On November 2nd, for the first time in Latvia and the Baltics, the logic game “Riga Puzzle Day” took place. More than 170 11th grade students from Riga Municipality schools took part and competed against each other by solving 10 logic problems inspired by the prestigious Harvard University. The team of students from Riga State Gymnasium No. 1 “Mežmaži” were the winners in a fierce competition.

Seeing the enthusiasm of young people in solving the tasks and their emotions when discussing the solutions, we understand how much such events are needed. It is an opportunity to spend quality time with friends and classmates, to challenge and push oneself, and to “try on” the profession of a programmer. Following the requests of the students, we would like to make “Riga Puzzle Day” an annual tradition and give the opportunity to other high school classes to participate. We, Riga City Council, are building a knowledge ecosystem every day – bringing together students and teachers, the higher education sector, and entrepreneurs. It is only through collaboration that we can bring the best ideas to life, understand each other’s challenges, and build a better future for our Riga, our Latvia.

Ieva Siliņa

Deputy Chair of the Education, Culture and Sport Committee of Riga City Council

Riga Puzzle Day is a unique platform that not only demonstrates the range of skills required for programming – mainly creative problem solving – but also shows how effectively the education system, public administration, and private sector companies can work when they combine their efforts. This is the path to an innovative, knowledge-rich society. Thank you to Riga City Council, Luminor Bank, and Balcia Insurance for supporting this initiative. If other municipalities and businesses want to organize a Puzzle Day, we are ready to cooperate.

Claudio Rivera

Director of Riga Business School

The Riga State 2nd Gymnasium student team “Sprīdīši” took the 2nd place in Riga Puzzle Day, while the Riga State 2nd Gymnasium student team “I-B SMART” took the 3rd place. In total, 58 teams from 41 secondary schools in Riga municipality took part in the event.

On the day of the event, teachers also had the opportunity to attend information sessions to improve their personal and professional competencies. Marija Briede, fraud prevention expert at Luminor bank, gave an informative lecture to teachers on “Emotions against Logic. Insight into Fraud”, Renārs Duntavs and Ilgvars Girgensons from Balcia insurance encouraged teachers to be brave, Linda Sinka, Project Manager at Riga Business School, introduced teachers to the Harvard University CS50 curriculum for Programming II, while Enno Ence, Program Manager at Riga Business School Executive Education, told teachers more about mentoring.

There were also entertainment stands from Riga Puzzle Day sponsors throughout the event.

Riga Puzzle Day aims to encourage more young people to develop problem solving skills and creative thinking by inviting them to solve logic puzzles, which are the basis for further learning of programming. The logic game is a format that fosters students’ collaborative problem-solving skills to emphasize that computer science is not just about programming, but about problem solving.

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. This is the first time the logic game has been held in Latvia, but several schools have already expressed an interest in hosting it at their school.

Riga Puzzle Day was organised by Riga City Council and Riga Business School in cooperation with Luminor bank and Balcia insurance. The event was also supported by Latvijas Mobilais Telefons, airBaltic, Myfitness, BrainGames and Cēsis Space Education Centre.

Information was prepared by Sindija Grāvere, Project Coordinator, External Communication Department, Riga Municipality.

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