Stamford Public Schools (SPS) announced Cloonan Middle School Seventh Grader Lila Gow was one of only 10 students statewide to earn recognition by Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz in the COVID-19 Computing Challenge. Launched in May, the Lt. Governor’s COVID-19 Computing Challenge: A Statewide Challenge to Address Global Concern invited students in grades three through 12 to work individually, or as a team, to propose ideas for apps, websites and/or computer programs that could help defeat the spread of the disease, and aid and inform Connecticut residents.
Students from across the state submitted 372 entries. Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz, Department of Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona, Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Sibongile Magubane, South Windsor CTE Curriculum Specialist Steven Albrecht, and members of the Council on Women and Girls Education & STEAM Subcommittee and Steering Committee highlighted 10 winning student entries.
Gow’s entry, a website concept called Lockdown Escape, was among the 10 featured in a live-streamed VirtualShowcase, on June 30, 2020. Gow described being inspired by her own personal boredom during quarantine and her difficulty in finding resources online. Gow proposed a new community driven website, which featured recommendations for age-appropriate activities including movies, crafts, recipes as well as indoor and outdoor activities that students could safely participate in during quarantine.
Each of the students not only described their winning projects, but they also fielded questions from a panel, which included Education Commissioner Cardona.
“Throughout this challenge, our students stepped up and exceeded our expectations … our students have shown that they have the ability to make a meaningful difference in people’s lives,” said Lt. Governor Bysiewicz.
The Computing Challenge is an example of the State of Connecticut’s efforts to design and evolve college and career pathways by offering students unique, engaging and relevant learning opportunities that allow them to gain the experience needed to compete for the high-tech, high-skill, and high-wage careers of the 21st Century economy.
“The ingenuity of the solutions submitted through the Coding Challenge shows that when we effectively engage the people we serve—our students – and give them a platform to amplify their voice they exceed expectations time and again!” said Commissioner Cardona.