iCompute 2/3

Q. Do they need to learn degrees or will they only need to do right angle turns (90 deg)?

A. Yes, the kids will need to know degrees in Scratch. There is a turn right by x degrees, and a turn left by x degrees command in Scratch. If they turn in either direction 90 degrees, this will complete these turns.

Q. Is there a list of the Scratch commands they will use or how should coaches decide which to teach to make sure the kids know how to use?


A.No there is not a list of Scratch commands with which the students should be familiar, per a previous question:

  • “For Section C of the event, students will be expected to solve a movement-based task. They will be asked to navigate a sprite around a provided background using appropriate language constructs from Scratch. The event will not require multiple sprites and students will not be required to sense proximity to obstacles programmatically. We’re looking for basic familiarity with Scratch, not complex code.”
Q. For the first part of the test, will there also be examples that are for example both Input/output (an iPad)?

A. For the Computing Basics section, we will not intentionally provide an example with an ambiguous function such as an iPad being both input and output.

Q. And for this part is the name of the device going to be in the image in case the image is not clear? (For example, memory card vs network card)


A. For the Computing Basics section, we will identify the hardware or software using names and/or pictures as appropriate to the question.


Q. Are the students expected to create code that, when one button is pushed, their sprite makes its way through the provided obstacle course, or are they meant to create code that allows the sprite to be controlled by arrow keys?
A. The expectation is that the students will provide code that navigates the board, not that they will provide controls for someone else to navigate.
Q. Will the background that they are going to be maneuvering their sprite through be 2d (looking down on a walking surface, for example), or 3d?


A. The background will be 2 dimensional
Q. Is there a preferred or required method of movement that they should use to maneuver the sprite or of controlling the speed of the movement?


A. Students should use the appropriate language constructs in Scratch to maneuver the sprite.

Computer information

Computer information for the iCompute event:

The computers that the iCompute teams will be using during the event are iMac desktops running High Sierra OS (10.13) with single button mice (some might have scroll wheels).  The computers will be on with the Scratch program already loaded. Scratch runs essentially the same on Macs and PCs. Multiple volunteers will also be present in the event to assist teams should they have any issues with the computers. Please keep in mind that we have been running this event for 4thand 5th grade for several years without any issues with the teams interfacing with the hardware.

iCompute – computers?

Comment: I just found out to my surprise the computer available during the competition will be a Mac, PC’s are more common than Mac’s. I’m assuming then the hardware questions will be general to the point that the architecture either Mac or PC is not going to be relevant? I’m not familiar with the Mac’s internal architecture, I’m teaching front bus and northbridge – southbridge… Thanks

Response: (iCompute 2,3) The Basic Computing section for 2nd and 3rd grade will look at hardware and operating systems more generally and will not contain questions that are operating system specific.

Response: (iCompute 4,5) Section A questions are drawn from the primary resources (highlighted in red) on my website. These may refer to any operating system. Section A questions are drawn from the primary resources (highlighted in red) on my website. These may refer to any operating system.