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Timber Creek High School’s Novice and Advanced teams win CodeQuest 2018
Posted on 04/27/2018
Timber Creek Programming Team

For the fourth consecutive year, Timber Creek High School’s Novice Computer Programming team earned a first place finish at Lockheed Martin's fourth annual CodeQuest Orlando Competition.


“It is an amazing way to end the school year. The students put in a lot of hard work, and they deserve it. Our novices have high expectations on them. Because of this, they know what type of work they need to put in, and the rewards for doing so,” said Kyle Dencker, Timber Creek Computer Science teacher and 2019 OCPS Teacher of the Year. “Next year, these same students will join the advanced group more determined to stand on the stage with a trophy in hand. However, we do not compete at these competitions to win. We compete to have fun. I will say, holding a trophy is a pretty fun occurrence too.”


Timber Creek’s Novice team members are senior Matthew Kaushagen, junior Lior Barak and sophomore Meghan Lin. All three are currently enrolled in AP Computer Science A and spent hours after school practicing their programming and problem solving skills.  


Of the 115 teams competing, Timber Creek’s Advanced team also placed first and Apopka High School’s Novice team placed second.


Using one computer per team, members used their collaboration skills to help plan and develop solutions to the 15-20 problems within 2.5 hours. Novice and Advanced teams solve the same problems, but Novice teams contain students who have less than one year of programming courses, like AP Computer Science A or Foundations of Programming, that teach a contest programming language. Whereas, the Advanced students, will have more than one year of programming classes.


Orange County Public Schools could send up to six students per high school (one advanced and one novice team). In the Advanced category, senior Brett Fazio (four years) led his teammates junior Daniel West (three years) and sophomore Natalie Longtin (two years) to their victory.   


Fazio has competed at this competition all four years, placing 1st locally and 3rd nationally in the Novice division (2015), and 3rd (2016) and 2nd (2017) in the Advanced. This was Longtin’s second year at CodeQuest. She placed 1st locally and 2nd nationally (2017). This was West’s third year on the team, and first time at CodeQuest.


Each first place team won a 3D printer for the school and each student won a Raspberry Pi. With both printers going to Timber Creek High School, the 3D printers will be separated to enhance the career and technical education programs at the school.   


In addition to the competition, CodeQuest provides hands on experiences with training simulators and a question and answer panel where students can speak with developers.