KODU Cup 2012
On May 23rd, a competition organized by Microsoft Albania under the auspices of the Regional Directorate of the Ministry of Education and Science, took place in Tirana and was co-sponsored by our Foundations.
75 students from public schools in Tirana took part in the KODU Cup competition where they were asked to design their own video games using virtual programming language provided by Microsoft. The event took place at the Jordan Misja School of Arts and it was attended by a large number of students, teachers and parents.
There were two groups of students – ages 9 to 13 and 14 to 17. Surprisingly, the majority of contestants were male. No matter what their age however, all students displayed great creativity, capability, and eagerness, which was a pleasure to watch.
Towards the end of the competition, while certificates were presented to each student, the three judges’ panel struggled to choose the winners. In total, there were six prizes to be awarded in three categories: 1st, 2nd and 3rd place for each of the two age groups.
Prizes were broken down in the following way:
Ivanaj Foundations as “Golden Partners” of the event contributed the 1st Prize: Kinect Xbox 360, which was awarded to Denis Paluca (8th grade) and Ardit Gavani (11th grade).
Microsoft contributed the 2nd Prize: Notebook (laptop), which was awarded to Hygerta Imeri (8th grade) and Arnold Drita (11th grade).
3rd Prize included a bag of goodies, which was awarded to Orion Dido (9th grade) and Kristi Mara (11th grade).
It was a long day, but a very joyous one for everyone involved. Through this competition, these students not only learned about the endless creative possibilities within them, but also the necessity and benefits of teamwork. The KODU Cup competition proved that if given the chance to explore, learn, grow and create, Albanian students never disappoint!
KODU Cup 2013
On May 17th, the M. & M. Ivanaj Foundation Institute again took part in Microsoft’s yearly KODU Cup event. This activity, which encourages children as young as 12 to create their own video games using Microsoft technology, was, once more, very well attended with over 40 different video games presented in front of a judging panel. One of the judges was our very own Development Manager, Ida Shehu, who was again astonished at the level of creativity and initiative displayed by so many young students in this competition.
A couple of remarkable facts are worth mentioning that made this year’s event far different from the previous one in 2012. For starters, this year’s KODU Cup had only a couple of games where the object of the game was to shoot down targets. There were also far less racing games then in 2012, with students opting to design educational games instead. Most of the educational games focused on preservation of the environment such as by getting rid of power plants or planting more trees in order to score more points.
Another interesting change was that this year’s winners’ circle included more females, 4 to be exact with two of them working as a team to submit one video game entry.
All in all it proved to be a day ripe with competition, creativity, prizes and above all, fun! Projects such as Microsoft’s KODU Cup are rare in that they aim to teach students interactively and encourage greater use of the imagination. The Ivanaj Foundation aims to uphold those qualities in its own projects and activities.