CoderZ today announced the winners of the all-new CoderZ League: the Virtual Cyber Robotics Competition (formerly the Cyber Robotics Coding Competition or CRCC). Students in grades four through 12 throughout the United States and the world joined in the cloud-based robotics tournament. Three teams from each of the tournament’s two levels – Junior and Pro – became CoderZ League World Champions.
Beginning coders, schools new to the competition, and students in grades five through eight competed at the CoderZ League Junior level using Blockly. The three CoderZ League World Champion teams were the following:
- The Legend Z team from Union High School (Pennsylvania)
- The Avenues FLL MG team 1 from Avenues the World School (New York City)
- The Method K20 all-girls team from Methodist Girls High School located (Ghana)
The CoderZ League Pro level was for students in grades seven through 12 who could use Blockly or Python. The three CoderZ League World Champion teams were the following:
- The Virginia Beach ATC team from Virginia Beach City Public Schools (Virginia)
- The Explosion team from School 1329 (Moscow)
- The RoboGriffins team from the nonprofit Philadelphia Robotics Coalition (Pennsylvania)
During the tournament missions, students competed on the award-winning CoderZ Cyber Robotics Learning Environment, a cloud-based platform featuring a graphical simulation of LEGO Mindstorms EV3 robots. The students used the virtual 3D robots to complete the tournament challenges or “missions.”
“These six teams outperformed competitors from 18 countries, 29 U.S. states, two Canadian provinces and Puerto Rico,” said Ido Yerushalmi, CEO of CoderZ. “In all, over 150,000 students participated in the CoderZ League; amid the disruption and distress of 2020, all of them dedicated themselves to learning STEM, coding, tech literacy and soft skills like critical thinking and collaboration as they competed. We are so immensely proud of them all.”
Even before the pandemic hit, CoderZ’s successful engagement of students in cyber robotics learning had made its virtual coding tournaments an international phenomenon. In 2019, the vast majority (98%) of surveyed educators stated that the content delivered by CoderZ League’s predecessor, the CRCC, provided a foothold for computer science and STEM learning. And a whopping 100% reported that their students were engaged. “Our model works for both in-class and remote learning,” said Yerushalmi. “So, no matter where students are, CoderZ makes robotics far more accessible to them now and in the future.”
“Due to the pandemic, we were unable to meet in person and construct a physical robot, so students who wanted to continue growing their robotics skills were given the option of participating in CoderZ,” said physics teacher Sean Martin who served as the team coach for RoboGriffins. The RoboGriffins team formed through the Philadelphia Robotics Coalition, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting robotics programs in the city’s public high schools.
Most of the students on the team had previously focused on the mechanical side of robotics. “Students were eager to learn more about coding as it is a crucial component to our usual robotics activities,” Martin explained. “What appealed to us the most about CoderZ was that whatever code you wrote had an instantaneous effect on the robot. There was no waiting for things to compile, and there were no abstract exercises. You wrote a code, and immediately saw what the robot did as a result. The fact that the visual presentation is as appealing as it is certainly helped too.”
The RoboGriffins team took advantage of other CoderZ offerings before writing their world championship code. About 12 students on the team also completed the Amazon Cyber Robotics Challenge. In addition, most of those 12 completed at least three units in either the Cyber Robotics 102 curriculum or the Python Gym course.
“School closures due to COVID-19 were what led to us seeking a virtual platform like CoderZ in the first place,” said Martin. “You allowed us to continue our work of spreading knowledge of robotics in spite of the lockdowns and we are very grateful for it.”
Educators who would like their students to learn or refine their coding skills in a fun, competitive format can still sign them up for the CoderZ League Sprint Challenge, which will run until March 31, 2021.
CoderZ is an innovative and engaging online learning environment. Developed for students in grades 2 and above, the gamified STEM solution allows student to work at their own pace, easily programming real and virtual robots from anywhere in the world. The platform enables students to acquire computational thinking, problem solving and creativity skills, together with coding and STEM learning, all via a flexible and scalable virtual solution. For more information go to www.gocoderz.com.
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