Youth Coding League Champions Go Home with Trophies, Prizes at All-Star Party

A crowd of over 700 gathered the evening of Wednesday, May 1, to hear who would take home thousands of dollars in cash, Chromebooks, Specdrums and Tinker crates—and serious bragging rights, of course—after a semester of the Youth Coding League1.

St. Vincent de Paul’s Nathan Harris, Sahil Khot and Matthew Austin took home the Championship prize in the Technical Merit category with their winning project, "Cats," that integrated game design with music. Leona Rodriguez, Lainey Glueck and Jamie Duck from Scott County Central won second place with "Guardians of the Galaxy;" Gustavo Andrade and Grady Warren from Prodigy Leadership Academy won third place with "Music Creator and "Jumper" from Nell Holcomb, created by John Dickerson, Mark Richey and Rylen Bell won fourth place. Professional software developers judged the Technical Merit category and looked for the complexity of code and a representation of coding skills the students picked up throughout the semester.

The support of their school helped St. Paul Lutheran School in Jackson bring home first place in the Community Favorite category with Amelia Wilson, Faith Dreyer and Emily Sander’s "Food Vacation" project, and interactive project that invovled artwork uploaded by the students. Eagle Ridge’s Kaylee Mason and Gracen Thompson won second place with their Lilac Attack project. Delta Elementary, new to the league this spring, won third place with Rylan and Bryce’s "CS is the Bomb." Technical Merit champions "Cats" took home the fourth slot in the Community Favorite category. After making it through a playoff round, where one project from each school wins the chance to represent their school as a whole, Community Favorite prizes are awarded to the projects that garnered the most votes.

Youth Coding League Roster, Spring 2019. [Click to Enlarge.]

"I am so proud of everyone. Proud of the parents for supporting your kids in something so important in today’s world. Proud of the schools and coaches for stepping up and taking a lead on this. But most importantly, I’m so proud of you guys and gals. You all are true All-Stars and Rockstars to work so hard this semester," said Chris Carnell2, Co-Founder of Codefi and Director of Programs at the Marquette Tech District Foundation3 during the award ceremony at the All-Star Party.

The Youth Coding League’s competitive element builds on top of Google’s CS First4 curriculum and keeps players engaged during the regular season, as their points accrue during each session of the league. Player scores tie into their team scores, and players are evaluated based on attributes such as code documentation, completing the day’s objectives and more. Regular season top scorers included Stevey Klingel in first place, Ellianna Britt in second, Mallory Burton and Skyler Wallace tying for third all from Scott County Central and Chariti from Delta Elementary in fourth. The Spring 2019 curriculum was "Music and Sound."

Cats - 1st Place Technical Merit Winners

Food Vacation - 1st Place Community Favorite Winners

Over 300 students participated in the Spring 2019 Youth Coding League. Seventeen schools across Southeast Missouri competed, including the 32nd Judicial Circuit, Central Middle School, Delta Elementary, Eagle Ridge Christian School, Kelso C7, Meadow Heights, Nell Holcomb, Oak Ridge, Prodigy Leadership Academy, Richland R-1, Scott County Central, Kelly Middle School, Sikeston’s 5th and 6th Grade Center, St. Henry in Charleston, St. Paul in Jackson, St. Vincent de Paul and Trinity Lutheran School.

The Youth Coding League is a weekly after-school program that introduces computer programming to 5th and 6th graders run by the Marquette Tech District Foundation at no cost to schools.

An expansion to 7th and 8th grades, as well as additional incentives for the kids, such as achievements for streaks on statistics and engaging objectives within each session, are planned for Fall 2019. Nearly 40 schools have signed on so far for the Fall 2019 Youth Coding League season.

View regular season scores, championship projects and more at

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