Saturday, April 16, 2016

CGCC Computer Science Students Win 1st Place at Avnet Tech Games Competition

Two computer science students from Chandler-Gilbert Community College won first place at the 11th Annual Avnet Tech games on Saturday, April 2nd at the University of Advancing Technology in Tempe. Alec Everson and Lining Lin each received a $1,000 scholarship for their “Java Bliz” competition entry. Both students developed an IT application using Java code, the dominant software development language in the market.

“On behalf of all CGCC faculty, we couldn’t be more pleased to see our students work so hard on their applications and come home a winner,” shared Rameen Khaliqi, Computer Science Adjunct Faculty and Faculty Coach for winning team.  “Alec and Lin formed a focused and capable team which represented CGCC and our commitment to STEM education.”

Everson and Lin worked diligently to create an application code using Java 7 to successfully pass the competition with a perfect score. As far as our CGCC winners are concerned, it was all in a day’s work.  “Alec and I have a very effective partnership, the Java language and we solve problems well together,” answered Lin when asked to what they would credit their win.  “Also, we have an awesome coach in Professor Khaliqi.  He was always there for us, giving us the confidence and help that we needed to succeed,” beamed Iverson.  “It was a great experience!”

The Avnet Tech Games is an annual technology competition that provides college students with an opportunity to win scholarships by applying what they learn in school to real-world IT business scenarios. This year students competed for $34,000 in scholarships. Students also connected with IT professionals and learned more about what it takes to succeed in today’s highly competitive business market.

Careers in STEM fields are full of opportunities.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 8.65 billion jobs will be needed in STEM-related fields in the U.S. by 2016.  In addition, STEM workers receive 26% higher earnings than their non-STEM counterparts.

“The statistics are compelling,” said Patricia Baker, Computer Science lead faculty member at CGCC. “This is why CGCC is committed to preparing students for a world that is in high demand for STEM skills. Our performance at this year’s Avnet Tech Games is a promising sign that we are making progress in the right direction.”

In total, 27 students from 12 Arizona colleges and universities were awarded scholarships and nine faculty advisors received $2,700 in honorariums for leading the winning teams to victory.  The participating schools included: Arizona State University, Chandler/Gilbert Community College, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Estrella Mountain Community College, Glendale Community College, Grand Canyon University, ITT Technical Institute, Mesa Community College, Northern Arizona University, Scottsdale Community College, South Mountain Community College and The University of Advancing Technology.

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