Berthold Academy, a progressive Montessori micro-school located in Reston, VA, competed in the final round of the Cyber Robotics Coding Competition during the USA Science and Engineering Festival on Saturday, April 7 at the Washington Convention Center.
The school was awarded the Grace Hopper Award for having the highest level of female participation throughout the competition. Recently, professionals in the technology field have been looking for opportunities and incentives to attract more female involvement in the science and technology fields.
Grace Hopper, a United States Navy rear admiral, was one of the premier programmers of the Harvard Mark Computer and developer of compiler related tools. She helped to create and excite interest in machine-independent programming languages, such as the earliest versions of COBOL, a sophisticated programming language that is relevant even today. Hopper, much like Katherine Johnson, NASA human computer portrayed in the acclaimed film Hidden Figures, paved the way for both women and minorities to stake their claim in ground-breaking technological advancements in U.S. collective history, in the face of racist and sexist social mentalities.
Berthold Academy is dedicated to personalizing education using the Montessori pedagogical model to educate students at the elementary and secondary levels. Founder Rodney Berthold states, “Girls these days are so ready to be recognized as leaders in our society. They are tired of sitting back and allowing the males to assume traditional roles. I am very proud of our middle school girls. They all worked very hard over their Spring Break to attempt the Cyber Robotics Coding Competition (CRCC) challenges and they completed them. Within 72 hours from the start of the qualifying round, our girls had already completed all assigned missions. Over my professional experience, I have learned that females simply need the opportunities and encouragement to grab the proverbial bull by the horns, and they succeed amazingly. I’m honored that our small school ranked so highly in this competition, and I’m grateful to have been a part of it.”
Zachary Wong and Kacey Banga served as the student delegates at the final competition. When asked what skills were gained from the experience, Zachary stated, “This event taught us to efficiently engage and value our time management skills against a deadline. We had to quickly work together to solve difficult tasks.” Female delegate, Kacey Banga, added, “I learned that even if things seem like a stretch or impossible, it’s still achievable and you can reach your goal as long as you try your hardest.”
Berthold Academy is affiliated with The American Montessori Society. Berthold Academy, established in 2015, is locally owned and operated. The school campus, open year-round, serves the families of children 6 to 15 years of age. For more information on the Montessori Method and Berthold Academy visit www.bertholdacademy.com. Call the campus at 571-313-1709 or e-mail [email protected].