The American Computer Science League (ACSL) was born in the Silicon Valley of the United States and has a 40-year history. It is a long-standing computer programming competition for American elementary and middle school students. The competition has been also officially certified and recommended bythe National League of Secondary School Principals NASSP and the American Association of Teachers of Computer Science and received support from worldwide high-tech & informatics companies such as Google, Adobe, No Starch Press, O'Reilly Media, Pearson, Pragmatic Bookshelf, and Wolfram. Nearly 1400 students from top middle and high schools, as well as international schools, participated in the ACSL round in China.
This year, the HQIS team, supervised by our AI coding teacher Mr. Frank Chen, achieved incredible results. Twelve students made it to the ACSL Primary School finals, and three of them won a Top Score Award. It has been an honor witnessing our young “coding masters” career! Great job!
Individual Top Scores
These achievements, reached in a very short period of time, are the result of our completely renovated curriculum. Starting from last semester, the school has implemented a world-class coding program for our students, and hired Dr. Chen Chen, as the school’s STEAM Program Advisor, and coding has become compulsory so that our students can become familiar with this important language as early as possible.
Dr. Chen said that people like Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, and Bill Gates left their mark. Great minds, of course, but there’s a thing they have in common: they started learning programming when they were very young, respectively 10, 12, and 13. At HQIS, our students start learning programming at the age of 9.
At HQIS, children learn to write coding commands, debug and decrypt lines of code when they are 9 years old. Cultivating children's logical thinking and problem-solving abilities, and exercise their patience is the core objective of this course. Some children used to like drawing, on paper, or using their IPad. Their creativity has now moved from their worksheets to the screen of their laptop. They used to solve math problems using a calculator. Now we teach them how to program complex codes that automatize calculations. Both classroom activities and homework are based on problem-based learning. Their learning speed is not important, after a period of systematic learning, students will be able to see their progress and results.
Besides our daily activities, at HQIS we select students with excellent skills who can be part of our school Coding Team and, of course, we provide training for these students, to better prepare them for coding competitions. In addition, HQIS has become the official test site for the Asia and Pacific Informatics Olympiad (APIO) and the American Computer Science Olympiad (ACSL).
These competitions are not just an excellent opportunity for students to show and improve their skills, they are also extremely important when students face the application process for top universities such as MIT or Harvard. Congratulations dear students, it’s been an honor being your coach. I hope more and more HQIS students can perform so well in future competitions!