Press Releases


June 02, 2017

SAN DIEGO – On Saturday, June 3 from 8.30am -12.30pm, middle and high-school students will showcase their coding skills at the 2nd Annual CODEchella Competition.  The regional event, hosted by San Diego City College, will take place in the “BT Building” in Room 203 located between 16th Street and B Street. 

Teams will compete through a series of coding challenges created and designed by local computer science teachers.  Teens will work with the high-tech NAO Interactive Robot. Students will be tested to use their coding skills to program the NAO Robot to walk, talk, listen, recognize facial expressions and even perform, the latest dance moves. 

The coding challenge also includes a “Maze Racing Sphero” contest. This involves creating code to race “Sphero Robots” through a maze-like game board.  

The regional event is sponsored by California Pathways Trust (CCPT), SB 1070 Regional Pathways,  College, Career & Technical Education (CCTE) representing San Diego Unified School District, and  Doing What Matters.   

Educators from San Diego Unified, San Diego County Office of Education and regional community leaders are partnering to create a fun competition for the students.  They hope it will inspire and prepare San Diego’s young adults to take interest and pursue careers in the growing computer science and tech industry. 

“Coding is fun and creative, and anyone can do it,” said Gail Lake of CCTE. “We’re excited to provide this opportunity for students to come together to collaborate, code and create.  This is the second year of this competition, which has grown to include students of all levels of experience, from middle school to high school.”

A special thanks to computer science teachers, CorriAnne Burgess from Kearny Highand Cristina Bisciglia from Lewis Middle School for leading this program, and Scottie Lee from Clairemont High, for creating the fun coding curriculum.  

There are an estimated 500,000 unfilled U.S. jobs require some level of computer-science understanding, yet three-quarters of the nation’s public schools do not offer any computer science courses.  Despite growing demand for jobs in the field, it remains marginalized throughout the US K-12 education system.  California is one of 17 states that does not require all high schools to offer computer science courses. 

“The need for these high-tech skills is critical to the San Diego workforce and we are so thankful to San Diego City College, San Diego Unified, CCTE, CCPT, and SB 1070 Regional Pathways for giving us the unique opportunity to teach digital literacy to our kids,” said Ashley Packard, Work-Based Learning Manager at JA of San Diego County, a non-profit that teaches kids how to get a job, start a business and manage money. 

Saturday’s competition is a part of JA Job Shadow initiative, which strives to inform, inspire, and prepare students to be successful in their future professional pursuits by giving them the opportunity to learn firsthand from working professionals.




About Junior Achievement of San Diego County:

Since 1950, Junior Achievement of San Diego County has provided life-changing programs to more than 855,000 youth—in the classroom and after school—to foster an understanding of how the “real world” works. To ensure young adults are prepared for their future, JA teaches them how to get a job, start a business and how to manage money.  Home to the popular McGrath Family JA BizTown and the new Mission Fed JA Finance Park, JA of San Diego will reach 75,000 youth from 38 school districts during the 2016-17-calendar school year. JA San Diego receives support from more than 5,600 volunteers annually, including 50 board members, and has a staff of 31 and a budget of $4.8 million. For the latest news and information, please visit: