Young honors college team finishes national contest among top 10

Contact: Jeanne Baron

Five area students competed in academic contest.

KALAMAZOO—Five academically talented middle and high school students representing a Western Michigan University program finished among the top 10 nationally in the American Computer Science League Invitational All-Star Contest, held May 26 in West Chester, Pa.

The students, all eighth and ninth graders from area schools, took part in the league's 2011-12 international competition as participants of the Academically Talented Youth Program in the University's Lee Honors College.

ATYP fielded a five-person team in the league's junior division, competing under an entry application filed by the Kalamazoo Area Mathematics and Science Center, which did not have a team to enter in the division. This was the first time ATYP has participated in the event.

Team members included Baxter Banghart and Joshua Gibson of Mattawan, Mich.; Subhodh Kotekal, Michael Orwin and Farzad Razi of Portage, Mich.; and alternate Matoska Waltz of Kalamazoo.

The team was invited to compete in the all-star round after placing 15th overall in the 2011-12 general competition. In that round, participating students have 24 hours to individually write responses to a set of questions. Competition officials invite the 15 teams with the best individual performers to take part in the all-star round.

"For that final round, team members have three hours to write a group response to the set of problems they're given," says Dr. Kelly Schultz, WMU ATYP coordinator and advisor for the team. "I guess our team responds better under pressure. We moved up from 15th place to ninth."

Academically Talented Youth Program

The Academically Talented Youth Program in WMU's Lee Honors College meets the needs of motivated middle and high school students who are searching for a challenging, fast-paced and above-grade-level curriculum. It readies participants for Advanced Placement classes and examinations. Tuition is provided by WMU and cooperating public, charter and private schools in the Kalamazoo area.

American Computer Science League

The American Computer Science League organizes computer science and computer programming contests for junior and senior high school students. The league is an institutional member of the Computer Science Teachers Association and is on the approved activities list of the National Association of Secondary School Principals.

For more information, visit or contact Dr. Kelly Schultz in the honors college at or (269) 387-3230.