Secondary School Challenge winners announced; More than 14,000 units completed

Over the summer months, students around the world have been taking Udacity classes for a chance to win an all expenses-paid trip to Silicon Valley, sponsored by Battelle. On their trip, Sebastian Thrun, Udacity CEO, will take the winners on a tour through the Udacity offices and the Stanford Intelligence Labs.

Since June, 408 teams competed with over 2,591 students participating in the challenge, and seven team have been named the winners:

The Top Teams are:

  • Team Renaissance from Bergen Country Academies, NJ
  • Team NYC from The Dalton School, NY
  • Team Freehold from Freehold High School, NJ
  • Gerard’s Team from San Francisco de Asis, Dominican Republic
  • Team Daphne and Aaron from Needham High School, MA
  • Team FlyingNinjas from Texas Academy of Math and Sciences, TX
  • Team DEE35 from Calday Grammar School, UK

The rules were simple: two team captains, who must be attending secondary school, can form a team. From there, captains recruit teammates, who do not have to be attending secondary school, and accumulate as many completed course units as they can for points. On August 24, Udacity tallied up the numbers of completed units to determine the winners. The results were impressive — across all of the teams, 14,862 units were completed!

Throughout the summer, Udacity saw secondary school students cultivating their own learning communities through the Udacity forums and through social outlets. Some teams set up Facebook groups where they could help each other with problem sets and programming. One team even turned the challenge into a fundraiser for The School Fund by soliciting sponsors for each unit completed.

Feedback from students has been tremendous. As one student stated (summarizing the many emails and posts we have received), “Udacity classes are a way to learn things I wouldn’t be learning in school.” In a survey, 99% of students polled said that they would like to continue taking Udacity courses, even during future vacations!

High schools have taken note as well. At Battelle STEMx network high school in Ohio — eSTEM Academy of Reynoldsburg — has announced that they enrolled 41 students in Udacity’s Introduction to Statistics and 49 students in Introduction to Physics this fall semester for credit. Their goal is to help drive high school students to excel in college-level courses.

Both challenge sponsor, Battelle, and challenge partner, the Conrad Foundation, helped promote the competition and are now exploring how to further promote online learning opportunities for high school students. Ultimately, the motivation and achievement show by high school students taking and completing college-level courses in STEM has been inspiring.

  • Pablo Albarracin

    Awesome !!, I´m part of the Gerard's Team !!!

  • jelly

    Whooo! This is great news 😀

  • Saurabh Mukhekar

    Looking awesome I was involved into Gerard's Team.kudos to all our team mates spirit !

  • janeen

    So proud to have been on Gerard's team!!!!!!!!!!

  • ddr

    Gerard's Team!!! 😀

  • Perla Gutierrez

    Super congratulations!!! Team Jusix is among the ten best! We are super proud of what we accomplished. Our Summer was so much fun!!! Our leaders Julian Milosavljevic and Yunnis Ninja are the most amazing leaders I can ever imaging to have!!! Thank you to them and to Udacity for putting this together!!! It was delightful!!! 😀

  • janeen

    Thank you, Sebastian Thrun and Udacity team, for inspiring all of us and helping us on life's path. I was so impressed how Gerardo handled his team. Honored to be a Udacian.

  • David Gonzalez-Dysin

    The official top 7 teams have been announced, but how do those of us who weren't in the top 7 find out our final rankings?-David Gonzalez-Dysinger, Captain of Swagstangs

  • Mooc Fan

    Congratulations! Is your school giving you credit for the classes?

  • TheTSIN

    What an amazing opportunity. Congrats to the winners!

  • Ciaran

    When will emails be going out to all the teams showing the places?

  • Sonam Kumar

    Congrats Team Renaissance! And to me, I was a part of the team.

  • Muhammad Zahid Iqbal

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