MEDWAY — Medway Middle School Principal Craig Juelis is pleased to share that two sixth grade students were recently selected as the overall winners of the Mass STEM Hub Germ Fighters Online Industry Challenge.
Sixth-graders Jocelyn Bartha and Kyla Booth worked together to produce the code that was selected in December as the overall winner of the Germ Fighters Challenge.
The Germ Fighters Challenge was one of four Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Online Industry Challenges organized by Mass STEM Hub for middle school students during fall of 2019. The other challenges were in the categories of design and modeling, computer science for innovators and makers and automation and robotics.
The Germ Fighter App is a game in which a white blood cell – the hero – needs to prevent a germ – the villain – from reaching the bottom edge by moving into its path so that the germ bounces off, similar to the game “Pong”. Students were provided with step-by-step instructions for much of the code, but also needed to draw on their prior knowledge of conditional programming to make the countdown clock stop at zero and make the germ stop moving when time ran out.
Students’ code was reviewed by engineers, software designers and professionals at Microsoft, Dell, Mathworks and Wayfair. The professionals were impressed by the traceable and well-organized code Bartha and Booth completed, and complimented their focus on making the game fun and compelling.
All Medway sixth grade students in the App Creators technology course coded the Germ Fighter App in class and were encouraged to submit their code to the challenge. Along with hundreds of students from across Massachusetts, 16 Medway Middle School students submitted their code for the challenge.
“We’re very proud of Jocelyn and Kyla for the hard work they put into their project, and it’s exciting to see them recognized by industry professionals,” technology teacher Cathy Fitzgerald said. “The Germ Fighters App challenge tested students’ skills in planning and analysis, as well as encouraged them to collaborate to solve a problem and develop a solution which are valuable skills for the technology industry.”
As the challenge winners, Bartha and Booth each received a certificate and a Rocketbook Smart Notebook. In addition, they earned a class visit from Microsoft professionals who will complete an activity with students. This visit is being scheduled for the coming months.
Bartha and Booth will be recognized for their achievement at the Medway School Committee meeting on Thursday, Feb. 6.