LITTLE ROCK — Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Thursday announced the winners of the Governor’s All-State Coding Competition, the first statewide computer coding competition in the nation.
Seventy-five teams from across the state participated in eight regional competitions, and the top two teams from each region were invited to compete Thursday in the state contest at the Little Rock headquarters of the educational nonprofit EAST Initiative. The winners were:
— Carson Cato, Brandon Cox and Jackson Gregory from the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts, who placed first and each received a $2,000 scholarship. The school won a $20,000 prize.
— Martin Boerwinkle, Brock Davis and Joe Sartini from the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts, who placed second and each received a $1,000 scholarship.
— Mason Brown, Gregory Maddra and Noah Wehn from Springdale Har-Ber High School, who placed third each received a $500 scholarship.
Hutchinson announced the creation of the competition in September as a way to promote his computer science initiative. In 2015, the Arkansas Legislature approved Hutchinson’s proposal to require all of the state’s public high schools to offer computer science classes.
“It builds excitement and enthusiasm,” Hutchinson said of the competition Thursday. “But most importantly, when you can put money behind it, that makes a difference to the students. Those are significant checks.”
Verizon provided $40,000 to fund the competition this year. On Thursday the company said it would provide $50,000 to fund the competition’s second year and to help train and certify computer science teachers across the state.
“We’re delighted with Verizon’s continued partnership at $50,000,” Hutchinson said.