Brentwood Pupil is Finalist in National Computer Challenge

Thirteen-year-old Brentwood School pupil Tabitha Williams was a finalist in a UK-wide computing competition run by the University of Oxford.

Tabitha, who is in the Second Year, was among the top 60 highest achieving students (in her age group) invited to the final round of the UK BEBRAS Computational Thinking Challenge.

Around 200 computer-savvy students took part in the competition finals held over two weekends in January and February at the University’s Department of Computer Science and Hertford College.

Reaching the final of the intermediate age group (for those aged 12-14 years) was an impressive achievement as 71,146 students had entered the first round for that group alone. Brentwood School’s Abigail Rice also made the finals but was unable to attend.

After competing in the final challenge at Oxford, Tabitha was presented with her finalist’s certificate at a prizegiving ceremony from Professor Peter Millican at Hertford College. She also had a chance to look round another college, and listen to talks about Oxford and computing.

The annual UK BEBRAS Computational Thinking Challenge, supported by Google, is designed to get students excited about computing and computational thinking. It is a problem-solving contest with questions inspired by topics in computer science.

In the first round, held in their own schools, students have to try and solve as many problems as possible in the allotted time. There are six age categories and the highest scoring students from the four oldest age groups (Elite, Senior, Intermediate, and Junior) were then invited to the Oxford finals.