Bebras Challenge | A Fun Way To Challenge Your Computational Thinking

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tl;dr: Bebras Challenge is for school students only.

Over the years, several ingenious and unorthodox competitions have come up in the field of computer studies. Across the globe, more and more people realize the importance of developing analytical skills and computational thinking. One of the easiest ways of challenging yourself for the same is to compete in the Bebras Challenge!

The idea of the challenge was born in Lithuania by Prof. Valentina Dagiene from the University of Vilnius. The first contest, or you can say the trial run happened on September 24, 2004. Since then, most of the major countries have become their full or provisional members. The challenge usually occurs in the second week of November, where the members observe the World-Wide Bebras week for solving the tasks. There are also all year round Bebras activities organized by the members. 

Bebras Challenge – What is it all about?

Bebras was started as an international initiative aiming to promote computational thinking and informatics among school students of all ages. The idea is to nurture the reasoning skills of school students and prepare them for real-world problems they would face in the future.

The challenge consists of short problems known as Bebras tasks that you need to solve online. These tasks are engaging and fun, and all you need is your logical thinking to work out the solutions for them. The number of tasks varies from 18-24, which you need to solve within 40-55 minutes. You can find the resources to prepare for the challenge here – Bebras Brochures. There are a total of 67 member nations for the contest with India being one of the members. Each member nation decides the rewards for the contest according to their preference. 

Bebras Challenge – Success Stories From India

Over the past 16 years, several students have come up and made a significant name for themselves in these challenges. The innovative ways they apply to solve these tasks has certainly helped them in their future endeavors. Indian schools like the Walnut School Fursungi have made a significant impact by sweeping away most of the rewards in these challenges. 2019 saw 178239 school students from India compete in the coveted challenge. Neeraja Patil, a student at Walnut School Fursungi, was the first runners-up in India. Walnut School Fursungi also had Ruturaj Harpale, Aryan Harpale, Nirav Chavan, and Ayaan Sayyed who came first in school.

Indian schools like Delhi Public School (DPS), GD Goenka Public School (New Delhi), etc., have regularly participated in the Bebras Challenge and their students have been winners across several divisions. With time the overall participation has increased immensely and also the rankings of these students have improved. 

Am I eligible for the Bebras Challenge?

The challenge has been divided into different categories to incorporate school students of all ages. The categories begin right from the age of 5 years and get divided into 6 distinct categories. The categories can be more or less depending on the number of participants involved.

The division may differ a bit according to class level and options of schooling in different countries. The member nations do not need to implement all age groups. Only a few countries have the lowest age group.

Why should you be paying attention if you are a school student?

There are olympiads like International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI) solely for school students to nurture their skills in programming and informatics. The Bebras Challenge is a relatively new name in comparison to it, but if you want a fun way of learning with activities all year round, then you can surely go for it. Also, if you are new to solving problems related to analytical and computational thinking, then the Bebras Challenge could be a great way to get started. 

Bebras challenge is around the corner but because of the pandemic situation, a final date is yet to be announced for it. For more details about the contest, visit the official site here – Bebras Challenge. To visit the official Bebras India website, click here – Bebras India

The challenge will allow you to progress gradually as a problem solver that would eventually help you with competitive programming if you decide to indulge in that. Who knows, you might be the next best programmer on CodeChef! This is Ashutosh signing off. Till then, keep coding!

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