The winners of the second national Scratch coding competition in Guyana have been announced. More than 80 teams from eight regions of Guyana participated in the challenge,

which required students in the 1st – 10th grades to create a Scratch animation project reflecting their research about the effects of climate change on their community or country.

Georgetown International Academy’s Team Green took the first-place prize, while Queens College, ‘Gotta Scratch that Itch’ and Aurora’s ‘Team Sunflower’, as well as Queens College ‘The last minute gang’, shared second place. Lima Sands ‘School Coders’ and LimaSands_Team Inspiration claimed third place, with Central Mahaicony’s ‘4TGirls’ in fourth place and Bartica Mayor ‘Team Creative Hands’ and Kaneville’s ‘Ebank GoldenAchievers’ tying for fifth place.  The Lake Mainstay club received special honors by winning the coveted “Director’s Trophy” for excellence, outstanding citizenship, 4 or more teams entered into the competition and outstanding research.

All students will receive certificates, while the top 3 overall teams and coaches will also receive cash prizes.  In addition, the top teams from each region will also receive certificates and medals. The top regional teams included teams from region 1 Port Kaituma, region 2 Aurora-Team Sunflower, region 3 Bell West_Coding Club, region 4 Georgetown International School, region 5 Central Mahaicony_4TGirls, region 6 West Canje Club, region 7 Bartica Mayors Office_Creative Hands, and and region 9 Tabatinga_Team Red.

More than 50 teams from STEMGuyana’s learning pods program participated in the competition, demonstrating the significant role that afterschool programs play in developing students’ skills and interests in STEM.


Members of the Lake Mainstay team (STEM Guyana photo)

The competition was sponsored by support from the IDB, Tullow Oil, GTT, and select members of the Guyana Diaspora. The Ministry of Education was also credited for allowing afterschool programs to exist and flourish in several school facilities.

“We are thrilled with the level of creativity and dedication shown by all the participating students,” said STEMGuyana Operations Manager, Ms Alisha Koulen,  spokesperson for the competition. “They worked tirelessly to research the topic, develop animation concepts, and bring their ideas to life using coding logic and engineering design principles.”

The scratch coding competition provides an opportunity for students to strengthen their soft skills like collaboration, communication, conflict resolution, innovative thinking and leadership skills.  Students also get to hone their skills in coding and design, while also raising awareness about important issues such as climate change. The competition also helps to foster a love of STEM subjects and encourages students to pursue careers in these fields.

When asked what the greatest challenge in hosting such a large and innovative national event, STEMGuyana Director Karen Abrams stated that, “the ability to scale and manage such a large number of teams was the biggest challenge. However, the automated platform which we created will allow us to scale the event to hundreds, even thousands of teams. The entries were graded through the platform by college students in the US, but our organization is currently working on an artificial intelligence component which will allow for complete automation of the scoring of thousands, even millions of entries which will be useful as we expand the competition throughout the Caribbean and Latin America.”

According to Abrams, the competition will help identify areas for improvement, but overall, the event’s operations were relatively smooth once the participants got used to the software.  The sponsors and organizers of the Scratch coding competition congratulate all the winners and participants and express their excitement for the next coding event which is scheduled for July 2023. (STEM Guyana press release)