Computational Thinking For Kids
Written by Sue Gee   
Thursday, 05 November 2015

The Bebras Challenge 2015, intended to introduce school students as young as 8 to computational problem solving, takes place from November 9 to 22. Registration is open until November 8, so teachers should sign up now to take part. You can, however, try the Practice Challenge without registering.

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The Bebras Challenge is an online event, now organized in over 30 countries, that originated in Lithuania in 2004 - "Bebras" is the Lithuanian word for "Beaver"

It is designed for class participation and to give teachers feedback on the aptitude of their students in applying logical and computational thinking. It's also fun to do and reveals how computational thinking can be applied to everyday situations as these two examples, from the Practice Set on the United States contest site indicate: 

Benjamin Division Grades 5 and 6 (9 -11) 

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Junior  Divisions Grades 9 and 10 (age 14-16):


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As far as the participants are concerned they have to to solve 15 different tasks, five each at three increasing levels of difficulty within 45 minutes. Each participant starts with 45 points, gains points for correct answers and loses points for incorrect answers:

 

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This means the final score can range from 0 to 180.

The advantages of being registered to take the Bebras Challenge is that after completing the interactive test students can log on to the server to review their answers and retake the challenge. They will get immediate feedback. Their teachers can download detailed information on how students performed: that data can be used in the classroom.

The Bebras site suggests ways to tailor the challenge:

  • Let high-performing students take the challenge in a higher age category to stretch them a bit

  • Let low-performing students take the challenge in a lower age category to give them confidence

  • Use either the real or the practice challenges of this year to refer to in class discussions or teaching efforts

  • Use the data of your class or school to introduce students to data analytics 

The Bebras Challenge is fun and you don't have to be registered to try out the practice challenge. While it doesn't involve any coding, it does introduce young minds to the type of thinking required for programming. 

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More Information

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Bebras Challenge 2015

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 05 November 2015 )