Highlighting Pennsylvania as a national leader in computer science and technology education, Department of Education (PDE) Deputy Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education Matthew Stem today welcomed middle and high school students from 24 schools in the finals of the Cyber-Robotics coding competition hosted by Harrisburg University.
Computer coding is a fast-growing component within the Science, Technology, Education and Math (STEM) fields and part of Governor Tom Wolf’s new PAsmart initiative. Pennsylvania now ranks second in the country for investments in K-12 STEM and computer education according to the Education Commission of the States. The governor also successfully encouraged the State Board of Education to endorse computer science standards for K-12, making computer courses available to all students. To further help students, Pennsylvania joined the Governors’ Partnership for K-12 Computer Science, a bipartisan initiative organized by Code.org.
Over the next decade, seven in 10 new jobs in Pennsylvania will require workers to use a computer and an estimated 300,000 jobs in science, technology, engineering and math will be available in Pennsylvania this year.
“Governor Wolf recognizes that expanding access to computer science and STEM programs is absolutely critical for preparing our students for an ever-changing workforce,” said Stem. “Competitions like this give students valuable opportunities to develop and test the skills that are in demand by Pennsylvania employers.”
Today’s grand finale competition included 40 teams from 24 schools and took place during Computer Science Education Week, which is being celebrated internationally from December 3-9.
The top three teams were:
- Riverside Jr/Sr High School, Lackawanna County
- Wyndcroft School, Montgomery County
- Lackawanna Trail Computer Club, Lackawanna/Wyoming counties
Other teams included:
- Cardinal John Foley Regional Catholic School, Delaware County
- Conrad Weiser Middle School, Berks County
- Fell Charter School, Lackawanna County
- Jim Thorpe School District, Carbon County
- Liberty Elementary School, Tioga County
- Lititz Christian School, Lancaster County
- Lower Dauphin Middle School, Dauphin County
- Montessori Academy of Chambersburg, Franklin County
- Nazareth Area Middle School, Northampton County
- Orefield Middle School, Lehigh County
- Pequea Valley Intermediate School, Lancaster County
- Reading Southern Middle School, Berks County
- Rimersburg Elementary School, Clarion County
- Sayre Area School District, Bradford County
- Shallow Brook Intermediate School, York County
- St. Joan of Arc School, Dauphin County
- St. John the Baptist Catholic School, York County
- Towanda Area School District, Bradford County
- Tredyffrin/Easttown Middle School, Chester County
- Wilson West Middle School, Berks County
- Yough Intermediate Middle School, Westmoreland County
Overall, 104 teams competed for a spot in the finals.
The coding competition uses a cloud-based simulation platform featuring a virtual, 3D animated robot. Teams develop code to complete missions and challenges.