Helen Denny, a grade 12 pupil at La Rochelle Girls High in Paarl, emerged as the winner of the gold medal and the CoZa Cares Trophy in this year’s Computer Applications Olympiad. This sterling achievement was acknowledged at an awards function held at Kelvin Grove in Newlands, Cape Town recently.
Helen`s achievement is a remarkable achievement, given that the Olympiad attracted more than 13 000 entrants from close to 400 schools this year. The Computer Applications Olympiad, backed by UniForum SA and organised by the South African Computer Olympiad Trust (SACOT), aims to identify, encourage and reward computer application skills in high school students.
Silver medals went to Jaco Nortier of Paarl Gymnasium and Sean Wentzel of Westerford High School. Paarl Gymnasium’s Erns Labuschagné, Richard Saunders and René Engelbrecht from the Hoër Volkskool, Potchefstroom took bronze medals home.
The Computer Applications Olympiad challenges the skills of learners in the use of productivity software packages like Microsoft Office, Open Office and Libre Office. The competition is open to all full-time school learners in South Africa, but is aimed at high school learners specifically.
The first Applications Olympiad was held in 2010 and attracted entries from more than 6 000 learners from 118 schools. The growth this year was far beyond expectations, with a pleasing number of entries from schools in under-resourced communities.
The final event in Cape Town saw 13 participants from six different provinces using their word processing, spreadsheet and database skills to create or manipulate various documents for an estate agency.
The winner, Helen, is a regular competitor in the Maths Olympiad, the Science Olympiad, the English Olympiad, the Global Olympiad, the Accounting Olympiad and many other competitions and Eisteddfods. She is the 2010 Dux of her school and has enrolled at the Stellenbosch University to read for a BA LLB.
Said Fiona Wallace, director of UniForum SA: “We congratulate this year’s winners for their excellence in a year we received so many entries. It is pleasing to see how much enthusiasm there is for this important subject among educators and learners.”