CreateHS is a newly launched website that promises a new monthly challenge suitable for youngsters who have started to learn programming and are looking for challenges - with prizes - to motivate them.
The first ever challenge from CreateHS is, appropriately enough, on the theme of learning to code. To quote from its details:
For this challenge you must create a website teaching the fundamentals of web development or any basic programming language. Don't take this too far. Entries only need to include content to get visitors started. You can do this however you would like. Be creative! If you would like to integrate a video, make a "Hello World" challenge, or a step by step tutorial - it's up to you.
To submit an entry you need to email the website URL or a GitHub link and as wel as providing your name and email address the form has fields for Age and for High School, City, State, Country and, having asked, we can confirm that this challenge is open anywhere is the world as all the prizes are redeemable online.
The entries will be judged on "creativity, challenge requirements, and design" by a panel of judges who know a thing or two about teaching coding:
Createhs seems like a good idea and we wanted to know more about it. It is the brainchild of Ehan Eirinberg who earlier this year, aged 15, set up a club at Highland Park High School in Illinois to help others learn to code.
In his own quest for help in learning to program he had discovered Treehouse, a company that offers a library of video courses on building websites and mobile apps to its subscribers. Ethan persuaded Treehouse to give free accounts to the 40 members in the club and the story was covered in the Chicago Tribune.
In turn the club has led to CreateHS:
This past summer, I spent time thinking of new ways to motivate the club members. I thought it might be a good idea to get the members involved with competitions. But as I looked for competitions in which they might want to participate, there were none that encouraged creating. They were all based on solving problems.
So I decided to create my own competition.
Ethan appears to have real talent for getting people on board and for his inaugural competition he's sourced prizes from Treehouse and recruited Daniel Brusilovsky of Teens in Tech, Zach Sims of Codecademy and Hadi Partovi of Code.org along with Ryan Carson of Team Treehouse as judges.
For this project to be a success he needs more challenges, more prizes and more judges - and of course individuals and teams who want to enter. The inaugural contest accepts entries until October 31st - and then there will be a new challenge.
So spread the word to all the high school students you know - and to potential prize donors, preferably ones who can offer online prizes so that this can continue to be a global phenomenon.