The organisation promotes computer science.
Croatia has become a full member of the International Bebras Committee, an international organisation that promotes computer science and computer thinking through the organisation of international competitions, both among teachers and students, and the wider public as well, reports 24sata.hr on 8 July 2017.
Bebras is designed to make it easy for children to participate in online competitions that consist of a series of challenging tasks developed by experts from over 50 countries. The competition was founded in 2004 in Lithuania with 779 students, and in 2016 it included 50 countries and more than 1,600,000 participants. The organisers of the Bebras competition in Croatia are the Learning Associates association, the Croatian Association of Computer Scientists and the Algebra School, with the support of CARNet.
The initiative promotes the development of computer thinking from the first grade of elementary school through solving problematic and logical tasks, creating strategies for analysis and problem solving, and programming, which gradually introduces students to the world of digital technology.
In Croatia, a large number of children, teachers and parents are interested in the competition, demonstrating the need to encourage children to adopt digital competencies, algorithmic approaches and logical conclusion skills. Bebras gives everyone an equal opportunity to participate so even the youngest students can discover their interest in computer thinking and computing, said Lidija Kralj, the vice president of the Learning Associates.
Valentina Dagiene (Lithuania), the chairwoman of Bebras Council, congratulated Croatia on entering into full membership, which is an outstanding success for the first year of the implementation, and emphasised the engagement of the Croatian team in including the youngest pupils. Wolfgang Pohl (Germany) commended the efforts of the Croatian team which included more than 5,000 students from more than 200 schools.
The first competition in Croatia in November 2016 attracted 209 schools and 5,927 participants, making Croatia one of the most successful countries in the first year of the contest (together with the USA, Russia and Germany). In Croatia, pupils competed in five categories. Regardless of the category, students had to solve 15 challenging tasks within a 45-minute time limit. Participation is free for all students, teachers and schools, and they can prepare in the CARNet Loomen online environment.
In 2017, the Croatian team prepared the first tasks for this international competition, and all seven tasks passed the selection process and will be used for this year’s competition in November. One of the Croatian tasks has also been included among the twenty best tasks.
Algebra uses the tasks developed within the project for the digital education of children, as part of its successful Digital Academy programme, since the tasks help children develop logical thinking skills and thus represent an excellent platform for understanding computer logic and further skills like coding.
More information about the activities of the project in Croatia can be found here.