Break Into Code Challenge
Written by Sue Gee   
Friday, 24 April 2015

Microsoft has announced a global contest for 9 to 18 year olds designed to introduce kids to coding using Touch Develop, its easy-to-use web app creator.



The Break Into Code challenge is intended to be a beginner level challenge that will get students excited about coding even if they don’t have any previous experience. Microsoft Imagine, which runs the annual Imagine Cup for student developers, has teamed up with Microsoft Research’s Touch Develop to get students aged 9 though 18 started with a simple, easy to follow tutorial on coding a brick breaker game,  which provides step-by-step instructions: 




Having worked through the tutorial, participants in the contest are being challenged to customize and personalize the game. They then submit their re-imagined games which will be judged using the criteria: Customization, Quality, and Presentation, to win up to $3,000 USD.


TouchDevelop is intended to be an easy-to-use web app creator. It isn't a block language like Scratch or App Inventor but something between a full text coding language and a block-based drag-and-drop language. This approach to coding means that rather than typing you drag-and-drop the instructions you want from a palette of possible choices. This makes it very easy to use on touch enabled tablets and even phones - hence the name TouchDevelop.


For the contest participants can use any device with a browser and internet connection.

The competition runs from April 22nd to June 7th, with entrants split in to bracket depending on their ages (9-13, and 14-18). In each age bracket there will be three prizes (USD) awarded, as follows:

1st place $3,000 
2nd place $2,000 
3rd place $1,000

The first step in taking part is for students to register on and get started with the Touch Develop brick breaker tutorial.

This sounds a worthwhile initiative to encourage school and college students who haven't done much programming to  give it a go.


More Information

Break into code challenge for 9-18-year olds

Imagine Cup Website


Related Articles

Imagine Cup 2015 Kicks Off With Code Hunt        

Microsoft Open Sources TouchDevelop   


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Last Updated ( Friday, 24 April 2015 )