UK Bebras Computational Thinking Challenge
15 December 2021
During the fortnight of the 8th to 19th November 2021, current Year 9 students took part in the UK Bebras Computational Thinking Challenge. The Bebras Computational Thinking Challenge (BCTC) introduces computer science to students and is designed to get them excited about computing. The BCTC is a problem-solving competition with a focus on computational and logical thinking. A record number of over 300,000 students took part in the competition in UK this year!
Computational thinking involves using a set of problem-solving skills and techniques that software engineers use to write programs and apps. Examples of these techniques would include the ability to break down complex tasks into simpler components, algorithm design, pattern recognition, pattern generalisation and abstraction.
Questions are inspired by topics in computer science but only require some basic reasoning ability. Students had to answer up to 15 questions in a 40-minute time period. The questions have varying degrees of difficulty and the points awarded reflect this.
Balshaw’s students have taken part in this competition each year for the past nine years! This year, 169 students in Year 9 took part! The ‘Best In School’ winner was Rosie Holland with 157 points. In second place was Jessica Leatham with 151 points and in joint third place was Kai Quinn and Ben Watson, both with 141 points. These students received a certificate and a prize from the Business & Computing Department. The top 15 students from Balshaw’s were in the top 10% nationally and also received a Gold Award Certificate! The top 25% of students received a ‘Certificate of Distinction’, those in the top 50% received a ‘Certificate of Merit’ and everyone else who entered the competition received a ‘Certificate of Participation’.
The top 15 students will compete in the second round of the competition in February next year.