“Everybody in this country should learn how to program a computer… because it teaches you how to think”
—Steve Jobs

Please, tell me more!

What's the NCSS Challenge?

The Challenge is a programming competition for secondary school students. It’s been running in Australia for the last 11 years, and this year it’s open to everyone.

The Challenge is unlike any other programming competition. We’ll teach you how to program as we go along, rather than expecting you to be an expert already. If you’re a seasoned coder, we have something for you too - the problems range from relatively simple to mind-bendingly hard.

For 5 weeks starting on Monday 1st August, 2016 and running until Sunday 4th September, 2016, we will release a set of notes containing the information you will need to complete the week's programming challenges.

In Your Classroom

The Challenge is used by hundreds of teachers as a key part of their existing computing courses.

We provide you with all the notes and support you need to run the NCSS Challenge as a classroom activity - no software installation is required. We give you access to the content throughout the year, so you can move at a pace that suits your class. You can track your students’ progress using our teacher dashboard, and we provide expert support for any questions you have.

Enrolment in the NCSS Challenge costs $20.00 (USD) per student or teacher, per stream (with similar pricing for international enrolments).

We offer free teacher subscriptions!

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Why learn to code?

Programming (also known as coding) is how sites like Facebook and apps like Instagram are made. Knowing how to program is like having a computing super power.

Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates have all said that students should learn how to code. It’s a skill that not only teaches you how to work with computers, but also teaches you how to think about solving problems with systems.

The NCSS Challenge teaches students to code in Python 3.5. Python is an easy to learn scripting language used for many different purposes such as web applications and scientific research. Companies like Google, Facebook and Reddit all use Python in their infrastructure and web services.

Who runs this?

The NCSS Challenge is run by Grok Learning, a new education start-up from the University of Sydney. Between us we have decades of experience teaching students how to program.

Our goal in starting Grok Learning is to do more: more students in more countries; more intelligent auto-marking; more courses, projects and competitions running more times each year — which equals more fun learning.

The Challenge is supported by an army of expert tutors from universities and our industry sponsors. They patrol the forums answering questions at the speed of light.

The NCSS Challenge is possible thanks to our fantastic sponsors!

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