CodeDay School Helpdesk
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At the Event
Safety & Security
Rules & Legal
How are projects judged?
Judges are asked to evaluate projects on the basis of, in order of importance:
- Difficulty: given what you knew going in, how hard did you have to work to create your project?
- Creativity: how original and fun is your project?
- Polish: this is the "anything else" category, and includes things like having great UI, a tutorial level, etc.
Judges do not consider:
- How technically difficult the project is in absolute terms.
- Business plans, marketing collateral, or a pitch deck (except as part of "polish").
When does judging happen?
Judges walk around at 9am, before presentations. At least one judge will try each project, and talk to the team. Deliberation happens during presentations, so please don't create a presentation: it will only bore your friends and family.
Should we bring anything to CodeDay?
Generally, you need to bring a computer with you to CodeDay, unless you specifically requested a loaner computer or a Chromebook as part of your registration.
For Students Staying Overnight
We recommend you bring:
- A toothbrush and toothpaste.
- A sleeping bag.
- A pillow.
- A camping pad, if you have one.
For Students With Desktop Computers
While desktop computers are welcome at CodeDay, we do not have any equipment available for students to use with their desktop computers. You will need to bring everything, including:
- A keyboard, mouse, and monitor.
- Headphones. (Speakers are not allowed.)
- A wifi adapter. Most CodeDay venues do not allow participants to connect to wired ethernet.
- All necessary cables.
Can parents attend CodeDay?
For security reasons, parents are generally not allowed at CodeDay, except for the following two times:
- Kickoff (Saturday, 11am-12:30pm)
- Presentations and Awards (Sunday, 10am-12pm)
Parents may attend if they are accepted as a volunteer and pass a background check and training, or are a chaperone for a school group.
Where can students sleep?
Most students simply sleep under or around their desk, however you're welcome to sleep anywhere in the venue which can been easily supervised by our staff.
In some venues, we may have one or more designated sleeping rooms. The availability of these rooms depends on both the venue, and final attendance estimates, so we cannot confirm whether these will be available until the week of the event.
We are not able to provide blankets or pillows: please be sure to bring your own! You may also want to bring a blindfold and ear plugs.
Is there a waiver or other paperwork required to attend?
Because we'll be photographing the event, and other media outlets may be present, students, teachers, and chaperones all need to bring a signed media release form. Minors will need to have this form signed by their parents.
We will send you this form after your registration.
What will students be able to eat at CodeDay?
Although food varies from event-to-event, typical food includes sandwiches, pizza, pasta, and continental breakfast. For exact details for your event, please contact us the week of the event.
If you have a food allergy or other dietary restrictions, please let us know in the pre-event survey, which is part of the contact info/waiver signing process.
Will you provide school buses or other transportation for our students?
We cannot provide school buses or other transportation in most cities.
In limited exceptions, we will proactively reach out to eligible schools, however you are welcome to contact us to see if any support is available in your region.
Are desktop computers allowed at CodeDay?
Yes, desktop computers are allowed, however you will need to bring everything required for your computer to work, including a monitor and all cables.
Most CodeDay venues do not allow participants to use the wired ethernet, so you will also need to bring a wifi adapter.
When does CodeDay start?
Doors will be open at 11am; and CodeDay kicks off at noon. We recommend arriving by 11:30 to have a chance to meet other students, and to participate in pre-event activities.
Parents and other family are welcome to stay until the end of the kickoff, around 12:30.
Do new students really have a chance of winning an award at CodeDay?
Yes! We've found that, in general, the skill of participants does not play a significant role in who wins awards.
Remember, judges do not look at the absolute difficulty of a project, but the difficulty for each particular team. Put another way, no one would be impressed at a pro athelete competing in high school basketball. To win an award, advanced teams must also push themselves outside their comfort zone
What awards can students win at CodeDay?
Almost all CodeDays give awards for:
- Best in Show
- Best in Class - Games
- Best in Class - Apps
Judges are also encouraged to give several "special prizes" for additional teams they'd like to recognize.
I'd like to speak to someone on the phone about CodeDay. How can I reach you?
Teachers and other school administrators can call our school hotline at 888-607-7763.
(Unfortunately, as a small non-profit which serves over 10,000 students a year, we're not able to provide general phone support for parents in advance of CodeDay.)
Will my students be safe at CodeDay?
CodeDay is very safe. In over 400 events attended by tens of thousands of students, we haven't had a single safety problem. Here's how we do so:
- Venues are generally locked down to ticketed attendees, except that family may attend kickoff (Saturday 11am-12:30pm) and presentations (Sunday 9am-12pm) when escorted by their student.
- Venues are locked down by either physical security, or by staff supervising entrances to the event area. In larger venues, the event area may be restricted to a specific area of the building to provide stronger supervision.
- Students are supervised throughout the event by trained staff.
- Students are required to check-out when leaving, even temporarily.
- Minors are not permitted to leave before the end of the event, except when accompanied by a parent or guardian, or when a parent or guardian sends the student with written permission.
- Students who are permitted to leave the event are given a special high-security wristband which makes it easy for our staff to identify them.
Can students attend CodeDay with only a tablet or phone?
If you're a beginner, you can generally attend with only a tablet (we don't recommend a phone due to the small screen size).
When are the CodeDay presentations? Can I watch?
Presentations are Sunday morning, starting at 10am. Parents and other family members are welcome to attend.
What is CodeCup?
At CodeDay, CodeCup is a 1 hour session where students from each city compete to hack into simulated computers, as well as detect other hackers using real-world tools.
The event is real-time and city-vs-city, so you'll be working with local students to show that your city is the best.
One of our students won an award at CodeDay. Can we get a copy to display at school?
Sure! Just fill out this form. Please use a school mailing address to avoid having to complete additional verification.
Are you able to accomodate students with severe food allergies?
If you let us know about your food allergy in the registration process at least a week before CodeDay, we should have no problem providing food meeting their needs.
However, we cannot guarantee a completely safe environment. Students, mentors, venue staff, etc. can easily bring their own snacks in a backpack, which may contain the allergen. We do not assume any liability for harm from allergic reactions at the event.
Please send your student with an epinephrine injector, inhaler, or any other appropriate medical devices.
What prizes can I win at CodeDay?
CodeDay is not a highly competitive event, and does not generally offer prizes. (Sometimes certain activities at CodeDay, such as a video game tournament, may offer prizes, however.)
May elementary school students attend CodeDay?
Unfortunately, we are not able to accept elementary school students to CodeDay at this time.
Our school has students sign a release form for field trips. Can we bring that instead of your form?
Unfortunately, students still need to bring a signed copy of the official release form.
While your school release may indeed contain similar language, we would need to consult with our lawyers to make that determination, which is prohibitively time-consuming.
May middle school students attend CodeDay?
Yes, but middle school students won't be able to attend the overnight portion of the event.
A parent or teacher must pick up the student between 8-10pm, and the student can return any time after 7am. (We recommend 8am to have time to prepare for judging.)
Exception for School Groups with Chaperones
Official school groups may attend overnight if they provide a ratio of 1 chaperone for every 10 students attending. (Because we can't accept chaperones except as part of a school group, this does not apply to individuals.)
Exception for Students Who've Attended in the Past
Students who've attended CodeDay at least twice in the past may contact us for an exception.