## Where next? – The Kestrel Challenge

The Kestrel Challenge Format

The challenges will be run in schools using the Bebras infrastructure but with some new problem types.

Each Challenge will have three sections:

5 Blockly problems testing syllabus area one in a fairly straightforward way – only one solution

(2 points each)

5 Blockly problems testing syllabus area one – only one solution

These problems may have distractor blocks and ask students to combine several aspects of syllabus area one

(4 points each)

6 longer problems that test programming skills and the computational thinking skills outlined in syllabus area two

These can be solved using

(8 points each)

**Four age categories:**Elite, Seniors, Intermediate and Juniors**Time allowed:**1hour**Aim:**To solve as many problems as possible the time allowed. It is expected students will attempt all section 1 and 2 problems and then attempt two of the section 3 problems (although credit will be given for solving more!)Each Challenge will have three sections:

**Section 1**5 Blockly problems testing syllabus area one in a fairly straightforward way – only one solution

(2 points each)

**Section 2**5 Blockly problems testing syllabus area one – only one solution

These problems may have distractor blocks and ask students to combine several aspects of syllabus area one

(4 points each)

**Section 3**6 longer problems that test programming skills and the computational thinking skills outlined in syllabus area two

These can be solved using

**any programming language**. Although it is OK to use documentation built into an IDE, searching the internet and looking at syntax guides is forbidden.(8 points each)

An example Blockly question

**Logo Maker:**

A new country has been founded from five small, friendly countries. A program is required that can be used to create its new logo. Using only the blocks supplied, write a program that draws the shape shown. You may alter the variable values but you must keep the line length equal to 100 units.

An example longer question

**Entwined Sequences:**

Examine the series of numbers shown below:

2 1 4 3 8 5 16 7 32 9 64 ...

2 is the 1st number in the series, 1 is the 2nd number in the series, etc.

Using any programming language, create a program that finds the sum of the first 10,000 numbers.

Submit the first 10 digits of the sum as your answer.

(Answer: 2824934064)

Specimen challenges

Coming soon.

Preparation

The early questions will require you to be familiar with Blockly. A tutorial system that also includes some engaging challenges can be found here:

blockly-games.appspot.com

You will be required to be familiar with a modern programming language for solving Section 3 problems. Suitable tutorials can be found here:

Programming

You will need to be familiar with the sections in the Kestrel Syllabus (see below).

A carefully structured Python tutorial aimed at able beginner programmers can be found here:

computer science circles

blockly-games.appspot.com

You will be required to be familiar with a modern programming language for solving Section 3 problems. Suitable tutorials can be found here:

Programming

You will need to be familiar with the sections in the Kestrel Syllabus (see below).

A carefully structured Python tutorial aimed at able beginner programmers can be found here:

computer science circles

Kestrel Challenge Syllabus

Syllabus Area One:

- Strings, Output and Input
- Mathematical and Logical Operators
- Conditionals
- Loops
- Functions
- Lists and Arrays*
- Classes and Objects*
- File Input/Output*

Syllabus Area Two:

- Logical Thinking
- Algorithmic Thinking
- Decomposition
- Pattern Identification
- Abstraction
- Evaluation
- De-bugging

* Students in Junior and Intermediate age categories will not be set problems that require an understanding of the asterisked statements.