Holy Trinity students excel at Harris Challenge


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Holy Trinity junior Miles Connolly poses with the trophy he and teammates Erin Hu and Liam Kim won at the Harris Design Challenge. The trio, which called themselves Team Novo, took third in the judge’s category.

photo by carl kotala

It was a competition and a learning experience.

Twenty students from Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy teacher Pam Meier’s AP Computer Science and Programming II classes took part in the fourth annual Harris/Student Design Challenge last month at the Palm Bay campus of the Harris Corp.

Viera residents Miles Connolly and Erin Hu, along with Liam Kim (aka Team Nova) took third place in the judge’s presentation category while Squad 100/100, made up of Mason Baughan, William Boydstun, Matthew Levy and Jarod Smith, finished third in the challenge category.

Students from schools throughout Brevard County were asked to complete four challenges by developing Android phone applications.

In one challenge, students were tasked with getting a spaceship to a docking station. They had to figure out how long the ship should accelerate, coast, decelerate and glide without crashing into the station or coming up short, all while making sure they didn’t run out of fuel.

The challenges began in October and came to a conclusion April 14 when the teams brought their work to the judges.

“It was definitely a big learning experience, especially since in the programming class I’m in right now, we do C++ and we had to do all this in Java,” Connolly said. “So we basically had to learn all the basics of Java before we did all this.

“It was fun to do. My teammates, we bonded a lot more because we had to have late nights at each other’s houses to work on it. Also, it just made me more interested in the subject [of making apps].”

Holy Trinity had five teams take part in the challenge. Other students involved included Kasey Friedenreich, Jacob Liberman, Nicolas Underhill, Peter Laser, Luca Campanini, Josh Moisand, Justin Ganiban, Michael Ferrara, Ajay Das, Sunil Ghosal, Adam Roach, Harvey Jenkins and Matthew Rahmes.

Meier said she was happy to see two of her teams place because it’s such a tough competition. She also believes the event will only continue to grow in popularity among both Holy Trinity students and the entire Brevard County community.

“It shows them the complete software lifecycle,” Meier said. “So it’s taking what it’s going to be like in the real world [and showing them] how to develop an application.

“It also takes what they’ve been learning in science and math, some of the physics and formulas and applying it to a real world problem.”