Announcing Cemetech Contest #10: Physics Programs + Prizes
Published by KermMartian 10 years, 8 months ago (2013-06-20T01:34:20+00:00) | Discuss this article

Calculators are pocket computers. That's one of the tenets underlying the calculator enthusiast community, where we enjoy pushing the limits of graphing calculators to write complex games, utilities, and programs. It follows that graphing calculators are a perfect platform on which to learn to program. Indeed, many of Cemetech's administrators are professional engineers, scientists, and academics who learned to love STEM subjects after experimenting with programming their graphing calculators. We at Cemetech want that proud tradition to continue for decades to come, as STEM skills become ever-more-important in wide swathes of jobs and hobbies. A great way to inspire people to get down and dirty with anything is to challenge them to compete, and motivate them with great prizes.

Cemetech has held nine programming competitions to date, the most recent of which challenged entrants to port popular computer programs to calculators or to modify existing programs to add new features. That contest offered fame and prestige as prizes; for this contest, we have four brand-new TI calculators as prizes, plus some smaller secret prizes that will be sent with the calculators. The topic of Cemetech Contest #10 is educational Physics programs. The rules are very simple:
  • Write a program or game that teaches concrete physics skills, such as equations and problem solving. Make it as educational or game-like as you want, as long as it teaches specific physics skills.
  • Your program may fall into one or both of two areas: (1) particle forces (like particles in magnetic/electric fields, or planets and orbits) or (2) projectile motion. Any program not falling into at least one of those categories will be disqualified. Post in the attached topic with any questions.
  • Programs must be in TI-BASIC, Axe, or ASM. All programs will be tested on a TI-84 Plus Silver Edition running under Doors CS 7.2, so any libraries offered by Doors CS 7.2 may be used.
  • Contestants may not release any code or binaries before the end of the contest, including asking for programming help publicly or privately. Violators will be disqualified.
  • The contest will run for 8 weeks, ending August 7th, 2013, at 11:59:59pm Eastern Time. No late entries will be accepted.
  • All contestants must maintain a topic in the Contests subforum on Cemetech, including a first post that mentions the name, programming language, and topic of the entry.
  • Judging will be performed by the Cemetech administrators (all of whom are disqualified from entering). Results will be posted no later than one week after the end of the contest.
  • A grading rubric will be released very soon. Entries will be graded primarily on their educational value, polish, and appeal to students. Although the focus is on education rather than gaming, educational games are allowed as long as they teach concrete physics.
I'm sure you want to hear more about the prizes. We are very proud to offer not two, not three, but four brand-new calculators. The grand prize winner will be awarded one TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition, one TI-Nspire CX CAS, and additional secret prizes. The second and third place winner will each be awarded one TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition and additional secret prizes. The TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition is TI's brand-new color-screen TI-84 Plus-series calculator, and if you don't already have one, this is a great opportunity to try out its new math features and of course write new color programs and games. The TI-Nspire CX CAS is aimed at older high school and college students who need the power of a symbolic CAS, and if you win one, you'll also have an opportunity to practice your Lua skills. All participants will earn Cemetech flair in the form of signature bars and respect.

So what are you waiting for? Getting coding, inspire students to use calculator for more than math, and win some calculators!