Arkansas Governor Launches School Coding Competition

Governor Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas has kicked off the first Governor’s All-Region and All-State Coding Competition to help promote the state’s initiative to expand computer science classes to all high schools.

The competition will feature eight simultaneous regional competitions across the state this fall. The top two teams from each regional event will receive an invitation to participate in the statewide competition, to be held in the spring, according to the governor's communications director J.R. Davis.

Verizon also announced plans to grant $40,000 to the Arkansas Chamber of Commerce to sponsor the coding competition. The competition will award a 529 college savings scholarship to members of each of the top three teams. Members of the team that places first will each receive a $2,000 scholarship award, while the second and third place teams will each receive awards of $1,000 and $500, respectively.

The school that produces the competition’s winning team will also receive an award of up to $20,000.

The Governor’s All-Region and All-state Competition will be open to students in grades 8 through 12 at public and private high schools. Homeschooled students of equivalent age will also be eligible to participate.

The state Department of Education will send out a commissioner’s memo Sept. 15 with further information, including rules and registration details.

Under Hutchinson, Arkansas became the first state to mandate the offering of computer science courses in every high school in the state. The governor is currently traveling the state on his Computer Coding Tour to promote increased enrollment in computer science courses.

About the Author

Richard Chang is associate editor of THE Journal. He can be reached at [email protected].