Thursday, May 21, 2009

HSCC Testimonial: Angela Bell (Los Angeles)

There are young people from all over the country preparing to compete in the 2009 national BDPA High School Computer Competition (HSCC) to be held in Raleigh NC. I thought it would be enlightening for all of us to hear from the voice of one of those students. Here is testimonial from Angela Bell, an experienced HSCC student in our Los Angeles chapter:

The 2008 National BDPA Technology Conference was an event that will remain in the back of our minds for years to come. It was held at the Hyatt regency Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia. All twenty-three teams arrived determined and hungry for college scholarships.

The Los Angeles chapter team consisted of five very skilled and talented individuals; Tyrone Hinderson, Candace Wade, Terrell Allen, Evan Angcos, and myself (Angela Bell -team captain). The team arrived with first place in mind. We wanted to redeem ourselves from the 8th place loss in 2007.

[L-R: Candace Wade, Kelly Hill(chaperone), Tyrone Hinderson, Evan Angcos,
Clyde Hill (chaperone), John Malonson (coordinator), Angela Bell, TBD and TBD]

The first event was a Round Robin. In this event each team was seated at a table and had a stack of cards in front of them with questions on BDPA history, HSCC history, general computer history and programming language. There was a facilitator who asked each team a question and that team had 15 seconds to answer it. Our team did very well answering 100% of the questions correct. After this event our spirits were high and we believed that we had a chance to blow Southern Minnesota (2007 winner) out of the water.

Moving on to the second event, which was an individual Quiz Factory test. Quiz Factory is a test that contains multiple choice, fill in the blank and short answer questions on BDPA history, HSCC history, computer history, computer knowledge, and programming language. In this event, each individual person from every team would be placed in a room and use the Quiz Factory program on a computer to complete the test. The test is 15 minutes long and has well over 400 questions on it. We did well in this portion of the competition with each team member answering between 150 and 400 of the questions correctly.

Moving on to the last, the longest, and the most important part of the competition, building a dynamic web application from business case requirements. In this portion of the competition, each of the teams are in a banquet hall with one computer per team. Each team was given identical prompts containing specific content for a web page and were to create a working page with all of the given information. Our team felt prepared for this because we had practiced numerous times on completing a similar task. We pushed through a few snags but ultimately completed the application. We presented our solution and believed that we did well enough to be placed in the top 5.

During the closing ceremonies, we arrived and were all anxious to hear of our victory. The top 5 teams were announced and we were all shocked. We couldn't believe that our chapter was not called. We went into the hallway and saw that we received 13th place and at that moment our hearts sank. We vowed to place in the top 5 for the 2009 competition and this year’s team is determined to make that dream come true.

We train over 800 students each year. We need our supporters to help us raise the funds necessary to work with students like Angela. Won't you make a secure online donation today?

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