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

A high tide at Raymond’s Willapa Landing Park in Grays Harbor County, Washington. Sound Publishing file photo
On the West Coast, Washington is most prone to sea level rise damage

Report by the Center for Climate Integrity shows multibillion-dollar cost of battling back the sea.

Mercer Island High School graduates 398 seniors

Mercer Island High School held its 62nd commencement on June 11 at the accesso ShoWare Center in Kent.

The Mercer Island Girl Scouts held an End of the Year Celebration on June 9.
Mercer Island Girl Scouts celebrates its members and volunteers

An End of The Year ceremony was held on June 9.

Sister Cities Association recognizes students

The Board of the Mercer Island Sister City Association has announced three… Continue reading

Photo Provided by Naomi Parkman Sansome Facebook Page
Buckle up for another smoky summer

Wildfires in Washington will likely roar back this year and into the future.

What’s next for Washington’s 2045 green energy goal?

The Legislature set the goal, but how does the state actually get there?

Mark LeMaster and Stu Harris look at past class photos during the East Seattle Elementary School alumni event on June 8. Photo courtesy of Owen Blauman
East Seattle Elementary School reunites alumni

Over 150 East Seattle alumni gathered to honor their alma mater on June 9.

Tasting room proposal could redefine alcohol production in King County

Pilot program would benefit wineries, breweries and distilleries. Several farmers are concerned.

Most Read