More than two months after its release, four winners and eight finalists from two zones were chosen on Wednesday as winners of one of the biggest coding Olympics: HT Codeathon. The results of the grand finale, held on December 19, were announced on Wednesday.
The Delhi government had partnered with the Hindustan Times to train 13,000 students at its schools in coding. The event had the participation of 10,000 schools and more than 61,000 registrations. HT Codeathon provided students in Classes 6-9 from across India with a virtual platform to learn to code in languages such as HTML, CSS, and Python.
The grand finale, held virtually on Wednesday, was attended by Chief Deputy Minister Manish Sisodia; Tuhina Pandey, Communications Leader, IBM India and South Asia; Shailaja Jayashankar, assistant director of curriculum at Cuemath; Manoj Balachandran, Head of CSR, IBM India and South Asia; and Rajeev Beotra, CEO of HT Media.
Stakeholders emphasized the importance of coding for younger generations as it would help students to think structurally and logically. Experts have also pointed out that many skill sets required for today’s jobs would be obsolete within a few years, while coding remains a growing skill with emerging opportunities. Learning coding at this early age will allow students to prepare for jobs that don’t even exist in today’s market setting.
The event saw 400 finalists compete against each other by participating in tests, evaluations and projects, and in the process they were provided with training and mentoring by technical experts.
Students in classes 6 to 8 watched videos to learn how to design websites using HTML, CSS and JS, while those in classes 8 to 9 learned game development with Python. Students could test their coding skills and earn points by answering questions on the dashboard available on the HT Codeathon website.
Chief Deputy Minister Manish Sisodia congratulated all the students who participated in the event.
“Special mention to those who reached the final, after competing with thousands of students. The coding learning journey should continue even after this campaign, ”Sisodia said.
Among the top 100 students, 62 were from Delhi and up to 28 were Delhi public school students. “Creating curiosity among children to communicate with machines, involve them in the coding process and train them to think about how to make machines operate in a particular way is a great achievement,” Sisodia said Wednesday.
The Education Minister said it was challenging to engage public school students in a coding Olympiad. “But I am pleased that 28 of our students were among the top 100 finalists,” Sisodia said. He also said that the goal of coding would also help students learn the kernel of logical thinking that would help them develop their thinking process alongside coding.
Manan Khurma, CEO and Co-founder of Cuemath, said: “We are in a stage to embrace a future powered by artificial intelligence. With coding and math at the forefront in a data-driven world, we can be sure that these skills would be a must. Math forms the foundation of both coding and artificial intelligence, we make sure kids learn math and coding, just like they would learn a language. Our vision is to build an intuitive problem-solving mindset among children. ”
The winners were divided into two categories: north zone and south zone. Within each zone, six students were announced as winners in two subcategories: website development with HTML and game development with Python.
Winners from the northern area in website development included Akshat Sharma from DAV Public School in Faridabad as the winner with Aashi Bansal and Aarush Bansal from Greater Noida as the first and second runners-up respectively.
In the game development category, Delhi Public School student RK Puram Navya Garg won the first prize, while Siddharth Aggarwal and Rushil Goyal were the first and second finalists respectively.
Winners from the South Zone in website development included Mumbai resident Kush Batavia of St Gregorious School as the winner, with Saurish Bihani and Manav Purohit as first and second runners-up respectively. In the game development category, DAV Public School’s Ekansh Patil, Thane, won the top prize, while Aaron Daniel Davis and Keshav Mohta were the first and second runners-up respectively.
The first prize of the event included a laptop with an i5 processor and a smartwatch. While the first runners-up won laptops with i3 processors, the runner-up also won laptops with an AMD processor. The 12 winners will also receive winner certificates and workshops with HT.
In addition to this, 50 students among the 9,659 students sponsored by IBM to participate in the Coding Olympiad and learn coding also won gifts and certificates.
“HT Codeathon provided an opportunity for these students to learn coding and participate in an Olympiad that will help them improve their skills and prepare them for the future. This has been a long journey for us, ”said Beotra.