Pearson Announces Winners of Student Coding Contest

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Students around the country come together to share their talent and vision for how to help their peers learn.


Although programming jobs are growing at double the pace of other jobs, computer programming is not even offered in 90 percent of U.S. schools, according to To help increase the awareness of the importance of programming education, in 2013, undergraduates from around the U.S. came together to celebrate their vision for how to help others learn and compete in Pearson’s Student Coding Contest. Judges watched as each contestant made a case for each of their apps. They then gathered to discuss the merits of each application and returned with the results.

To view a short video of the students who participated in the Pearson Student Coding Contest, visit

Pearson’s Strategic Marketing Manager, Higher Education, Yez Alayan, said:
“Only two percent of students in the U.S. are currently studying computer programming. If we triple that to six percent, we'd close the gap between students and jobs, driving $500 billion in economic value to our country. We need to exponentially increase the number of students exposed to programming education, and we need to start right now.”

The students who won the Pearson coding contest were rewarded with cash for their creative applications that may greatly enhance student learning and success.

  •     First place $10,000: Mike Purvis, University of Hawaii, Hilo

o    Module to integrate with Pearson course content with existing university websites

  •     Second place $5,000: Wilson Johnson, University of Texas, Dallas

o    Education and social media all in one on your mobile device

  •     Third place $1,000: Tracy Oguni, University of Texas, Arlington

o    Study Buddy, an Android application to help students manage the common problem of scheduling their assignments and study time

The panel of external judges brings a wealth of education technology experience. The six judges chose the final three winners. They all hail from diverse backgrounds and have a critical eye for what helps improve both teaching and learning.

  •     Rutgers University: Rick Novack, Associate Vice President, Continuing Education & Distance Learning
  •     Iowa Community College Online Consortium: Ann M. Jenkins, Instructional Design and Training Specialist
  •     Universal Technical Institute: Bryce H. Peterson, Senior Vice President, Information Technology
  •     Texas Christian University: Romy Hughes, Associate Director & LMS Director
  •     Education Management Corporation: Scott Gasper, Course Management Systems IT Manager

Education Management Corporation’s Course Management Systems IT Manager, Scott Gasper, said: “The Pearson student coding contest was a great example of empowering today's youth to go outside of their comfort zone and build innovative solutions for the betterment of others. The students who participated learned lifelong lessons about technology, working with others and how to work under a timeline, all important for the youth of our world to understand as they enter the workforce.”

To join the conversation around coding on Twitter, use #AlwaysCoding.

Last December, Pearson participated in the Hour of Code campaign, an unprecedented initiative to help 10 million students and adults learn computer programming during Computer Science Education Week, December 9-13. The campaign was led by and was designed to “demystify” computer science and call attention to the benefits of learning this foundational skill.

About Pearson
Pearson is the world's leading learning company, with 40,000 employees in more than 80 countries working to help people of all ages to make measurable progress in their lives through learning. For more information about Pearson, visit

Media Contact: Stacy Skelly, stacy.skelly(at)pearson(dot)com

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