Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

4th annual Kern Codes Student Competition winners announced


On April 17, students across Kern county remotely logged onto Zoom for a virtual opening ceremony welcoming them to the 4th annual Kern Codes Student Competition.

After reviewing the contest rules and participation instructions, students logged onto HackerRank, a coding website where they had previously been given the opportunity to practice sample coding challenges in preparation for the event.

Kern Codes offers a unique opportunity for Kern County students to demonstrate their ability solving coding challenges in a fun and competitive environment. On the Kern County Superintendent of Schools website, Zack Safi, the KCSOS Academic Technology Coordinator, states that "The goal of Kern Codes is to introduce participants to coding and to expose students to diverse job markets, promote hands-on learning experiences and enhance problem-solving skills."

On the night of the completion, a special portal opened within HackerRank, and students were tasked with completing several pages of coding challenges as quickly as possible using their preferred coding languages and any online resources they wished to use.

This year's theme was "Mars Mission," so all of the challenges presented were connected to this central idea. Coding challenges started out easy and quickly progressed to intermediate and difficult, with students earning points for every successful submission. Participating students were divided into categories based on their grade levels and whether they were attempting the challenge alone or with a team. Students had two hours to complete as many challenges as possible before the clock ran out.

On the evening of May 2, an in-person awards ceremony was held in Bakersfield recognizing the hard work of all participants, and awarding trophies to first through third place finishers.

Those results are:

Middle School – Individual

First – Dhruv Reddy,

St. John's Lutheran School

Second – Dave Lee, Warren Jr. High School

Third – Sandhu Guntas, PBVUSD

Middle School – Group

First – (Mechanoids) Luis Legorreta & Christian Maldenado, Lincoln Junior High

Second – (Hacker_Menace) Aiden Patino, & Yael Martinez, Lincoln Junior High

Third – (Cyber_Crew) Luis Cruz, Yeshua Moreno, & William Sanchez, Lincoln Junior High

High School – Individual

First – Warren Woolf, Valley Oaks Charter School

Second – William Werner, Valley Oaks Charter School

Third – Enrique Carmona,

Rosamond High School

High School – Group

First – (Ransomware) CJ James, Jeong Ho Kim, Garces Memorial High School

Warren Woolf, a sophomore at Valley Oaks Charter School - Tehachapi, was self taught in the programming languages of Lua, Python and C#, and has competed in Kern Codes every year since its inception in 2021.

William Werner, a junior at Valley Oaks Charter School - Tehachapi is self taught in Java and Python and has been taking computer science classes at Bakersfield College over the past few years.

Justin Janssen, the KCSOS STEAM program specialist is hoping to grow the program even more for next year. He told parents and students that the Kern Codes Student Competition welcomes all levels of coding experience.

"All we want is to expose them to it and get them excited about it," he said.

For more information on Kern Codes, please visit the KCSOS website at http://www.kern.org/.