Florala student is national finalist in coding contest

Published 10:51 pm Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A Florala native who is a Troy University student is among the 21 finalists for Pearson’s third annual Student Coding Contest.


Florala native Nathan E. Smith, currently a student at Troy University was chosen is a semi-finalist in the contest. The app he’s developed is RealWorld.

The 2015 contest places an emphasis on recruiting college students and teams to develop original groundbreaking learning applications that integrate with Pearson Application Programming Interfaces or APIs. Semi-finalists include a U.S. Air Force (USAF) Academy cadet team, which consists mostly of computer science club members. As students develop their applications, they are challenged to make a positive, measurable impact on learning. The semi-finalist teams will complete the design and coding of their apps and present them to the contest judges, who will select the top three winners.

Cash prizes will be awarded to top three finalists on Feb. 5, 2016: first place ($5,000), second place ($2,500), and third place ($1,000). The winners will also present their entries at the Pearson offices in Denver, CO in February, 2016.

There are two other Alabama students who are finalists, including:

•Aaron Martin, App Name: ClassMap, Troy University.

• Jeremy Pidgeon, App Name: Are you smarter than your friends?, University of Alabama, Huntsville, AL

“Computer science is a top-earning degree and computer programming jobs are growing at two times the national average, according to Code.org. This contest, along with our Hour of Code partnership, are important ways in which we are creating new opportunities for learners to develop and showcase their refined digital skills, and it all aligns with our commitment to increasing employability and improving lives through learning,” said John Wannemacher, VP of Higher Education Strategic Marketing, Pearson.

Last year’s first place winner, University of Minnesota student, Alex Ngure, created the application CrowdLearn.