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Year 8 pupil Matthew was recently invited to the Department of Computer Science at the University of Oxford as a finalist in a UK-wide computing competition – The UK BEBRAS Computational Thinking Challenge.

Reaching the final of the Intermediate age group is an impressive achievement, as 71,146 students entered the first round for the age group (12–14). Matthew was among the top 60 highest achieving pupils invited to the final round in his age group, and was presented with his finalist’s certificate at a prizegiving ceremony at Hertford College.

The 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, pupils have to try and solve as many problems as possible in the allotted time. There are six age categories. The highest scoring students from the four oldest age groups (Elite, Senior, Intermediate, and Junior) were then invited to the Department of Computer Science at Oxford for the finals over two weekends in January and February.

Professor Millican, who ran the lectures, at the prize giving congratulated all on qualifying to take part in the day, and spoke positively to all the participants who joined with Matthew from schools and colleges around the UK such as Eton, Millfield and Canford, and also from Dulwich College in Beijing (who won the furthest journey award!). Well done Matthew!