On November 2, for the first time in Latvia and the Baltics, the logic game “Riga Puzzle Day” will take place, during which almost 300 11th-grade students from schools under the jurisdiction of Riga Municipality will have to solve ten logic problems inspired by the prestigious Harvard University.

Addressing the growing stigma that coding is boring and complex, and the subsequent labor shortage in technology industries, the game aims to encourage more young people to develop problem-solving and creative thinking skills by engaging students in solving logic puzzles that are the basis for further learning of coding. The logic game is a format that fosters students’ collaboration skills to solve problems. To emphasize that computer science is not just about programming, but about problem-solving, the challenges do not require programming experience.

The idea and the structure of the game are taken from Harvard University, where it has become a tradition for young people of all ages. Riga Puzzle Day is the first adaptation of the game in Latvia, but several schools have already expressed interest in hosting it at their school.

Last year, Riga Business School, as a department of Riga Technical University, started introducing the content of the world-renowned computer science course CS50, developed at Harvard University, into Latvian secondary schools by translating the teaching materials and training 16 programming teachers so far, addressing the lack of quality teaching materials in such rapidly changing sectors as IT. “Puzzle Day” is traditionally organized as part of CS50, inviting not only the course participants but also their friends.

“Extracurricular activities that combine courage, knowledge and problem-solving skills are an essential part of a high-quality, modern education. Thanks to the supporters of the logic game “Riga Puzzle Day”, we are able to enhance STEAM education in Riga with world-class content. I sincerely hope that Riga Puzzle Day will become an annual event in Riga’s education calendar,” says Laima Geikina, Chair of the Riga City Council Education, Culture and Sports Committee.

“It is very important to stimulate students’ interest and understanding of scientific knowledge nowadays. That’s why we are happy to support Riga Puzzle Day, as it is a great opportunity for high school students not only to develop their abilities to solve more complex problems and logic exercises, but also to network with each other, expanding the sense of community, and adapting the prestigious Harvard University methods,” says Kerli Vares, Head of Luminor Latvia.

“By engaging in this initiative, we want to foster the intellectual curiosity and courage of young students and teachers. We are all about crazy ideas and big dreams. We are happy to be a kind of safety cushion for young talent – the more we support young people’s initiatives, the safer they will feel to try new things. Together we are building the foundation for a world of endless possibilities,” comments Renārs Duntavs, Head of Risks and Products at Balcia.

On the day of the event, teachers will have the opportunity to attend informative sessions to enhance their personal and professional competences. The lectures will also be streamed live on the Riga City Council and Riga Business School Facebook accounts.

Given the use of logic games as a learning and entertainment format for such a large number of young people at the same time, this time Riga 11th grade students are invited to participate. Information about applying to participate in the logic game has been sent to all 63 secondary schools of general secondary education managed by the Riga City Council. Together, these schools have almost 4,000 young people in Grade 11. Students wishing to take part should apply to their class teacher or school management.

“Riga Puzzle Day is organized by Riga City Council and Riga Business School in cooperation with Luminor bank and Balcia insurance.

More information about Riga Puzzle Day: https://rbs.lv/lv/event/riga-puzzle-day/. The event will take place at RTU Auditorium “Domus Auditorialis”, Zunda krastmala 8, Riga.

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