The Bebras Computing Challenge (American homepage, international homepage) is an international challenge that introduces students to computational thinking. Founded in Lithuania in 2004, it has now spread to more than 60 countries and more than a million participants, including more than 50k in the United States last year.
One thing I like about Bebras USA is that it has really has taken root in the midwest and mountain states, which have not historically been as well-served by computer science enrichment programs as the coasts. I like Bebras’ focus on accessibility, both in terms of geographic outreach but also its structure of different divisions, beginning from very rudimentary to very advanced. It also provides data to the schools where the challenge is proctored to help them identify aptitude, understand how students are developing, and see where their students can use additional assistance. Plus, Bebras’ mascot is the beaver, just like (and for the same reasons as) ours.
Recently, Daphne Blokhuis, the USA lead at Bebras, sent an email blast to the Computer Science Teachers Association, to help let teachers know about the challenge and how they can register their schools for the exam. If you’re an American computer science or math teachers, you should consider signing up; if you’re a student or a parent, you could forward this to your math or science teacher and suggest they consider signing up. If you’re not an American any-of-these, you can find your country’s organizational information here.
Your students can participate on any day from November 6 – 17. If you have questions, you can email Daphne: daphne [at] bebraschallenge [dot] org.