FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Sept. 30, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- TopCoder®, Inc., hosted a CS-STEM activities event for local middle school students at the 2011 TopCoder Open in Fort Lauderdale Florida this week. Youngsters interested in science with a computing theme were able to explore two new analytical and critical thinking platforms - NoNameSite.com, an innovative game site and community from DARPA for inspiring computer science, science, technology, engineering and math skill development in middle school and high school students and Zero Robotics, a high school student competition from NASA and MIT that takes arena robotics to new heights with miniature robotic satellites called SPHERES.
Nearly 50 Fort Lauderdale area middle school students enjoyed a firsthand look at the new educational game-based initiatives which are community-centric and aim to create new competitions and opportunities that will encourage young students to develop their critical thinking abilities and help build better solutions for their world. Participation in both programs is free. A special keynote address from FIRST founder Dean Kamen was an extra treat in addition to the activities. All the excitement took place amidst the backdrop of the World Championship of computer programming – the TopCoder Open.
NoNameSite.com was developed and is maintained by TopCoder with the support of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA.) Its goal is to empower kids to exercise and develop their minds through games and challenges in a competitive but safe online environment. The platform seeks to become a top destination for the grade 6-12 demographic by providing an ever changing range of dynamic and fun activities that have the potential to develop innovative thinking and become building blocks for increasingly complex CS-STEM-centric challenges. Measurement and value analysis programs will be matched with incentives and digital badges to maintain long term player engagement. NoNameSite.com platform is expected to be a fully self-sustaining commercial entity by late 2012. This will be achieved in part by corporate sponsorships and other advertising revenue streams. For more information visit www.nonamesite.com .
About Zero Robotics
Deployed by TopCoder and the MIT Space Systems Laboratory, the Zero Robotics web site provides community features as well as an integrated development environment to support a programming competition using the SPHERES satellites. As part of the fall Zero Robotics high school competition, over 110 teams will work on writing programs to complete game objectives, playing each other throughout the season. The top 27 teams will have their code run aboard the International Space Station on real satellites in zero gravity. For more information visit http://www.zerorobotics.org/web/zero-robotics/home-public .
DARPA's CS-STEM Education program seeks to increase the size of the talent pool of applicants available to secure U.S. DoD networks and accelerate the rate of CS innovation by encouraging students to enroll in college level CS programs. To accomplish this, DARPA is funding the NoNameSite.com CS-STEM program to create compelling activities and opportunities for middle and high school students to apply science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) that will increase in complexity as the student grows to achieve a long term, positive impact on the student's life and our nation's talent pool. For more information visit http://www.darpa.mil/Our_Work/I2O/
About TopCoder, Inc.
TopCoder is the world's largest competitive software development community with more than 310,000 developers representing over 200 countries. The TopCoder community builds software for a wide-ranging client base through a competitive, rigorous, standards based methodology. This methodology results in a highly consistent set of software components allowing a software-as-parts approach to application development. For more information about sponsoring TopCoder events and utilizing TopCoder's software services and platforms, visit www.topcoder.com.
TopCoder is a registered trademark of TopCoder, Inc. in the United States and other countries. All other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.
SOURCE TopCoder, Inc.