students from Sandwich Secondary SchoolTeam 10, students from Sandwich Secondary School, confer on a problem while training Friday for the annual high school computer programming competition.

High schoolers in training for computer programming competition

A record number of high school students filled UWindsor’s computer science labs for a workshop on Friday, November 20, in preparation for the 12th annual Windsor Regional Secondary School Computer Programming Competition.

Ziad Kobti, professor and director of the School of Computer Science, says it is an opportunity for students to experience UWindsor’s lab and facilities first-hand.

“UWindsor created this competition and over many years has established a reputation as a place for the very best in the area to come and compete,” says Dr. Kobti. “Software engineering is one of the fastest growing fields in the world and these students will have great jobs waiting for them when they graduate from our programs.”

In December, teams composed of three students each will code the answers to five questions, as a live scoreboard reveals who has solved which problems. The workshop is fairly male dominated, but a growing number of female programmers are participating, including 10th grader Jenna Alzaeri from Académie Ste Cécile International School.

“I’ve been programing since I was about seven years old and competitions like this are great because I like to test my capabilities compared to other people,” says Alzaeri.

Adam Wong, an 11th grader from Sandwich Secondary School, is a returning competitor who says he’s more prepared this year.

“We program a lot in high school but we don’t get a chance to apply it,” Wong says. “We are here to challenge our skills.”

Eric Pickup is in his final year at Sandwich Secondary and says it is a great feeling to type something into a computer and watch it solve things on its own. He’s already been accepted to UWindsor’s computer science program.

“Windsor had the best and most personable open house,” says Pickup. “I actually met Dr. Kobti and he was really nice and talked to me about extracurricular activities and student life, in addition to academics.”

Kobti says it is worth the effort to stay connected to the youth.

“Google, Microsoft, IBM and other big companies are offering our undergraduates very well-paid jobs, extending offers almost a year before they even graduate. We can’t keep up with the demand,” he says.

The official competition will take place on Friday, December 4, followed by an awards ceremony. Spectators can follow the live scoreboard starting at 2 p.m. at

Interested high school teachers and coaches can find more information and sign up at

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