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CHS students win statewide coding competition

Josie Nasekos, Nhat Van, Clark Hensley and Will Harrell


Clinton Public School District

Dr. Tim Martin, Superintendent

(601) 924-7533

Media contact: Sandi Beason, APR



CLINTON — Clinton High School students brought home some impressive hardware this week after winning first place in the CSpire Coding Challenge.


Thirty schools from around the state competed in this year’s event. Each of CHS’ four student winners received a $2,000 scholarship: Josie Nasekos, Nhat Van, Clark Hensley and Will Harrell.


“I was extremely pleased,” said Justin Odom, engineering instructor at the CHS Career Complex. “There were so many schools there with good career and technical education programs in engineering and computer science. We knew we were up against kids who knew what they were doing. I was a little surprised that we got first place but I had confidence in them. Our kids are pretty good coders.”


The CSpire coding challenge at the company’s Ridgeland headquarters featured teams of up to four students each competing for scholarships and other tech-related prizes. Madison Central High School came in second place, and Long Beach High School came in third.


The competition encouraged critical thinking and problem solving skills to solve a fun, fresh computer coding challenge during the daylong competition. Lobaki, a Jackson-based company that runs a virtual reality studio, provided demonstrations during the challenge.


“These particular students are in my Computer Science Principles class,” Odom said. “We have been programming all year with Python and a few other coding languages.”


At the beginning of the school year, students developed a web-based video game using the Scratch programming platform. Next, they did app development and created an app for Android phones. With the Python language, students manipulated images and worked on creating Web pages using HTML, CSS and Javascript.


At the competition Odom said his students worked with a mentor from CSpire.


“She told me our students completed all the challenges, and she had never worked with a team that completed them all,” he said.