Bearden’s first coding team has the key(board) to success


Mrs. Amy Moskal poses with her winning coding team.

Allie Gruszkiewicz, Staff Writer

Bearden’s first ever coding team received first place in a statewide competition to create and present a web program from scratch.

A group of all senior boys, the coding team made a web program that functions as a scholarship search engine. This program was rated above 26 other teams for criteria such as usefulness, originality, and responsiveness.

For winning, each team member received a $500 gift card to their choice of Apple or Amazon, and Mrs. Amy Moskal, the team sponsor, received $5,000 for her classroom.

“All these young men have a future if this is what they want to go into,” Mrs. said.

While the final stage of the competition was held last Thursday, the competition actually began in September. Students were issued a challenge from Pellissippi where they learned the rules and requirements of what they had to create within a six-week period.

During that period, the coding team met after school and on weekends to develop the coding behind their web program. For the finals, the team’s task was selling the product. In this stage, marketing skills were the most important.

As the winning team, they will also now work with patent lawyers to make this web program a reality and a tool for public use.

“When you put in a lot of hard work, people recognize that you’ve put a lot of effort into it,” senior Sebastian Soldner said.

While the team had some clear successes, the biggest problem they faced was “frustration.” Not only was the coding language difficult for them to de-bug, but they also had problems with retrieving information from the database for the search engine, seniors Adam Short and Grant Savage said.

The team is made up of both students who are proficient in programming and those who are just curious. For some, programming has always been a hobby.

“I’ve had a fascination with computer programming since I was a little kid,” senior Max Neveau said. “It’s kind of cool to see it all working and make a full-fledged website.”

Because the team is all seniors, Mrs. Moskal is working to recruit younger members. Another competition will be held in April, and Mrs. Moskal plans on letting the senior members help underclassmen recruits.

With a skill that has many potential uses, the coding team has found this experience rewarding.

“We all know and understand our program, and people appreciate that and might even use it in the future,” Soldner said. “They could even give us the funding and the licensing to continue and make something real out of it.”