La Plata Team Wins First Place in High School Programming Contest

LA PLATA, Md.—A team of students from La Plata High School earned first place in the University of Maryland’s 23rd Annual High School Programming Contest held Feb. 23 at the College Park campus. The event tests student’s knowledge of computer programming skills and problem solving abilities and requires teams to solve several challenges.

The team is composed of Cody McGinnis, sophomore, and seniors Thomas McGinnis and Alex Smith. The team coach is Richard Williams, a computer teacher at La Plata. A team from North Point also competed in the event, along with more than 25 teams from high schools in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.

The three-hour competition required student teams consisting of four members each to attempt to solve several programming challenges in Java, which is a computer programming language, using the Eclipse programming environment, on Apple iBooks. Teams submitted their problems electronically to judges who tested the challenges for accuracy and completion.

As the first-place winners, the La Plata team received a $2,000 prize, a trophy and recognition certificates. The event is held annually and was sponsored by the University of Maryland’s Department of Science, Institute for Advanced Computer Studies and College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences, Dante Consulting and Papa John’s. For more information, visit

Source: Charles County Public Schools

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