Almost 100 middle school students from more than 40 schools across New Jersey recently participated in a cyber robotics coding competition held at NJIT. They were finalists in the New Jersey Cyber Robotics Coding Competition, an exciting online event in which students used a cloud-based simulation platform featuring a virtual, 3D animated robot.

The competition is the brainchild of the Intelitek STEM and CTE Education Foundation, which partnered with the Department of Education of New Jersey to hold this event. Similar competitions are held in many other states across the country.

“This competition is a great way to get middle school students excited about computer programing and problem solving,” said Craig Gotsman, dean of NJIT’s Ying Wu College of Computing (YWCC). “Since computing is not yet taught comprehensively at all schools in New Jersey, we welcome and support any opportunity to introduce young minds to this important topic. Bringing the competition to NJIT is also a good way to introduce these students to all NJIT has to offer. Hopefully many will return in a few years to continue their studies as Highlanders.”

More than 4,500 students from 96 schools across the state took part in the competition. Students participated through gaming and competition in STEM, coding and tech literacy using CoderZ, a cloud-based platform that features a 3D simulation of common robotics kits.

As part of the competition, students used virtual 3D robots to perform complex tasks and missions. Through the tasks, students learn programming basics and compete within their class, school and district to win stages and progress to the finals.

The winners of the NJ Grand Finale were:

  • First Place – George Washington Middle School
  • Second Place – Wanaque Elementary
  • Third Place – Edison Intermediate

Additional awards were also given:

  • Inclusiveness Award for highest student participation – Walnut Street Middle School (81%)
  • Grace Hopper Award for highest female participation – David E. Owens Middle School (92%)