This month, children
from over forty countries are preparing to take part in the UK Bebras
Computational Thinking Challenge, sponsored by Google. Organised by the University of Oxford, it introduces
students to computational thinking through a series of short questions and
tasks. It’s delivered online and direct to schools. The tasks are fun, engaging
and based on problems that computer scientists often meet. Peter Marshman finds out more.
The whole aim of the UK Bebras Computational Thinking
Challenge is to get students excited about computing. The problem-solving
contest is based around questions inspired by topics in computer science and
last year over 200,000 students took part.
with fun and visual challenges appropriate to their age such as multiple-choice
questions or constructing block code There’s a reward for everyone as pupils receive
a certificate of participation, plus, based on the students’ performance they can
also receive certifications of merit, distinction and ‘Best in School’. The top performing students in the four
oldest age groups are invited to attend a final celebration event at Hertford
College and the University of Oxford. The top 10% of students are invited to
enter the TCS Oxford Computing Challenge in March.
not to think of it as purely a competition as the resources offer so much
more. You can make use of the past
challenges and use these for setting homework or for enriching the Computer
Science curriculum. It’s possible to create your own self-marking quizzes for
students to complete and is a wonderful way of developing a fantastic bank of
questions to use for baseline testing.
Students can explore
Bebras in bite-sized form through the Perfect Day app available on Google Play
and the AppStore. With this app,
students can work through the challenges at their own pace. These activities also cover digital literacy
such as how to set effective passwords.
Also, students can access the Bebras badge as part of the iDEA Award -
an effective way of engaging students into problem-solving with short
The competition takes place between the 4th and 15th November and for more details of how to sign up click here