To showcase to the wider public the ideas of high school students that use programming to solve a problem of a social group and to stimulate young people’s interest in programming, Riga Business School, as a department of Riga Technical University, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Science and the technology company LMT announced this spring a programming competition for high school students who developed their projects in the subject of Programming. 28 project applications were received from 20 Latvian schools. A total of 52 young people represented all the projects submitted.

In accordance with the competition rules, the programming solutions submitted by 26 April were evaluated by a jury – Riga Business School and representatives of the education sector. The jury assessed the projects on the following criteria: defining the problem, demonstrating the programming solution in action, describing how the project was developed, key challenges, successes, and lessons learned. Teams of students made videos presenting the project and their solutions to a current societal issue. To give the jury access to the videos, the students added a link to YouTube to their application.

After evaluating all the applications, the jury has nominated 10 teams for the final, half of them representing schools in Riga and the other half – schools in other Latvian cities. The final round will take place on 11 May at Riga Business School and will include: the RTU Engineering Secondary School team with the solution “ISS Explorer”, the Sigulda City Secondary School team with the solution “F.L.I.R.”, the Daugavpils Technology Secondary School-Liceum team with the solution “ENVX”, Riga State Technical School team with the solution “SafetySphere”, Riga 80th Secondary School team with the solution “Deep Learning Sign Language Recognition Algorithm with Tensorflow Library”, RTU Engineering School team with the solution “AI DIARY”, Salaspils 1st Secondary School team with the solution “Learn Python!”, Sigulda City Secondary School team with the solution “Measurement System”, Riga 25th Secondary School team with the solution “System for saving programming teachers’ time”, Rezekne State 1st Gymnasium team with the solution “Didactic mathematics multiplication computer game “Fascinating Mathematics””.

Claudio Rivera, the Director of Riga Business School: “We thank all the young people and their teachers for taking the initiative to submit their coding projects developed during their studies. The teachers of each of the secondary schools represented can be proud of their students’ achievements and innovative solutions. The coding competition shows that what is learnt in school must be applied outside school and motivate students to use the knowledge and skills they have acquired to solve everyday problems.”

The solutions will be evaluated by representatives from the Ministry of Education and Science, LMT, and Riga Business School. In addition to the above criteria, the final will also assess the documentation and the technical solution.

Each student, regardless of whether they have developed a solution individually or as part of a team, will receive prizes for technology purchases at LMT customer centers – for 1st place prize – 300 EUR, for 2nd place – 150 EUR, and 100 EUR fo the 3rd place. The teachers of the top three teams will also receive prizes worth 100 EUR each.

According to the Ministry of Education and Science, 139 schools in Latvia currently teach Programming I, and 115 schools teach Programming II. The programming competition is one of the initiatives to attract more young people to the field of programming and to strengthen technology learning not only in higher education but also in schools.

This is the second year of the programming competition organized by Riga Business School. Last year, 27 teams took part in the competition, 10 of which were invited to the final round.

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