Massachusetts is a national leader in the technology sector and while already home to many of the world’s leading hardware, software and computing companies, the state remains a hotbed for startups who hope to be the next technology leaders. As we all see the increasing importance of digital literacy, we have developed three computer science challenges for K12 schools during Mass STEM Week.

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ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

Elementary schools are introduced to Scratch a basic block programming language developed at the MIT Media Lab. Students are then given basic instructions on how to develop their own digital games for their laptop, tablet or smartphone.

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MIDDLE SCHOOL

Middle schools learn how a computer “thinks” and are introduced to binary code and how it is a part of almost all technology we use today. Students are then tasked with putting their new knowledge to work in a hands-on project to build their own vending machine.

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HIGH SCHOOL

High schools begin by learning  to code in MATLAB the most widely used program in engineering. Student teams are then tasked with using this knowledge and their own imaginations with building a fitness tracker. Using sensor data retrieved from smart phones, teams create a model and then an application to inform people about how effective their workouts are.

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Each school would spend Mass STEM Week on their projects with a deadline to submit their projects to a panel of judges from MathWorks, i2 Learning, other technology companies, MIT and venture capital firms by October 31.

Winners in a number of categories from each age group would be announced the week of November 5 with funding given to a select number of high school projects that will continue through the end of February 2019 when schools would present their more developed work to the same judges for the grand prize.


CHALLENGE TIMELINE

August 27 - School registration opens

September 24 -Rules and judging rubric announced

October 22 - Mass STEM Week begins, school start their projects

October 26 - Mass STEM Week ends

October 31 - Final projects are due at i2 Learning

November 9 -Winners are announced

February 15, 2019 - Final high school projects are due

March 1, 2019 - Final high school winners announced