The #Coding4Mandela competition took place online on Tuesday, December 5, the tenth anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s death.
Prior to the competition, the Leva Foundation produced a report in which it stated that students were required to practice using the RANGERS coding app. There are interactive tasks on the app. The programmers had to tell an object where to go. Teams had thirty minutes to complete the eleven levels.
The team with the most level completions became victorious. If there is a tie, the team that made the fewest mistakes wins, and the team that finished the task in the quickest amount of time advances to the final tiebreaker.
These were the top ten winners:
- Sunford Primary School, South Africa
- IT Wizards, Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Ocean View Library, South Africa
- 3T- Turbo Teaching Team, Croatia
- OS Sveti Sava Novi Grad, Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Belhar Library, South Africa
- Helene Lange, Germany
- Valhalla Park Library, South Africa
- Mthatha High School, South Africa
- Hwidiem Ghana Team A, Ghana
Students practiced last week at the Astra Special School in Montevideo in preparation for the competition.
The creator of the coding curriculum, Randal Rousseau, began instructing children at the Belhar library using an app called TANKS, which teaches coding without requiring a computer.
Subsequently, he relocated to the Bonteheuwel Library, where he trained teacher assistants to teach students how to code for two hours every day for two months. Rousseau also started little competitions.
The head coach of the Belhar Coding Club, Ricardo Antha, claimed that his daughter drew him into the world of coding. He began by enrolling in diploma programs in Python and Java Script. He believes that teaching coding should be covered in the curriculum.
He adjusts his teaching strategies based on the students. Since some children learn best through visual stimuli, I would use films like TikTok to help explain topics to them. Others rely on audio, so I have to spend hours explaining things to them before they understand.”
Keziah, Antha’s daughter, began learning to code in July of last year. “I like it when I have to code my own things – my own games and animation,” she explains. She wants to be able to attend a private college abroad on a scholarship. She says that coding “can help them with school work and problem solving” and encourages others to do the same.
Belhar High student Aidan Nissen, 15, said, “I like coding because it broadens our brain… I enjoy that while we’re studying, we can also have fun together.”
Shadwell Overmeyer began coaching in May of this year. He volunteers at Valhalla Park Library and instructs at Belhar Library, where he believes that “the children needed purpose.”
“The alternative is drugs and gangsterism and we had to be that catalyst that brings change to the community and coding is doing a brilliant job at that,” said Overmeyer.