Last weekend, on 11 May, the final of the Programming competition organized by Riga Business School as a unit of Riga Technical University took place. Nine of the strongest Latvian teams presented their ideas out of 28 submitted projects. The 1st place went to Anastasija and Sofja Kizikas from Rezekne State Gymnasium No 1. They presented a didactic mathematics computer game Exciting Mathematics developed in the subject of Programming, which helps students to learn mathematics in an exciting way.

The main aim of the Programming competition is to showcase projects developed by secondary school students in the subject of Programming during the school year, thus creating value for the wider community through secondary school students’ ideas that use programming to solve a problem for a particular group in society, while encouraging young people’s interest in programming. In Round 1 of the competition, students submitted short videos about their idea and solution. From 28 applications, 10 teams were selected (9 presented in the final round), who also submitted the solution code and technical documentation for further evaluation. In the final, students were given five minutes to present their solution to the jury in person and answer their questions.

Raivis Zelenkevičs, Head of LMT Solutions Development Division: „The young people are great achievers, the projects have been developed to a high standard. Such competitions with high added value are very necessary for young people to motivate them to work on new software development and business solutions. We need to give young people the opportunity to develop, so we, universities and large companies, have created a very good infrastructure in Latvia for this to happen. The competition helps students to identify the value of their creative ideas before developing them further.”

Claudio Rivera, Director of Riga Business School: “Young people’s participation in the programming competition is often directly encouraged by their teachers, so special thanks to all the finalists’ programming teachers for encouraging and supporting them in the finals: Artūrs Ķempelis, Ance Kancere, Marina Draboviča, Nataļja Kučerenko, Kirils Logins, Marina Juzova, Edgars Bajaruns and Edgars Žogots.”

2nd place went to the team of Riga Secondary School No 80 – Jevgenijs Springis and Rustams Štālbergs – for their solution for communicating with people with hearing and speech disabilities “Developing a Deep Learning Sign Language Recognition Algorithm with Tensorflow Library”.

3rd place went to the team of Sigulda City Secondary School – Jānis Reinis Reinsons and Jorens Jānis Trēgers – for their solution “F.R.I.L.” or display, which allows the digital display of artworks, image changes and interactive animations.

The 1st prize winners each received a €300 gift voucher for technology purchases at LMT customer centres, the 2nd prize winners received a €150 gift voucher and the 3rd prize winners received €100. In addition, the top three teams received a 10% discount on the Riga Business School programme “Computer Science and Organizational Technologies”, and the supporters-teachers of all three teams received a €100 gift card.

Nataļja Kučerenko, Programming teacher at Riga Secondary School No 80: “We are grateful to the organizers and the jury for the inspiring communication and friendly atmosphere of the competition. Support for talented students is extremely important.”

The other teams that took part in the final also performed well:

  • Learn Python: Learning materials with game elements to get students interested in programming – Emīls Juris Gelašs, Salaspils Secondary School No 1.
  • ISS Explorer: A real-time three-dimensional map showing the location of the International Space Station – Jānis Stendzenieks and Gustavs Bremmers, RTU Engineering High School.
  • A solution that helps blind people get around by integrating infrared sensors into people’s shoes – Anrijs Dambis and Vanesa Vidiņa, Sigulda City High School.
  • Time-saving system: Automatic grading system for programming teachers – Emīls Sarguns, Sandis Admidiņš and Davids Čakstens, Riga Secondary School No 25.
  • ENVX: A website for Latvian students to plan school work – Viktorija Zviedrāne and Ņikita Spriņģis, Daugavpils Technology Secondary School-Lyceum.
  • AI DIARY: ChatGPT bot to help you organize your day and plan your time efficiently – Anastasija Baranova, RTU Engineering High School.

Marina Juzova, Computer Science and Programming teacher at Riga Secondary School No 25: “As a teacher, I really enjoyed seeing students’ projects and getting new methods to motivate my students. This competition encourages children to work hard and prepare for next year’s competition. For the other young people who did not make it to the finals, I would definitely recommend them to take part in the competition and test their presentation skills by showcasing their work, as well as to read the rules carefully and develop their presentation.”

The Programming competition is one of the initiatives through which Riga Business School, as a unit of Riga Technical University, together with the Ministry of Education and Science, LMT and start(it) support, wants to attract even more young people to programming and strengthen technology learning not only in higher education, but also in schools.

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