iSchool hosts fourth Lifeline Programming Challenge

Posted March 24, 2011

ACU's School of Information Technology recently held its fourth annual Lifeline Programming Challenge. Thirteen student teams from seven high schools in the area competed in the computer programming contest.

Teams of three students had four hours to solve a series of programming problems. The problems are designed to be challenging, so no team will finish early and each group of students will need advice from their coach. Ray Pettit, instructor of computer science and director of the Lifeline Programming Challenge, says this is why the word "lifeline" is included in the name of the competition.

After the first hour, if students have a problem they cannot solve, their coaches can step in for ten minutes and advise them. Coaches can use only a dry erase board and marker as teaching aids, and each team gets only three ten-minute sessions.

"It's a great learning tool for teachers," said Pettit. "It's probably the best ten minutes of the school year, because the kids are so focused on what their coaches have to say."

First- and second-place prizes went to teams from Lubbock High School, while third place went to a team from Ozona High School. Door prizes were also given to teams for other achievements, such as the most creative variable names and solving a problem on the ninth try.