Tips from a Premier’s coding challenge judge

Interested in the Premier’s coding challenge – How to win guide? The Premier’s Coding Challenge is a Queensland-wide competition for students in Year 3-10. To take part in the competition, you must code and create an interactive digital solution to help peers and Queenslanders learn about how to be cybersafe. The digital solution can be an app, a computer game, an animation or a website. It must be visually appealing and educational.

Important notes:

  • You can enter the Challenge as either an individual or as a pair.
  • You can make your own images or use appropriate images by others and provide credit for its use in your digital solution.
  • Your digital solutions must be produced using a programming platform that is either free or free for educational purposes
  • A valid entry must have 2 components:
    • Code or program file for your digital solution. E.g. .sb2 file for your Scratch project or .py Python file.
    • A video of no more than 90 seconds in duration explaining or evaluating your digital solution.
  • There are 8 competition categories:
    • Years 3 and 4 – Scratch/Tynker
    • Years 3 and 4 – Other
    • Years 5 and 6 – Scratch/Tynker
    • Years 5 and 6 – Other
    • Years 7 and 8 – Python/JavaScript/HTML
    • Years 7 and 8 – Other
    • Years 9 and 10 – Python/JavaScript/HTML
    • Years 9 and 10 – Other
  • Entry must be submitted by midnight 2 September 2019
  • Lots of prizes on offer, including robot kids, computer kids, electronics kits and inventor kits. Total prize pool $10,000.
  • 2018 competition winners
  • Cybersafety content to help inform the educational component of your digital solution. This is a good starting point and your research should not be restricted to these Queensland Government resources

 

For full competition details, see here.

 

Project ideas

This might seem a little bit tricky and there are lots of points to consider. So what types of projects can you build?

Here are some examples. You can build an app, a computer game, an animation or a website. Regardless of which of these four you build, here are some project ideas:

  1. An interactive story where we follow a main character and their daily activities. The character is exposed to online communications. We can select one of two buttons to say whether the online communication is cyberbullying or not.
  2. A multi-choice quiz game where we are shown various types and examples of cyberbullying and we have to select the most appropriate action.
  3. An educational tool that helps us learn what is and is not cyberbullying and what to do if it happens to us.
  4. A customisable online toolkit that helps communities to create events or programs to raise awareness, educate and support communities against cyberbullying. Parameters are selected by the user and the online toolkit is customised to suit the target audience.
  5. An animation story that helps Queenslanders learn about cyberbullying and what to do about it.

Our Premier’s coding challenge – How to win guide includes tips for Grade 3-4 and Grade 5-6 categories.

Tips for Grade 3-4 Queensland students

  • There are 4 criteria that you need to respond to:
    1. Video explanation
    2. Decision-making
    3. User input
    4. Implementation
  • Entries are marked against each criteria from 0 (not meeting criteria) to 8 (achieves criteria completely).
  • Video explanation: To achieve a high score, your video must:
    1. explain how the digital solution meets the following requirements:
      1. educates Queenslanders about cybersafety; and
      2. provides tips to help them improve their cybersafety.
    2. provide meaningful examples.

This means that in your video you need to answer the questions: “How does your digital solution educate Queenslanders about cybersafety?”  “How does your digital solution provide tips to improve their cybersafety?” “Show us examples in your digital solution of how it does this.” You can add text in your video to make it clear which question you are answering. Or you can answer questions using whole sentences and using the same words from the question in your sentence.

  • Decision-making:
      1. To achieve a high score, instances of nested decision making are used to increase the complexity of the digital solution. This means that you are using an if-block or an if statement inside of an if-block or if statement. See example below.
      2. To achieve a moderate score, instances of decision making are used to control the flow of the digital solution. This means that you are using an if-block or an if statement to give options in your storyline or game.
  • User input:
    1. To achieve a high score, instances of user input are used to personalise the user experience including user assistance. This means that you must provide ways to help your user, the person using your digital solution, based on inputs they give. E.g. you may ask your user what level of knowledge they already have about cybersafety, with options to pick: zero, some, and advanced knowledge. For users that select zero or some, you may offer them more beginner level support than you would the advanced user.
    2. To achieve a moderate score, instances of user input are used to personalise the user experience.
  • Implementation: To achieve a high score, implementation provides education about cybersafety and tips to improve cybersafety that are supported by links to further information.
    1. Must have educational content, users are able to increase their awareness of the issue
    2. Including tips for users on actions to take to improve their cybersafety
    3. Include links to further information e.g. the Qld government website & resources

 

Here is an example of a nested if-block. This piece of code says that:

  • The ‘win’ condition, ie when the player wins the game, 2 conditions must be met simultaneously. These 2 conditions are:
    • The cat must be touching the apple
    • The score must equal to 10
  • If only one of these conditions is met, then this is insufficient to achieve the ‘win’ condition

 

Here is an example of how to use user input to personalise user assistance.

 

Tips for Grade 5-6 Queensland students

  • There are 4 criteria that you need to respond to:
    1. Video explanation
    2. Decision making, user input, and repetition
    3. User interface design
    4. Implementation
  • Entries are marked against each criteria from 0 (not meeting criteria) to 8 (achieves criteria completely).
  • Video explanation: as per the Grade 3-4 criteria
  • Decision making, user input, and repetition: To achieve a high score, instances of nested decision making, user input and repetition are used in conjunction to create a resilient digital solution. Refer to Grade 3-4 criteria for nested decision making and user input. Repetition should be used to make code more efficient, ie avoid repeating the same code when it can be replaced with repetition. A resilient digital solution has accounted and been designed for the breadth of scenarios that can occur from various combinations of user input, ie relatively free from bugs.  
  • User interface design: To achieve a high score, user interface design demonstrates planning by assisting the user to respond to input prompts. The program, whether an app, game, animation or website, has been designed so that it is easy for the user to navigate and follow instructions. It should be clear to the user what they need to do at any point in time, whether they are simply watching an animation or responding to a question or instruction.
  • Implementation: as per the Grade 3-4 criteria

 

With our Premier’s coding challenge – How to win guide, you are well on your way to a winning entry! Remember to submit your entry by midnight 2 September 2019.

 

If you are interested in private tutoring to coach teams for the Premier’s Coding Challenge, click button below for more information:

 

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