To prepare for MS Coding competition, teams should have knowledge of concepts (software development, computer science, and coding topics) that will be on the Coding written test. They also should be familiar and comfortable with using the Scratch programming language.
Scratch is a free visual programming language available from the MIT Media Lab (https://scratch.mit.edu/starter_projects/). An offline version of the Scratch tool should be downloaded and available on each team’s laptop.
Teams that advance to the semifinalist level, based on written test performance, will perform a challenge using the Scratch programming language. Semifinalist teams will receive the challenge on site and will have two hours to complete it. (PLEASE NOTE: Semifinalist teams MUST have a version of this program available for offline use, as there will be no Internet access available during the semifinalist level of the competition.)
Problem Challenge: Employees of 1904 Enterprises have recently been clicking on links downloading malware onto their network. As a result, they are worried about a potential ransomware attack. Explain some measures that they can use to prevent a ransomware attack as well as business-wide measures that could be implemented in their workplace.
Problem Challenge: Use Google Trends Analysis to review and analyze the emerging technology trends (biometrics, cybersecurity, data science, or quantum computing). Analyze keyword(s) using demographic/geospatial, time series, and related query data. If possible, predict the emerging technology trends over the next five years.
Design Challenge: Design a home for a family of three (3) in an economically developing country of your choice. The house must be designed for an area that does not have access to a power grid. In addition, the house must include a passive solar system, water collection system, and solve one (1) problem that is specific to the area.
Design Challenge: TSA chapter advisors are attending a fictitious special interest session at the National TSA Conference. They have come to learn about a new piece of STEM equipment for chapter members to use in their classroom that your fictitious company is selling.
Your promotional toolkit needs to include the following three items.
Printable: Design an 8 ½ X 11 postcard promoting your fictitious company and the new piece of STEM equipment. Postcard may be front and back.
Wearable: A t-shirt that promotes your company, which can be used as a promotional item to distribute to the TSA chapter advisors (potential clients).
Digital Signage: Short video (2-2 ½ minutes) to be showed at the special interest session to showcase your fictitious company and the new piece of equipment.
Theme: The term “big data” refers to data that is so large, fast or complex that it is difficult or impossible to process using traditional methods. The act of accessing and storing large amounts of information for analytics has been around a long time. Visualize the data process and its application in the current IT fields.
Context: Traditionally, cultural events are held in-person. Websites for in-person venues include event information and ticket sales. Due to the global pandemic, venues have had to find new ways to meet their audiences’ needs.
Challenge: Develop a website for a cultural events venue that could be virtual only. Strive to develop a website that is interactive, engaging, graphically interesting, and easy to understand and navigate. Advertise the venue to potential customers who want to experience a cultural event through a virtual experience.
Theme: Create a book for students in pre-k to 1st grade that showcases/promotes engineering. The solution must also include an activity to accompany the book for teachers to use with their students. The activity needs to be a PDF file submitted at the end of the portfolio documentation.
The following programming languages may be used to complete the assigned problems:
C (version C11)
C++ (version C++14)
C# (version 6.0)
Java (version 10)
Python (version 3.6)
Ruby (version 2.5)
Swift (version 4.2)
Additional languages may become available as we near the conference.
Participants will be presented with a series of coding problems that must be completed on site at the conference. Evaluation will be based on the successful completion of the problems and the time in which it takes students or teams to complete all the challenges.
In addition to the specific HS Coding competition rules and regulations, students also must adhere to TSA’s general rules (found in the HS competitive events guide).
The USA Computing Olympiad website and the ACM-ICPC International website are helpful resources for the Coding event. Additional resources that can be used to prepare for the event are listed below:
Theme: Amusement theme parks open new attractions and rides annually. Create three (3) different prototypes of attire for park employees who operate a new family-friendly ride called the “Power Charger.” The park is open during all seasons throughout the year and this new ride has the color theme of red, white, and navy blue. One (1) of the three (3) prototypes is submitted for evaluation.
Design Challenge: Your school is hosting a student organization fair to promote clubs and activities. You have the responsibility of developing promotional materials to hand out to students at the fair who are interested in joining the TSA chapter. All items are to be placed into a two-pocket folder. All student and school names must be fictitious.
Context: Due to the global pandemic, in-person events have not been held as in the past. Instead of canceling or postponing events, many organizers chose to hold them virtually. These virtual events had to be interactive and provide participants similar experiences as in-person events.
Design Brief/Challenge: Create a fictitious virtual event and design an accompanying website. The website should identify the type of event, serve as an information guide, and include the virtual experiences related to the event. Sections of the site may include photos, product descriptions, renderings history, contact, and news updates. Present an overview of event details as if you were a consumer.