One Step Closer to Saving the World: How CodeMonkey helped kids code in Israel’s 5th Annual Cyber Olympics

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Find out how one country got its youngest generation excelling in STEM in just 5 months!

To help students develop STEM skills at a young age, Israel holds an annual Cyber Olympics. Schools from all over the country participate, making it a pluralistic event that exemplifies how technology can bring people together. During the five-month long competition, students engage in programming, mathematics, electronics or robotics in the hopes of representing their school in the finals. The top students then get to participate in the Cyber Olympics Championship – an epic event filled with fun and challenging activities.

With 45 million lines of code written during the Cyber Olympics, this year’s competition hit record numbers.

How does it work?
In the beginning of the year, every school in Israel gets invited to join the competition at no cost to them, making it a no-brainer for schools to get their students involved. This roll-out translates into a seamless way of bringing STEM education to schools across the nation. 

Over 300,000 students and 1,700 schools participated in total, making this the most successful year yet. 

What programs are used?
Along with Minecraft and Plethora, CodeMonkey offered its coding curriculum for the competition. The coding challenges were open to 2ⁿᵈ-6ᵗʰ graders who were able to choose which platform they would like to learn on. Over 180,000 students played CodeMonkey during the competition.  

What was the the competition like?

  • Part 1: The Cyber Olympics kicked off with a two-week long warm-up in late January. During this time, students played CodeMonkey’s Coding Adventure to help them prepare for the competition ahead.
  • Part 2:  After the warm-up, students entered the competition stage, which lasted from mid-February to early March. Students solved new CodeMonkey challenges that are not available to the general public. In this stage, students were scored on their performance.
Schools got really into the competition. To cheer their students on, some teachers came to school dressed up as monkeys.
  • Part 3: Students who got this far, entered the third stage where they learned the coding concept of recursion. The Israeli Ministry of Education provided schools with an online bootcamp that ran from mid-March until the final event. The bootcamp helped prepare students by offering them learning materials that covered the difficult coding concept.
  • Part 4: The final stage took place on April 1ˢᵗ at a large stadium in Holon, a city close to Tel Aviv. Ninety schools made it to the finals, and each sent four of its top students (two boys and two girls) to represent them in the Championship. These finalists had to solve never-seen-before challenges on recursion.

This year’s winners were from Ramat Gan, Ramat Hasharon, and Modi-in Reut, cities from the center and north of Israel. The Israeli Cyber Olympics was a huge success – solidifying it as an event that students will continue to wait for year-round. 

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