From 16 to 19 November, the Petlja Foundation organised a seminar at the Petnica Science Centre for primary and secondary school teachers whose students achieved the highest ranking at the SIO.
Primarily, the goal of the three-day seminar for mentors whose students achieved the highest ranking at the Serbian IT Olympics in 2018 was to allow teachers to exchange experiences in an informal environment. The central theme was organising and conducting programming competitions for primary and secondary school students. One of the goals was also to provide the Loop team with feedback on where to provide additional, above all infrastructure support to make the competitions even better.
The mission of the Petlja Foundation is, in addition to creating educational and free materials for learning programming, to promote and support computer science competitions. At the moment, higher levels of competition for primary school, as well as all levels of competition for secondary school students, take place on the Petlja.org portal and specially created environment Arena, intended specifically for competitions.
Through lectures, workshops and discussions, which included representatives from the competition commission for primary and secondary school, the participants identified some of the issues that stand in the way of making programming competitions even more popular with students. Furthermore, the representatives of the Microsoft Development Centre in Serbia, which supported the organisation of this seminar, informed the participants about the company’s initiatives, and why investing in education is a strategic goal of this company.
The representatives of the Petlja Foundation presented the possibilities offered by the portal with regard to competitions such as creating mini competitions, which are an excellent preparatory exercise for all future competitors, practice books that can be used to prepare the competitors, as well as additional improvements on the portal, which will be available soon, and which should make everyone's work easier.
The seminar participants had the opportunity to learn about the programme for Computer Science and Applied Physics and Electronics of the Petnica Science Centre.
Finally, this was only the first seminar organised by the Petlja Foundation, aimed specifically at teachers whose students have been achieving the highest rankings at domestic and international competitions for years. The idea of the Loop team is to organise this type of seminar once a year, because the exchange of ideas through direct conversation is an invaluable resource that, as we all expect, will lead to even more interest in competitive programming from both teachers and students.
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