FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contacts

Andy Wildenberg, associate professor of computer science, 406.238.7380, andy.wildenberg@rocky.edu
RMC Media Team, 406.657.1105, media@rocky.edu 

RMC to host first annual CodeMontana programming contest

BILLINGS, October 17, 2014 – Rocky Mountain College will host the first annual programming contest for CodeMontana students on November 1, 2014, in the Fortin Education Center. The contest is open to all Montana middle school and high school students who have participated in CodeMontana, a statewide program designed to teach computer programming to students through a self-paced online curriculum. 

Although computer science is not a commonly offered class in many Montana middle and high schools, CodeMontana provides a distributed system that can be used by students to learn computer science from their own homes or schools. More than 1,000 high school students in Montana have used CodeMontana over the past year to learn the basics of computer programming. 

“CodeMontana has done a tremendous job of bringing computer science education directly to the homes of students throughout the entire state of Montana,” said Andy Wildenberg, associate professor of computer science at RMC. “This contest is a chance for all those students to come together and meet each other for the first time.”

The programming contest is the result of a collaborative partnership between RMC and CodeMontana, with significant funding provided by the Gianforte Family Foundation. 

Registration will be from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Lunch will also be provided during this time. The competition will be held from 1:00-4:00 p.m., followed by an awards ceremony at 4:30 p.m. There will also be an optional LAN party from 5:00-8:00 p.m.

The contest is free and contestants will receive a T-shirt, plus prizes for the winners. Those who want to participate in the RMC programming contest should have experience with the CodeMontana software. 

Those interested in trying out the CodeMontana’s program can sign up at www.codemontana.org. Any middle or high school student (public, private, or home school) who is a Montana resident is eligible; all you need is a computer with Internet access and a web browser. There is no fee to join and, as students complete the various modules, they will learn about computers, software development, and be entered to win prizes based on the student's progress.

Students can learn at their own pace, and there's no cost for the first 90 days. In addition, high school juniors and seniors can earn college credit through CodeMontana. 

“The RMC programming contests were so much fun,” said Sage Smith, a 2014 Helena high school graduate. “Doing well in the contests gave me the confidence to pursue programming in college. Plus it gave me the chance to meet and talk with kids who are interested in the same thing I am.”

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