Computer science team looks to build on past success


Photo courtesy of Pamela Ford

The computer science team looks to rebuild after losing a number of seniors from the 2017 team.

Caleb Stein, Staff Writer

Coming off of last year’s second-place finish at the State tournament and the loss of several seniors, the computer science team may have been looking at a rebuilding period, but they have continued to see success even with some new faces emerging to the forefront.

“We have done very well in the contests this year,” computer science teacher and coach Pamela Ford said. “The contests themselves are usually in two parts: part one where you take a timed multiple choice test of 40 questions, and part two where you get a list of programming problems and solve as many as you can in two hours.”

So far, the team has seen multiple top-five finishes in the written portions of the contests and some top-five finishes for the team programming portion, as well.

“The tournaments have been going really well,” senior Kyle Sorstokke said. “We have multiple members taking home individual awards, and team results are pretty good, and we even have room to improve.”

Success is something the team has had experience in recent years, and with new talent making their way up, Ford said the future looks bright for the program.

“We kept Sam Bell, who won first in state on the written portion,” Ford said. “And the rest of the members are coming along really well. We have several freshmen doing very well, and multiple sophomores and juniors doing the same.”

For members of the team who have been doing computer science for an extended amount of time, the team is an extension of their learning and another way to get better.

“I’ve been programming for seven years, so upon arriving at the high school and hearing about the team from Ms. Ford, I was excited to join,” senior Sam Bell said. “We lost a lot of good members with last year’s seniors. I’ve been happy with the number of new people coming to practices and their excitement to learn.”

The team will continue to participate in competitions and are looking to maintain their strong performances in some of the more important meets of the year, including their next competition for UIL at Prosper.

“We have some really big contests coming up in the near future,” Ford said. “We have a UIL contest coming up at Prosper. There is a tournament on March 3. We will compete in down in Houston, which is done simultaneously at multiple places around the world, and then in April we will compete in a tournament in Fort Worth that is also an international competition.”

For the team, there’s only one result to chase: making it back to state.

“We want more individual and team successes at the competitions, for sure,” Sorstokke said. “But at the end of the day, we want state for the team.”