The Madison?Central High School team celebrates their first place win.
The Madison?Central High School team celebrates their first place win.
Students at Madison Central High School won $12,000 in scholarships and prizes last week at a C3 Coding Challenge sponsored by C Spire.

St. Andrew’s Episcopal School finished in third place and students won $4,000 in scholarships and prizes.

There were 60 high school kids from nearly a dozen schools competing across the tri-county area. In addition to the challenge, students were able to meet and interact with Pepper, a four-foot tall humanoid robot from SoftBank Robotics America that can do everything from move to interpret emotions based on voice tones.

“We live in a software-defined world where code directly impacts just about every aspect of our life,” Carla Lewis, CIO for C Spire, said. “Computer science drives innovation and creates jobs throughout our economy, but we need to do more to encourage schools to offer courses and for young people to pursue IT as a viable career.”

The competition involved students using basic coding elements to move objects.

“It was a great learning experience, allowing us to really integrate with the IT World,” Parth Malaviya of MCHS said. “My biggest takeaway would be teamwork. Even though Java programming may not be considered a ‘team sport’ it still requires a great emphasis on peer to peer interaction, illustrating that the ability to work as a team is crucial to the success of the individual.”