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Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia with education department officials and students at the launch of HT Codeathon on October 8 (HT)
Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia with education department officials and students at the launch of HT Codeathon on October 8 (HT)

After a two-month marathon run, coding olympiad concludes

The HT Codeathon saw participation from 10,000 schools and over 61,000 registrations with students learning languages such as HTML, CSS, Python

New Delhi: More than two months after its launch, four winners and eight runners-up from two zones were chosen on Wednesday as winners of one of the biggest coding Olympiad -- HT Codeathon. The results of the grand finale, conducted on December 19, were announced on Wednesday.

The Delhi government had partnered with Hindustan Times to train 13,000 students from its schools in coding. The event saw participation from 10,000 schools and over 61,000 registrations. HT Codeathon provided students from classes 6 through 9 from across India a virtual platform to learn coding in languages such as HTML, CSS and Python.

The grand finale, held virtually on Wednesday, was attended by deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia; Tuhina Pandey, communications leader, IBM India & South Asia; Shailaja Jayashankar, assistant curriculum director at Cuemath; Manoj Balachandran, Head-CSR, IBM India & South Asia; and Rajeev Beotra, Executive Director, HT Media.

The stakeholders emphasised on the importance of coding for younger generation as it would help students in thinking structurally and logically. Experts have also noted that many skill-sets that are required for the current jobs would be obsolete in a few years while coding is still 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 the current market scenario.

The event saw 400 finalists compete with each other by participating in tests, assessments, and projects and in the process were provided training and mentorship by technical experts.

Students from Classes 6 to 8 watched videos to learn website designing using HTML CSS & JS while those from classes 8-9 learned game development ith Python. Students could test their coding skills and earn points by answering questions on the dashboard available on HT Codeathon website.

Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia congratulated all students who participated in the event.

“Special mention to those who reached the finale, after competing with thousands of students. The learning journey of coding should continue even after this campaign," Sisodia said.

Among the top 100 students, 62 were from Delhi and as many as 28 were Delhi government school students. “Creating curiosity among children to communicate with machines, involving them in the process for coding, and training them in thinking on how to make machines operate in a particular way is a big achievement," he said.

The education minister said it was a challenge to involve government school students in a coding Olympiad. “But I am satisfied that 28 of our students were among the top 100 finalists," Sisodia said. He also said that the objective of coding would also help students learn nitty-gritty of logical thinking which would help them in developing their thinking process along with coding.

Manan Khurma, CEO & Co Founder, Cuemath, said, “We are at a stage to embrace an AI-driven future. With coding and math already at the forefront in a data-driven world, they would learn a language. Math forms the base of both Coding and AI, we ensure that children learn math and coding, just like machines operate in a particular way, is a big achievement. Our vision is to build an intuitive problem-solving mindset among children."

Winners were divided in two categories north and south zone. Within each zone, six students were announced winners in two sub-categories: website development with HTML and game development with Python.

The north zone winners 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 first and second runners-up respectively.

In the game development category, Delhi Public School RK Puram student Navya Garg won the first prize while Siddharth Aggarwal and Rushil Goyal were the first and second runners-up respectively.

The winners from south zone in website development included Mumbai-resident Kush Batavia from St Gregorious School as the winner with Saurish Bihani and Manav Purohit as first and second runners-up respectively. In the game development category, Ekansh Patil from DAV Public School, Thane, won the first 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 i5 processor and a smartwatch. While the first runners-up won laptops with i3 processors, the second runners-up also won laptops with AMD processor. All 12 winners will also be getting 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 which will help them improve their skillset and will make them future ready. This has been a long journey for us," Beotra said.


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