Clovis North Coding Club hosts innovation challenge


FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) — The coding club at Clovis North is holding an innovation challenge.

Participants have 48 hours to create a solution to a particular real-world problem, just revealed at the start of the event:

Fresno County Health Department officials have recently been given access to tens of thousands of doses of COVID vaccines. They are looking for your help to organize an orderly system to distribute the medication.

The challenge was created by American Ambulance, a sponsor of the event. The nature of the challenge is kept secret until the event begins.

Coding club advisor and AP computer science teacher Mary Allen says students don’t need to know how to code to participate.  “They can use programming. They can use law.  They can maybe write new legislation to solve a problem, maybe do some sort of public service announcement if graphic arts is their thing. So it doesn’t have to be computing. It is an innovation.  And the challenge we’ve asked them to give us should be able to be solved in multiple ways.”

The innovation challenge is the first hosted by the Clovis North Coding Club.  It was adapted from a hackathon 11th grader and coding club vice president Daniel Wang attended at MIT who explains it is “Learning how to persevere through real-world application of a problem.”

Allen says, “Instead of calling it a ‘hackathon,’ which I explained old people like me assume ‘hack’ is something negative. So we wanted a positive connotation. So an ‘innovation’ or ‘innovative challenge’ just made sense.”

Students work virtually on teams with guidance from professional engineers and scientists.  Donations support the poverello house and prizes awarded at the end of the contest Sunday.

More information is available at

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April 29 2021 12:00 am

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