On Saturday, while volunteers were busy using their braun to unload items for the Big Flea, a group of students used their brains to compete in the University of Virginia High School Programming Competition. Teachers Amy Bagliani and Jennifer Landry took 5 students (Nalin Jha ’19, Sean Auwater ’17, Ben Li ’18, Simon Chen ’17, and Triff H'Doubler ’19—the first female from North Cross to compete!). The competitors had 4 hours to complete 12 programs which become progressively complicated as they moved along in the competition. For each program solved, competitors received a colored balloon. While the students were competing, the teachers "spent the afternoon, talking with teachers and sharing ideas. There were two we took away as great ideas for the school," notes Mrs. Bagliani, which she says she'll share with Upper School Director Mark Thompson.
When the students emerged from their hours spent in front of computer screens, one team, consisting of Nalin, Sean and Ben, had completed 6 programs out of the 12 correctly, and were attempting to fix a problem on the seventh when the competition completed. Triff and partner Simon were worried they were going to come home empty handed, but Mrs. Bagliani reassured them she'd be excited if they just got one balloon. However, Triff and Simon did better than just one balloon, "Triff came running over saying, 'look we have four balloons!' I was so proud of them and cannot wait to see what they accomplish at Code Quest [a nation-wide programming competition sponsored annually by Lockheed Martin in late April]." Perhaps the greatest accomplishment, remarks Bagliani, "Did I mention that I was able to get five students to agree to leave at 6am on a Saturday?" From now until Code Quest on April 29 in Washington, D.C., eight students, guided by Bagliani, will be perfecting their skills each Saturday morning in preparation for the big event. "It's really exciting to see," notes Bagliani.
The Crossties Blog provides timely updates about activities from the campus of North Cross School.