How we got more than 250,000 Israeli students to learn to code

“Programming is fun, I love computers and technology and it has an affect on our future. I want to invent something that will contribute to people everywhere” says 9 years old Amit Barlev, who has been participating in Israel’s National Cyber Championship. This competition was initiated by the Israeli Ministry of Education, in partnership with CodeMonkey and CET – The Center for Educational Technology.
In this competition, students from the aged 9-14 have been advancing rapidly through the CodeMonkey program, working hard to get the highest possible scores, and competing for a chance to participate in a final event and win some amazing prizes for their school.
The goal of the competition was to expose students all over Israel to coding, in order to encourage them to pursue high-school courses in computer science and, in the future, technological careers.

“The Israeli Ministry of Education has partnered with CET and CodeMonkey to transform a whole generation of children and support the future of the Israeli technology sector.”

Ofer Rimon, PhD. Director, Science and Technology Administration, Ministry of Education

The competition launched in December 2015 and was divided into three stages. At first students got access to 100 CodeMonkey challenges which they had to solve in order to learn the basic concepts of coding and practice. Next, students who completed stage 1 got two weeks of access to 100 additional challenges, in which they had to demonstrate the knowledge they acquired.
By the end of stage 2, over 250,000 students from over 1700 schools all over Israel had participated in the competition.
And the vote was unanimous- it was a huge success. Parents, teachers, principals- everyone was happy that their kids were coding and loving it!

The Cyber Championship
During this stage of the competition we heard from teachers telling us how students are staying after school to help other students solve challenges, how their entire school has been encouraging everyone to participate.
Pictures and videos started rolling in of CodeMonkey carnivals being held in schools in order to motivate students, pictures of packed computer rooms with children playing CodeMonkey, ceremonies in schools where they gave report cards to students who stood out and helped others. We were so amazed by the amount of positive feedback we got from parents and teachers, and we are honored that we’ve had the chance to affect the lives of so many young Israeli students.

The Cyber Championship
After stage 2 was completed, the results were counted and the top 100 schools with the highest scores got a chance to participate in mini coding bootcamps. At these camps students created CodeMonkey challenges and learned more advanced topics in math and coding.
The final event will be held next Tuesday, April 12th in Tel Aviv, where delegations from the top 100 schools will compete to win amazing prizes for their schools, but most importantly, they will compete to win the title – Coding Champions.

For more information on how you too can hold a CodeMonkey competition in your school, contact us.

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