Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz and state Department of Education Commissioner Charlene Russell-Tucker announced the launch of the 2022 Lt. Governor’s Computing Challenge. The challenge encourages all Connecticut students to get excited about the positive impact they can make on their communities by creating a new computer application aimed at promoting health and wellness.

“Learning more about computer science at a young age provides students with the opportunity to become familiar with a field that is not only growing, but expanding and evolving constantly,” said Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz. “Allowing students to explore this interest early in their academic careers allows them to think about a future STEM degree or career. Some of the participants of this challenge might be some of technology’s biggest influencers in the future, and I’m already looking forward to seeing this year’s applications.”

According to Bysiewicz and Russell-Tucker, all Connecticut students in grades three through 12 are encouraged to create and submit computer applications under the theme, “Coding for Good – Inspiring Health and Wellness for All.”  Submissions, which will be judged by technology experts and educators from around the state, will be accepted through April 29, 2022.

The Challenge will include three options for submission: Concept Challenge, Prototype Challenge and Development Challenge. Students may work individually or as a team to submit to one challenge.

“The Lieutenant Governor’s Coding Challenge showcases our commitment to preparing all of Connecticut’s students for the in-demand and high-wage careers of the future, while also empowering them to positively impact their community,” said Department of Education Commissioner Russell-Tucker. “Building off of the success of last year’s Challenge, we are excited to see the innovative, creative applications our students design.”

The Lt. Governor’s Computing Challenge is being supported by a number of companies and non-profit organizations and specifically anticipates financial support from the Infosys Foundation USA and Tallan.

Last year’s Challenge received 430 submissions from 70 different schools and 3 informal education partners. With only 33% of Opportunity Districts (as defined by the State Department of Education) participating last year, there has been a significant effort to encourage and incentive Opportunity Districts to participate.

For this year’s Challenge, The Jackson Laboratory created a new award to promote participation from students in Opportunity Districts, which represent the 10 lowest performing school districts in the state. Through The Jackson Laboratory Urban Achievement Award, individuals or teams at the elementary, middle and high school level will receive cash prizes in both the Prototype Challenge and Development Challenge categories. Building off the scoring criteria outlined by the Coding Challenge, additional weight will be given to projects that have a bioscience, public health, or medical innovation focus. The Jackson Laboratory will also assist in recruiting employees to serve as mentors and judges for both this category and the coding challenge.

“The Computing Challenge is a fun, meaningful way to get students thinking creatively about making health and wellness initiatives accessible to their communities through technology,” said Sarah Wojiski, Director of Education and External Programs at JAX. “JAX Genomic Education develops engaging programs to help students develop skills and exposes students to STEM career paths.  Our team strives to make STEM opportunities accessible to students of all backgrounds, and we are so excited to be working with the Lieutenant Governor and the Department of Education on this program.”

K-12 education nonprofit ReadyCT is on board to assist with stewardship of the challenge. ReadyCT Executive Director Shannon Marimón, who also serves on the CSforCT Steering Committee (charged with support and implementation of the state’s computer science education plan), sees the challenge as one that can energize students not ordinarily inclined toward coding.

“With the computing challenge offering state-level recognition, I think the range of students participating is going to increase,” said Executive Director Marimón. “It’s interesting to think how a student who is active in her drama club, or a student who gravitates more toward language arts, might take on and interpret this opportunity. There’s a lot of CS talent in Connecticut’s public-school students, and this challenge is a great way to tap into it.”

The Challenge was created by the Governor’s Council on Women and Girls, which is chaired by the Lt. Governor, to inspire female students to develop an interest in computer technology and to encourage that interest beyond high school graduation.

This press release was made possible by:

Stephen Krauchick

By Stephen Krauchick

DoingItLocal is run by Steve Krauchick. Steve has always had interest with breaking news even as an early teen, opting to listen to the Watergate hearings instead of top 40 on the radio. His interest in news spread to become the communities breaking news leader in Connecticut’s Fairfield County. He strongly believes that the public has right to know what is happening in their backyard and that government needs to be transparent. Steve also likes promoting local businesses.

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