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Panhellenic Racecar Challenge

Panhellenic Gymnasio Robotics Competition “Racecar Challenge”

in collaboration with the non-profit organizations Mathisi Initiative and Junior Achievement Greece

based on the middle-school racecar program miniRACECAR designed and offered by the Beaver Works Summer Institute (BWSI) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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The Panhellenic Gymnasio Robotics competition Racecar Challenge, in collaboration with the nonprofit organizations Mathisi Initiative and Junior Achievement – Greece, is open to students of all Gymnasio schools in Greece, working in teams of 2 to 4 people. The guidance of a teacher from their school is required. The competition will take place on Saturday, June 18, 2022 at Pierce – The American College of Greece. It is based on the middle-school race car program miniRACECAR designed and offered by the Beaver Works Summer Institute (BWSI) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. To participate in the competition, students must have first successfully completed BWSI’s miniRACECAR course which they can attend online at no charge between November 2021 and June 2022. The miniRACECAR course is offered in English. Students will receive a certificate from BWSI evidencing their having completed the course, as will the teachers who will have mentored them through the course. The Racecar Challenge winning team and its accompanying teacher will have the opportunity to represent Greece at BWSI’s final racecar competition in the summer 2022 held on MIT’s campus. They will also qualify to attend the last week of BWSI’s program immediately preceding the final challenge, on the MIT campus.

Registrations

Registration for the Racecar Challenge will open on January 16, 2022. Seven teams chosen at random by lottery among the public school teams which will have completed their registration by December 15, 2021 will receive a free car kit.

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The Racecar Challenge

The Racecar Challenge will take place on Saturday June 18, at Pierce. All teams’ autonomous cars will first go through 4 timed trials and will be ranked in function of their time. The top 8 teams will then compete in pairs, and the winning 4 teams will compete again in pairs. The winning 2 teams will then compete in the final round, the winner of which will qualify to represent Greece at BWSI’s final competition.

BWSI miniRACECAR Course

To participate in the Racecar Challenge, students must have first successfully completed BWSI’s miniRACECAR course, under the guidance of their teacher. The BWSI course is available online in English at no charge.

The course was designed and is offered by BWSI for middle-school students with no or little prior knowledge of programming and robotics. It is an impressive and rigorous program for which BWSI issues a certificate upon successful completion. The course guides students through the programming and assembling of a racecar which will be able to autonomously run through a track with a certain set of obstacles. The course can be fully completed either while assembling the physical car if available, or, in the absence of the physical car, through BWSI’s miniRACECAR and course software simulation. The competition however will be based on the physical car.

The course aims to help students develop their knowledge and skills in programming, robotics and technology, linking theory to practice. Students will receive instruction in the following subjects:

  • Programming (Python)
  • Computer Vision (OpenCV)
  • Robotics (Racecar)

The objective is to provide Gymnasio students with an opportunity to work in teams under their teacher’s guidance, to acquire knowledge in a project-based manner, to develop their skills in programming, robotics and technology regardless of prior experience or knowledge, and to cultivate skills such as problem solving, creativity and teamwork.

First Prize and Certificates of completion from the Beaver Works Summer Institute

Students who will have successfully completed BWSI miniRACECAR course online, as well as their accompanying teacher, will receive a certificate of completion from BWSI. The successful completion of the course is required to participate in the Racecar Challenge in June 2022.

The team that will be distinguished in the Greek competition, along with its accompanying teacher, will have the opportunity to represent Greece in the international competition that will be held at the Beaver Works Summer Institute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the USA in the summer 2022. The selected team that will participate in the international competition will have the additional opportunity to attend the program of the last week of BWSI’s summer camp on its premises before the final competition.

Technical Support

For the teachers who will have registered for the BWSI course and will have their team registered for the BWSI course and the Racecar Challenge, a technical support team coordinated by the Racecar Challenge organizers and liaising with BWSI will be available throughout the BWSI course duration.  

Key Dates

September 30, 2021

Opening of registration for the teacher presentation.

October 15, 2021

Teacher presentation.

November 15, 2021

Opening of registration for students and accompanying teacher to the BWSI miniRACECAR course and to the Racecar Challenge.

December 15, 2021

Registration deadline for student team to be eligible to participate in the car kit lottery.

January 16, 2022

Registrations for the BWSI miniRACECAR course and the Racecar Challenge close.

June 15, 2022

Completion of the BWSI miniRACECAR course (latest possible date, the course can be completed earlier in function of the teams progress).

June 18, 2022

Racecar Challenge at Pierce – The American College of Greece in Athens, Greece.

August 1, 2022

Beginning of the attendance by the Racecar Challenge winning team of the last week of BWSI summer camp and final competition pre-trials.

August 7-8, 2022

Final BWSI Racecar Challenge in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Collaborations

This project is a collaboration among Pierce – the American College of Greece, Mathisi Initiative and Junior Achievement.

Pierce – The American College of Greece

The mission of Pierce is to provide a holistic education to form intellectually independent, morally responsible, socially engaged global citizens. “Non ministrari sed ministrare” (“Not to be served but to serve”) defines our institutional character and our aspiration for our students.

Offering high quality, personalized secondary (Gymnasium – Lyceum; International Baccalaureate Diploma Program) education, Pierce is one of three divisions of The American College of Greece (ACG), the oldest and largest American-based, comprehensive educational institution in Europe. 

Mathisi Initiative’s is a non-profit organization founded in 2019 by a group of volunteers, and its mission is to facilitate access to educational programs of outstanding quality to all students in Greece, regardless of their economic or academic status.  Among other projects, it has been working with BWSI to promote access to their program to Greek students.

Junior Achievement Greece is a non-profit organization which was founded in Greece in November 2005 by the initiative of the Greek Federation of Industries. Junior Achievement Greece conducts educational programs for all age-groups that aim to bridge the gap between education and the world of work. They are designed to inspire, encourage and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy, support them in creating their own jobs through innovative and experiential educational programs on entrepreneurship and financial literacy, as well as to engage them in activities that stimulate life-long learning, positive change, and ultimately help them reach their full potential. 

Contact us

For any queries, please contact the faculty member responsible for the competition at Pierce at racecar@acg.edu.