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

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.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@mi-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.mi-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

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

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

More in News

t
French American School of Puget Sound steps into the spotlight

Mercer Island school to be featured on French ‘66 Minutes’ program.

Stock photo
State AG Ferguson leads effort supporting local journalism

Federal legislation offers tax credits to subscribers, businesses and news organizations

C-17 at Joint Base Lewis McChord airstrip (courtesy of United States Military)
King County councilmember proposes program to aid transition of Afghan interpreters who served the U.S. overseas

Program would provide job training and learning opportunities for Afghan interpreters and advisors.

t
City contractor leads the way in completing water system improvements project

PCI replaces 2,600 linear feet of water main and more.

Vaccinations taking place. File photo
Inslee: No ‘massive disruptions’ as worker vax rates hit 90%

A surge in vaccinations has eased concern about service slowdowns ahead of a Monday deadline.

King County Councilmember Kathy Lambert (file photo)
Lambert removed from King County Council leadership roles

Lambert received backlash after her campaign used flyers that depicted her opponent as a puppet.

Construction takes place on the Sound Transit East Link rail station on Mercer Island. Reporter file photo
Safety improvements project set for 2022 near East Link rail station

The Washington State Department of Transporation will soon be reviewing and approving… Continue reading

Union members picket in front of new Facebook campus in Redmond on Sept. 16 (photo by Cameron Sheppard)
Northwest Carpenters Union members vote to accept contract with AGC

The agreement comes after weeks of striking.

Most Read