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Hampton Roads area students from kindergarten through the 12th grade will have the opportunity to prove just how much they know about computers Saturday, March 25, by participating in the 16th Annual Great Computer Challenge at Old Dominion University.

Co-sponsored by Old Dominion, WHRO and the Consortium for Interactive Instruction (CII), the competition challenges students to demonstrate their skills in various computer applications and programming by solving problems they might face in the "real world." The Computer Challenge has two different divisions: a Senior Division for grades 8-12 (to be held March 24), and a Junior Division for grades K-5 (to be held May 19).

In the Senior Division competition, students in grades 9-12 will compete in the following categories: Desktop Presentations, Desktop Publishing, Graphic Arts, Music, Web Design, Integrated Applications, Visual Basic Programming, C++ Programming and Computer Assisted Design (CAD), a category new to this year's competition. Students in grades 6-8 will compete in the same categories, with the exception of C++ programming and CAD.

Past challenges for the Senior Division have included:

· You are a staff member working for the director of the SuperHuman Soccer League which consists of 10 teams. Your job is to keep track of all the scores and the different statistics of these 10 teams. In the middle of the season you find out that it is difficult and error-prone to keep all the data on paper. Since you just finished a computer course, you decide to develop a system to keep track of all the information for the league teams. You are required to provide reports to the different teams on their current league status and trends. (Integrated Applications category, grades 9-12)
· Your school publishes a phone directory each year. You have been tasked to design this year's directory. Create the cover and one page of the directory with six student entries on the page. (Desktop Publishing category, grades 6-8)

For the Junior Division competition, students in grades 3-6 will compete in four categories: Desktop Publishing, Desktop Presentations, Graphic Arts and the Internet Scavenger Hunt. Students in kindergarten, first and second grades will compete in the Desktop Publishing and Graphic Arts categories.

Past challenges for the Junior Division have included:

· Who was the person arrested for spreading the Melissa virus, and what city was he from? (Internet Scavenger Hunt category, grades 3-5)
· You are a part of a team whose job it is to build an aquarium for your town. Draw the fish and other animals that will live in this aquarium. (Graphic Arts category, grades K-2)

Old Dominion faculty and staff, as well as local business leaders, will judge the competition, which will be held in Webb University Center. First, second and third place, as well as honorable mention, will be recognized in each category. Students in kindergarten, first and second grades will be awarded superior, excellent or good ratings.

Up to five students from grades 9-12 and up to three students from grades K-8 may participate in teams for this year's challenge. Schools may enter one team in each category. Each team must provide its own computer, software and printer for the competition.

Registration fees for the conference range from $30 to $40, depending on competition level, for CII members. The cost is $85 to $95, depending on competition level, for non-CII members. For more information visit the Great Computer Challenge Web site at http://www.cii.k12.va.us/gcc.html.

This article was posted on: March 21, 2001

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Telephone: 757-683-3114

Old Dominion University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.