Think­ing ahead for chal­lenge round two

School de­lighted to have two pupils in prestigious com­pe­ti­tion

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - by WILL BRADLEY wil­liam.bradley@trin­i­tymir­ twit­ter: @get­sur­rey­will

TWO Bea­cons­field High School stu­dents have been in­vited to the Univer­sity of Ox­ford’s Depart­ment of Com­puter Sci­ence to com­pete in the sec­ond stage of the 2017 UK Be­bras Com­pu­ta­tional Think­ing Chal­lenge. Han­nah Ali (Year 8) and Gra­cie Ku­nicki (Year 9) achieved scores of 178 out of a pos­si­ble 200 in the In­ter­me­di­ate Cat­e­gory of the com­pe­ti­tion, which in­volves solv­ing prob­lems us­ing com­pu­ta­tional think­ing skills.

The stu­dents com­peted against more than 70,000 other can­di­dates na­tion­wide, fin­ish­ing in the top tenth of the top 1% of en­trants.

Around half of the school’s pop­u­la­tion en­tered the 2017 Be­bras Com­pe­ti­tion, with many of them achiev­ing scores in the top 5% na­tion­ally.

The two stu­dents will now visit the Univer­sity of Ox­ford for round two at the end of Jan­uary, which in­cludes aca­demic lec­tures and the chance to ex­plore an Ox­ford Col- lege, as well as take part in the sec­ond stage of the Be­bras chal­lenge and an awards cer­e­mony.

“Only 30 stu­dents from the UK have been in­vited to par­tic­i­pate in the sec­ond round of the In­ter­me­di­ate Cat­e­gory of the com­pe­ti­tion and we are de­lighted that, from the thou­sands of en­trants, we will have two rep­re­sen­ta­tives to take the chal­lenge fur­ther,” com­mented head­teacher Rachel Smith.

“Com­put­ing is a core fo­cus for us, and we re­main the only school in Buck­ing­hamshire to offer it up to GCSE level. It is also a key el­e­ment of our STEM fo­cus, es­pe­cially with the na­tion­wide drive to en­cour­age more fe­males into STEM-associated ca­reers.”

The Be­bras chal­lenges are made up of a set of short prob­lems called Be- bras tasks and are de­liv­ered on­line. The tasks are fun, en­gag­ing and based on prob­lems that Com­puter Sci­en­tists of­ten meet and en­joy solv­ing. The tasks can be solved with­out prior knowl­edge but in­stead re­quire log­i­cal think­ing.

Han­nah Ali and Gra­cie Ku­nicki

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