PSCSTA Programming Contests

Upcoming PSCSTA Programming Contest
December 9, 2017


Registration for the Dec 9 contest is now closed to new registrations. 

You may still fill out permission forms and pay the entrance fee.  If you have already registered and would like to review your status, please check

General Information

Sponsored by TEALS

Sponsored by TEALS

Middle & High School students will solve programming problems in teams of 1-3 people with 1 computer using any programming language(s). Teams will compete in their division and the top three teams in each division will be awarded with medals and recognition. All participating students will also have a chance to participate in a raffle for additional prizes.

Keynote Speaker

Jeffrey Friedberg, Chief Trust Architect, Microsoft.  See bio

Time, Location and Cost

  • 8:30 am – 3:00 pm (lunch provided)
  • Microsoft Commons, Microsoft Campus, Redmond, WA
  • $30 per team, need-based scholarships available

Tentative Schedule

08:30 am Check-in
09:00 am Intro and Keynote
10:00 am Practice problem
11:00 am Contest begins
12:00 pm Lunch (contest does not stop)
02:15 pm Awards/ Raffle

Prepare for the PSCSTA Programming Contest

Rules & More Details About the Contest


  • Only 1 computing device, 1 display, 1 keyboard, and 1 mouse may be used by each team. This also means that no phones, tablets or calculators can be used during the contest.
  • Your team may not access the Internet for any reason during the contest
  • Your team cannot reference any past code or materials during the contest. The only exception to this is the use of a local (not online) API for your language(s)
  • Your team will be provided with a packet on how to read input from a file in the following languages: C++, C#, Java, Perl, Python, Racket, and Whitespace. If you will be using a language not listed, email right away.

More Details

During the contest your team will be assigned a judge. This judge is someone who is either studying Computer Science in college or is currently an industry professional. When your team thinks they have solved a problem correctly you will call your judge over, they will plug a flash drive into your computing device and run your program with their super secret judges data. They will visually inspect your output, if it matches correctly they will award your team 60 points. It is important that you call your judge over every time your team believes they have completed a problem. Please check out the Practice Problems section below to get a good idea of the structure of the problems you will be presented with.

Tips and Tricks

Supplies to Bring

  • Post-it notes to help track problems
  • Paper and writing utensils to solve problems on paper

What to do when it starts

  • Read all the problems first
  • Solve the easy problems first (this builds up your confidence and gets you some quick points)

Practice Problems, Solutions, Data

The zip files linked below contain past packets, student data, and judges data. Everything you need to practice with your team before the contest.

Past PSCSTA Programming Contests


December 13th, 2014

This contest was hosted at both the UW Paul G. Allen Center for Computer Science and Engineering and Microsoft, Redmond. Over 350 students formed 124 teams of 1-3 students and spent the day solving programming problems.

All of the materials for this contest are linked below.