceries for Youth and Family Services

The Mercer Island chapter of NYLM collected a total of 6,840 items for YFS.

The King County Courthouse. File photo
King County Council Acknowledges Report on Juvenile Solitary Confinement

Report also says youth of color face a disproportionate amount of disciplinary measures

State Supreme Court strikes down I-27; King County will pursue safe consumption sites

State Supreme Court strikes down I-27; King County will pursue safe consumption sites

Romaine lettuce, beef recalled just before Thanksgiving

23 people have been infected with a Shiga toxin-producing E. coli bacteria in 11 states.

Area legislators to focus on housing policy, funding in 2019 session

Tana Senn (D-Mercer Island) is sponsoring a condo liability reform bill.

Most Read