Information Communication Technologies & Digital Media Sector Team

By: Junior Achievement of San Diego County

Congratulations to the winning teams for scoring 1st , 2nd and 3rd place in the 3rd Annual CODEchella Competition. The winning student teams joined 115 students from five school districts throughout San Diego to showcase their coding skills. The middle school students had to create code to race Spheros Robots through a series of complex mazes. The high school students had the opportunity to code their own flying Robolink mini-drones.

Thank you to our regional sponsors for bringing this fun event to life for our students: Doing What Matters (Leroy Brady, ICT-Digital Media Sector DSN), Regional Pathways, Robolink, San Diego County Office of Education, SDG&E and San Diego Unified School District.

These regional educational partners, community leaders and leading high-tech San Diego professionals created a fun and challenging competition for the students. They hope it will inspire and prepare San Diego’s young adults to take interest and pursue careers in the growing computer science and tech industry.

“We are so excited to participate in this year’s Codechella,” said Kristen Koeblin, Director of Education at Robolink. “This coding competition is the perfect way to introduce more of San Diego’s students to what they can do with computer science. We hope that this event inspires the participants to create amazing things with code and pursue majors and careers in STEM fields.”

A special thanks to computer science teachers from San Diego Unified School District for creating the fun coding Spheros curriculum.

“Coding is fun and creative, and anyone can do it,” said Gail Lake, a teacher at the College, Career and Technical Education at San Diego Unified School District. “We’re excited to provide this opportunity for students to come together to collaborate, code and create. This is the third year of this competition, which has grown to include students of all levels of experience, from middle school to high school.”

“This has been the best day ever,” said Haley Lange, a student from Coronado Middle School, who scored 3rd place in the Spheros competition. “I love to code and despite some challenges, I am so proud we came in 3rd place.”

There are an estimated 500,000 unfilled U.S. jobs that require some level of computer-science understanding, yet three-quarters of the nation’s public schools do not offer any computer science courses. Despite growing demand for jobs in the field, it remains marginalized throughout the US K-12 education system. California is one of 17 states that does not require all high schools to offer computer science courses.

“The need for these high-tech skills is critical to the San Diego workforce and we are so thankful to our partners for giving us the unique opportunity to teach digital literacy to our kids,” said Ashley Packard, Work-Based Learning Manager at JA of San Diego County, a non-profit that teaches kids how to get a job, start a business and manage money.

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