Senator Riley Middle school in High River was full of enthusiastic students on Thursday.

Over 100 students gathered in the gymnasium for a 'hackathon'.

Senator Riley teacher Monique Pederson organized the computer coding event that had eager students lining up to get in.

"They were incredibly excited. We offered it out to the entire student population and about one-third of our kids decided to participate today, and they were banging down the doors at 8:20 looking to come in and get signed in early."

They had multiple coding challenges lined up courtesy of Callysto, a data science and digital literacy skills learning program supported by the federal government.

Pederson says the genesis of the idea came a few months back.

"At a teachers convention this year in February. I went to a session that was lead by Callysto and they were telling us about what programs they offer, and they offer this 'hackathon' and they said all you need to do is give us a date and help us set up some tables and chairs and we'll come and run the whole thing for you."

Callysto had representatives working hand in hand with the teachers throughout the day. 

Callysto representatives in the photo below are, from left to right: Ishruna Muniyat, Communications Specialist; Eric Lee, Data Scientist; Ayush Chaudhari, Data Scientist; Elliot Negelev, Project Manager and Mary Grant, Education Specialist.  The Senator Riley teachers are, from left to right of the Callysto banner: Dominique Pedersen, Breanne Granson, Cassandra Nabozniak, Randy Morrow, Amanda Poland and Lorraine Bills. 

Callysto team members and Senator Riley teachers Callysto team members and Senator Riley teachers.

And Pederson added the excitement and engagement of the students has been fantastic.

"I am... incredibly excited by how engaged they all are in the challenges. I wasn't sure how they would feel about doing these drawing challenges at first and we haven't had a single problem. Everyone's engaged, raising their hands, helping each other out... googling what a pentagon is, it's been wonderful."

One of the challenges the students faced was 'drawing' a pentagon amongst other challenges as well as a Pokémon character through coding.

The Foothills School Division will also be replicating the event on June 26 and 27 at the Okotoks Junior High School.