Chris Roffey, creator of the excellent Coding Club books, got in touch to tell us about the 2013 UK Beaver Computing Competition. He says:

“This November there is the chance for all school students to enter the UK’s first Beaver Competition for FREE!

I think it is a great opportunity for all groups of students to find out, in an enjoyable way, whether they have an aptitude in Computational Thinking.

I would like to see entries from students of all age groups [for example] it would be great to see a Maths A level group entered and for them to discover that they might like to take CompSci at Uni when they had not thought of this as an option.

France had 90 000 students sit their first year doing this competition last year – it would be good to beat them!”

Registration closes on 27 October and the competition itself is 45 minute during the week of November 11th. There are four categories and the competition is open to students of all abilities. Chris points out that, “entry is only through a school and as such any individual wishing to enter would need to nag their ICT/Computing teacher.” So if that’s you then get nagging!

If you are that teacher then this is a great opportunity to do something a bit different and to introduce your students to computational thinking. The competition is all about using your grey stuff to solve problems — there is no programming and no preparation. You can see some of the past questions here. The solutions show how the problem is related to Computer Science so could even be used for future lessons.