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Hampton Roads Students Compete in Junior Division of WHRO's Great Computer Challenge

Back in April, WHRO kicked off the 32nd Annual Great Computer Challenge (GCC) competition with our senior competitors (grades 6-12). This past month, it was time for our junior competitors (K-5) in the

Hampton Roads community to take part in GCC, and the day was a rousing success! The GCC is a joint project of WHRO, the Consortium for Interactive Instruction and Old Dominion University that provides an opportunity to recognize student achievement, foster teamwork and introduce students to a college environment. 

On May 13, 2017, 76 teams gathered at Old Dominion University to compete in the GCC. Teams of up to three students competed in categories such as Desktop Publishing, Graphic Design, Internet Scavenger Hunt, Video Editing, and more. Each (junior) team was given a problem to work on and completed it in the time allowed, and the problems involved one or more items to produce.  

For instance, Visual Programming/Block Coding, our newest category, required students to create either a story or a game revolving around their favorite thing to do outside. The challenge had to utilize Scratch Jr. or PBS Kids Scratch Jr., an app that allows users (kids aged 5-8) to create interactive stories and games with block coding.  You can check out the winning solution here.

Other challenges included Desktop Presentations, where competitors had to create slideshow presentations on how to be an effective and successful leader. 

In the category of Desktop Publishing, competitors designed a poster or handout on their computer(s) on what kids should know about managing money. You can view a solution here. In video editing, students competed in stitching together a one-minute promotional video for Bayview Community Center’s  Odd Squad “Be An Agent” Camp.

Teams were also split up by grade level, with higher grades working on more complex problems. For instance, in the category of Graphic Design, Level I competitors made (digital) drawings of themselves in their favorite stores, using colors, lines, shapes and patterns, and Level II competitors designed a new community store, fit for three neighborhoods in a medium to large city. You can view a solution here.

Despite the complex challenges, however, students still found the competition to be really fun, many commenting on what a great opportunity GCC gave them to hang out with friends, build sportsmanship and teamwork, and hone in on their technological savviness. One student gave the day a thumbs up, saying competing in the GCC was worth it because they "got to spend time with friends,” and “play on the computer.” Another competitior, When asked what the best part of GCC was, simply exclaimed "Everything!"

Teachers and parents were happy to see the students work together in such an atmosphere conducive to learning and team-building. “It gives students an opportunity to work together and integrate technology experiences from school,” one commented. Another said that GCC helped “show and demonstrate how teamwork is a positive force in their world and community; helps get things accomplished.”

Adults present were especially impressed with the students’ eagerness to take on the day’s challenges. “[GCC] gives them something to look forward to each year. They enjoy learning new ideas, strategies, and positive ways to use the computer,” said a satisfied teacher. Overall, competitors, teachers, and adults loved how GCC encouraged spirit and teamwork, made learning about computers fun, and allowed the students to feel like they “belonged” to a club.

Thank you to everyone who made this year’s GCC such a success! WHRO is excited for what students will bring to next year’s competition.


View all the winners from the junior division.

You can also view the FACEBOOK LIVE recording of the Awards Ceremony.

Make sure you mark your calendars for the 33rd Annual Great Computer Challenge!!

  • Senior - 6-12: March 10, 2018
  • Junior - K-5: May 12, 2018

Thank you to our sponsors: Bay Diesel & Generator and Generac Industrial Power.