3rd RACECAR Challenge

April 13, 2024

3rd RACECAR Challenge

April 13, 2024

What is it?

The 3rd Panhellenic Competition, Racecar Challenge, hosted by Pierce – The American College of Greece, and organized in collaboration with the non-profit organization Mathisi Initiative, with the support of the MIT Club of Greece, is based on the miniRacecar program, designed by the Beaver Works Summer Institute (BWSI) of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

In Racecar Challenge, the autonomous racecars which teams of students will have programmed in the miniRacecar course will compete through autonomously racing on virtual racetracks with specific parameters. Τhe successful completion of at least the first 3 Labs of miniRacecar by April 8, 2024 is required to participate in the 3rd Racecar Challenge

The course MiniRacecar and the 3rd Racecar Challenge are open to any student in Greece enrolled in Gymnasio or in 1st Lykeio in September 2023, and who is part of a team of 2 to 4 members working under the guidance of a teacher of their school or an educator from a non-profit educational organization. Students and educators registering for miniRacecar will also have free access to BWSI’s Python Core, an optional Python tutorial which students may want to complete before starting miniRacecar.

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

Students who will have successfully completed at least the first 3 Labs of BWSI miniRACECAR and/or Python Core by July 28, 2024, as well as their accompanying teacher, will receive a certificate of completion from BWSI. As mentioned earlier, the successful completion of the miniRacecar by April 8, 2024 is required to participate in the 3rd Panhellenic Racecar Challenge, but students who will not be ready by April 8, 2024 will still have the opportunity to work on miniRacecar until July 28, 2024.

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 BWSI in the USA in the summer 2024. 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. Boarding and traveling expenses of the winning team and its accompanying teacher are not covered by the organizers or BWSI. If the winning team cannot travel to MIT’s campus the first week of August, it will receive support from BWSI during the last week of BWSI’s camp to prepare for BWSI’s final challenge and to participate in BWSI’s final challenge virtually.

 

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Pierce American College

Who is it for?

Teachers/Educators

For students to participate, they need to be supported and registered by a teacher at their school or an educator in a non-profit organization. The teachers are responsible for ensuring that their students form teams, for registering them, for supporting them through the educational program miniRacecar, and for supporting them for the Racecar Competition. They will receive a certificate of teaching completion from the BWSI at MIT.

Teacher or Educator Eligibility Criteria

miniRacecar and 2nd Racecar Challenge is open to:

Students

Students can participate in teams of 2 to 4 members, and must be registered by a teacher at their school or an educator from a non-profit educational organization. Upon completion of the miniRacecar course, they will receive a certificate of completion from the BWSI at MIT. Completion of miniRacecar is required to take part in Racecar Challenge.

Student Eligibility Criteria

BWSI’s miniRacecar and Python Core are open to students:

      • Enrolled in Greece in 1st, 2nd or 3rd Gymnasio, or in 1st Lykeio in September 2023,
      • With little knowledge of programming (Python), although for miniRacecar, we strongly advise students, in particular students in 1st and 2nd  Gymnasio, to already have good familiarity with Python,
      • Forming teams of 2 to 4 members,
      • Working under the guidance of a teacher at their school or an educator from a non-profit educational institution,
      • who are NOT either listed on the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Sanctions list (https://sanctionssearch.ofac.treas.gov/)  or who are NOT citizens from U.S. embargoed or sanctioned countries (See: https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/sanctions-programs-and-country-information).  Note that such lists may change from time to time,
      • Who have completed registration by October 17, 2023 at 18:00.

Racecar Challenge is open to students:

      • Having met the requirements to attend miniRacecar,
      • Having completed at least the first 3 Labs of miniRacecar by April 24, 2023.

Why participate?

I will build a STEM project, and I will learn programming in Python, Robotics and even Computer Vision.
I will attend a high-quality course, designed and offered by the BWSI at MIT!
I can  attend miniRacecar and participate in Racecar Challenge for FREE!
When I complete miniRacecar, I will receive a certificate from BWSI!
I can work online with my teammates and without the physical car, thanks to the course simulator!
The Racecar Challenge’s winning team will participate in BWSI’s camp and final race.

How to participate?

1. Registration

Registration for miniRacecar, and/or Python Core and Racecar Challenge are now closed for this year.

2. Attending miniRacecar

Completing miniRacecar should require approximately 70-80 hours, but this depends on many factors, such as the student’s prior knowledge and experience, his/her ability to quickly finish the system etc. The course is comprised of 5 labs at the end of which the student is asked to complete a coding activity to test his/her newly acquired knowledge. MiniRacecar is fully supported for distance learning and includes the simulator RacecarSim which simulates the behavior of the physical vehicle based on the student’s programming.
Students and educators registering for miniRacecar will also have free access to BWSI Python Core course, an optional Python tutorial which students may want to complete before starting miniRacecar, depending on their level in Python. BWSI Python Core is considered to require an average of 20 hours if followed in its entirety. Only the first 2 modules of BWSI Python Core are necessary for miniRacecar.

3. Elligibility requirements

Students enrolled in 1st, 2nd or 3rd Gymnasio, or in 1st Lykeio in September 2023, in teams of 2-4 members, and supported by a teacher at their school or an educator from a non-profit organization, are eligible to register to miniRacecar, Python Core and Racecar Challenge. Participation in the Racecar Challenge requires the completion of at least the first 3 labs of miniRACECAR.

4.Useful links and Contact

For the educational program, miniRacecar, material related to system set-up here, python learning material here and training material for all the workshops can be found on youtube. For additional support regarding the training program and the competition, please refer to the Support page.

Queries regarding registration:  [email protected].
Queries about the overall program:  [email protected]

5. Key dates

September 18, 2023
Opening of registration for miniRacecar and the 2nd Racecar Challenge
October 17, 2023
Registration deadline (at 18:00)
March 27, 2024
Declaration of teams (indicative)
April 8, 2024
Completion of at least the first 3 Labs of the BWSI miniRacecar course and codes submission for participation in Racecar Challenge, at 18:00
April 13, 2024
Racecar Challenge at Pierce – the American College of Greece in Athens, Greece
July 28, 2024
Completion of at least the first 3 Labs of miniRacecar and/or Python Core for the students who will have not been able to complete them earlier but chose to pursue the course to receive a certificate of completion from BWSI
July 29, 2024
Beginning of the attendance by the Racecar Challenge winning team of the last week of BWSI summer camp and final competition pre-trials
August 4, 2024
Final BWSI Racecar Challenge

Collaborations

The Beaver Works Summer Institute at the Lincoln Lab at MIT is a place where ideas are encouraged and brought to life. It was started in 2016 in response to a challenge – to fill a gap and create a program that uses the MIT mindset to collaborate, to work together and bring college level curriculum in computer science and AI technologies to high school students. miniRacecar is one of the many courses created and offered by Beaver Works.

Mathisi Initiative is a non-profit organization formed by volunteers and whose mission is to facilitate access to educational programs of outstanding quality to all students in Greece, regardless of their economic or academic status. It is a member of MIT JWEL which introduced Mathisi to BWSI. Mathisi has been working with BWSI over the last 2 years to promote access to their program in Greece in collaboration with Pierce – The American College of Greece.

Pierce – The American College of Greece provides 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 its institutional character and its aspiration for its students. It offers high quality, personalized secondary (Gymnasium – Lyceum; International Baccalaureate Diploma Program) education and as of September 2022, Kindergarten and Elementary education. It is one of three divisions of The American College of Greece (ACG), the oldest and largest American-based, comprehensive educational institution in Europe.

Video courtesy of the Beaver Works Summer Institute

Day of the Competition and the Competition rules

Groups

 

All teams /

4 attempts /

score based on time /

8 teams get to the next stage

Quarter-finals

8 teams

will compete in pairs

4 advance to  semi-finals

Semi-finals

4 teams

will compete in pairs

to select the 2 for the grand final

Final

 2 teams

The two teams will compete in the final and the winning team will have the opportunity to represent our country in the international competition to be held at the Beaver Works Summer Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the USA, in the summer of 2023, and to attend before the final competition the last week of the BWSI’s summer program.