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CTEC Students Excel in Programming/Software Development Pathway

Cody Henrichsen, computer programming instructor at Canyons Technical Education Center (CTEC), has involved his class in many computer competitions throughout the past year. Students learned how to build a computer from scratch using a retired supercomputer at the Utah High School Supercomputing Competition, they competed in programming competitions and took industry tests at the Utah IT Challenge Competition, and they built a robot to perform specific tasks at the Lego® Robotics Competition. During the summer Cody held a workshop to introduce girls to programming and computer science. The class was a hit and Cody plans to hold the workshop again during the summer of 2013.

Utah High School Supercomputing Competition
The Utah High School Supercomputing Competition is an event put on by the University of Utah’s Center for High Performance Computing (CHPC) and provides Utah High School Supercomputing Competition (UHSSC) participants with a chance to become familiar with supercomputing. The UHSSC uses retired supercomputers that are no longer suitable for research, but are more than suitable for use by high school students.

This past year the UHSSC recycled an Angstrom Titan64 Supercomputer, provided by CHPC, to build ten smaller machines which were used by the UHSSC teams. “CTEC students entered the Utah Supercomputing Competition and won two of the four prizes. The teams won the Software Optimization prize, and both teams competed in the Hot Seat challenge, but when the other teams at the competition were not able to complete it, the organizer changed the remaining prizes to a persistence challenge which CTEC also won. Students were able to learn how to program in the Python language as well as use multiple processors to solve large problems quickly. This contest also inspired many students to switch their personal system to the Linux operating system because of the performance controls it provides,” says Cody Henrichsen.

The winners of the Utah High School Supercomputing Competition were:
> Skyline High School – Systems Configuration Award
> CTEC Team #2 – Software Optimization Award
> CTEC Team #2 – Persistence Award
> North Summit High School – Creativity Award

Utah IT Challenge Competition
The Utah IT Challenge Competition is sponsored by the Utah State Office of Education, Utah Valley University, and Certiport. Students are invited to compete in programming competitions and to take industry exams—Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA), Adobe Certified Associate (ACA), and Hewlett Packard ATA Certification. Awards and prizes are given to the top three students in each category.

Students from CTEC, Salt Lake City Skills Center, and students from American Fork, Clearfield, Layton, and Syracuse High Schools all placed in the top three in thirteen competitive events. CTEC students won all three of the team programming prizes and the top individual programming prize. LIST OF WINNERS

Lego® Robotics Competition
Using Lego® bricks students work in teams to design, build, and program a robot with moving parts that will perform assigned tasks. Teams compete against one another for scholarships and prizes.

In the 2012 Lego® Robotics Competition CTEC students placed third overall. “The first contest was to create two robots, one a daughter robot carried on the back of the “mother” robot that would retrace the path across a maze. The second contest was to build and program a robot that could move a variety of objects across a field. The third contest was to build a robot that could navigate an obstacle course. The CTEC students created robots that accomplished all three of these tasks and we are looking forward to competing in the Lego® Robotics Competition again this year,” says Henrichsen.

Girls Code at CTEC
This summer CTEC held a two day workshop to introduce programming and computer science to high school girls in the Salt Lake Valley. Ten students participated and learned how to create apps for the Android environment using AppInventor. Presentations were given by women currently working in Computer Science and Information Technology. Listen to Cody talk about the event on KUTV.

UtahCTE.org congratulates the students at CTEC, and at other schools across the state, who have competed in the above IT competitions. We wish each student all the best as they prepare for IT competitions this year.

If you’re interesting in participating in one of the six Career and Technical Education Information Technology Education Pathways talk to your school counselor.

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