The NCSS Challenge is an annual programming competition open to all high school students in Australia.
In 2010, over 1600 teachers and students from across Australia used the challenge as an in class activity for Year 9-12 computing studies.
Unlike other programming competitions, the challenge does not assume existing programming experience. Instead, students develop their programming skills in a competitive yet supportive environment. The challenge is aimed at computing studies students, but any student with an interest in science, mathematics or IT is encouraged to participate.
The NCSS Challenge runs for 5 weeks in Term 3. The challenge has three streams: Python (beginners), Python (advanced), and Embedded System, so that a wider range of students can participate. The beginners division involves more simple, yet engaging, programming problems. The advanced division assumes existing Python experience and involves more advanced computer science. The Embedded Systems stream, developed by NICTA, involves C programming for embedded hardware.
Teaching resources and problems are distributed each Monday morning. Students have until Sunday night to submit solutions to
the NCSS Challenge website, where they are marked automatically.
A full set of correct solutions, hints and commentary about each challenge is sent out the following week.