BUDDING techies are in for a challenge as registrations open for the annual Riverina Inter-School Coding Championship.
Organised in partnership with Charles Sturt University and The Riverina Anglican College, the program provides the chance for students in years 7-10 to learn coding skills and put them to the test.
Charles Sturt University AgriTech Incubator Project Officer Siobhain Howard said the course and competition represent a great chance for regional high school students to develop their knowledge and skills.
"It really is no secret that coding helps kids develop skills for schooling, their future careers and beyond," she said.
"Communication is a big part of the course, and that, coupled with creativity and technological skills is just the beginning for what's ahead of these young students."
A five-week introductory course will give the students the skills they need before competing in a live competition between different levels of coders.
Normally held in person, this year's challenge will be online, but Ms Howard said the students won't be disadvantaged.
"Because there will be no travel involved, schools outside Wagga and within the Riverina will be able to attend who may have otherwise not registered," she said.
"So hopefully, there will be more registrations this year, and we encourage schools to get in early."
A maximum of two teams of three students can be registered by each school here.
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STEM teacher at TRAC Isaac Mannion said the competition was an important part of developing the region's capabilities in STEM-related disciplines.
"The course and competition aim to engage students, challenging them to think creatively to solve problems," he said.
"They will be presented with a broad range of problems around logic and maths, for example one of the easier ones may be to write code that will work out how much change is given by an ATM machine."
Despite the online switch this year, Mr Mannion said students were still keen to get involved.
"It will lack a bit of interaction with other schools unfortunately, but we will still have video conferencing so that will be great," he said.
"I've had groups of students continuously asking me when it's happening, so the interest is there."
Registrations close on August 31, with the championship to be held on September 11, 2020.