AHS students advance to state coding competition

TEXARKANA, Ark. – Competing against 150 teams across the state of Arkansas, the Arkansas High School coding team is one of 17 teams in the state to advance to the sixth annual All-State Coding Competition.

Brodie Gholson, Matthew Hughes and Joshua Sharp make up the team sponsored by Advanced Placement computer science teacher Therron Telford.

Telford said the team’s goal was to win the regional competition and that going to state is an incredible bonus.

“I am extremely excited about being chosen for the state competition,” Telford said. “This will be good for the promotion of the computer science program at AHS. I am very proud of Brodie, Matthew and Joshua. Brodie has been with me since ninth grade; Matthew is taking his third class with me, and Joshua is a freshman. who I believe will be one of my strong coders in the future. “

The regional competition is hosted digitally on individual campuses.

Prior to 2021, the top team from each region was chosen to attend state, but the rules have changed to the top 16 teams statewide receiving an invitation (but only one per school). The 17th team is the past year’s winner.

Telford said the students’ preparation largely revolves around what they learn in the classroom each day.

“My instruction is differentiated, so from time to time I cover advanced concepts and / or topics yet to be covered with some of the students,” Telford said in a news release. “We meet at 8:30 am on the day of the competition to focus on specific ideas that are generally tested.”

Each member of the first-place team will receive a $ 2,000 award that will be deposited into a 529 College Savings Plan. Each member of the second-place team will receive a $ 1,000 award deposited into a 529 College Savings Plan, with each member of the third-place team receiving a $ 500 award deposited into the savings plan.

In addition, schools that register / sponsor the first-place, second-place and third-place teams will receive $ 10,000, $ 6,000 and $ 4,000, respectively, to support their computer science programs.

The prizes and competition expenses are provided by a grant from ARCodeKids.

The competition is Saturday, April 30 at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway.

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