A group of passionate software engineers and educators have put together a company called Grok Learning and on Monday 5 August launch the National Computer Science School Challenge for 2013.
In their own words:
the NCSS Challenge: an online programming competition for high school students that teaches students to code, while they compete. This year for the first time the Challenge is open to international enrolments as well.
The NCSS Challenge runs for five weeks, starting next Monday 5th August, and is entirely online. This means that students can participate even if they have no previous programming experience, and no programming teacher at their school. We provide interactive notes to introduce the content, challenge problems to test and reinforce learning, forums where students can help each other and connect with other students, and access to volunteer tutors who provide support and encouragement through the site. The problems are automatically marked by our system, so students receive immediate feedback on their progress.
Through the NCSS Challenge we are trying to help bridge the gap between our current curriculum and the technologies curriculum we would like to see in schools.
If you know a school student (or teacher) who would benefit from this, please encourage them to give it a go, and check out their website: https://groklearning.com/challenge