Tech-savvy students win contest
by Special to the Banner
Feb 23, 2014 | 648 views | 0 0 comments | 35 35 recommendations | email to a friend | print
LAKE FOREST MIDDLE SCHOOL students recently won a computer programming contest sponsored by local company Keystone Solutions. From left to right are Preston West of Keystone Solutions, grand prize winner Jordan Frerichs, first-place winner Hayley Perez and Lake Forest teacher Karen Boltniew. Student Tyler Ziolkowski, who is not pictured, received the second-place prize.
view slideshow (2 images)

Cleveland area sixth-graders recently competed in a competition organized by a local IT company called Keystone Solutions that had them creating videos using computer programming skills.

As part of the C.O.D.E. (Creation of Digital Environments) Project contest, sixth-grade students from all three local middle schools were invited to create an animated “storyline video” using programming software. Students could use their choice of three different types of free software to create their entries — Scratch, Alice or Hackety Hack.

The contest’s theme was “Cracking the Code,” and students created videos that had characters solving mysteries or crimes or discovering new things — all within a set timeline.

The company received entries from students at two of the middle schools, and winners were named at each one. The winners from Ocoee Middle school were grand prize winner Mason Cross, first place winner Natalie Williams, second place winner Katie Houghton and third place winner Arthur Jure. Lake Forest Middle School’s winners included grand prize winner Jordan Frerichs, first place winner Hayley Perez and second place winner Tyler Ziolkowski. Lake Forest did not have a student in third place.

Prizes for the contest included a laptop computer for the grand prize winner, a tablet computer for the first place winner, headphones for the second place winner and a ribbon and certificate for the third place winner. All of the winners also received a hooded sweatshirt.

All participants received a USB bracelet and a C.O.D.E. Project T-shirt. Keystone Solutions will be organizing another contest for next year including seventh and eighth graders, and the company has said it may possibly hold another contest for sixth-graders before the current school year ends.

“I cannot wait to compete again next year,” Hayley Perez, a student from Lake Forest Middle School said upon receiving her prize for winning first place.

Company officials said they wanted to develop a program to encourage area students to be creative using technology, and the C.O.D.E. Project was meant to “provide an educational experience in technology that will stimulate students to gain technological knowledge, develop understanding and form a positive attitude in regards to technology,” as well as “help prepare students to become capable, responsible and compassionate professionals of the future.”

Future plans for the C.O.D.E. Project are to add one or two grades to the competition each year, eventually offering scholarships to high school seniors choosing to pursue college majors in technology.

Other area businesses involved with sponsoring the contest included Voytik Center for Orthopedics, Physician Services, Steve Black with Keller Williams, Dick’s Graphics, Brooks Screen Printing, Mark Riden with State Farm Insurance, Cleveland Business Machines, iServe, Don Ledford Automotive and Little Caesars.