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The Ken Thompson Competition Series

The Ken Thompson Competition Series is a competition in which students compete in a series of engineering challenges.

What do they practice?



Team Work


 How does it work?

There are 10 -16 challenges. For each of the challenges, there is a range of points students can earn. Students are randomly chosen to work in a group of three –meaning, in each challenge the groups change. The amount of points the group receives is awarded to each person in that group. For example, if Tommy is in group B the first round and group B earns 300 points Tommy now has 300 points. If Tommy is in group D the second round, and group D earns 500 points Tommy now has 800 points after two rounds (300 for the first round and 500 for the second).

How many people compete?


12 to 24

Three Medals




Who is Ken Thompson?

Ken Thompson was the Director of the Columbia Boys Club from 1963 – 1990. He had a few basic rules: respect others, respect the facility and never give up. Scott was a member of the Columbia Boys Club from 1972 to 1985. He and thousands of other members will forever be in the debt of Ken.

Ken Thompson (1963)

Scott Ziglinski, Ken Thompson, David Harris (2017)

Previous Competitions

Location: Julianstown, Co. Meath

Gold: Ben Nulty

Silver: Charlie Wogan

Bronze: Darcy & Joshua Plunkett

Location: Tallinstown, Co. Louth

Gold: Luke McCartney

Silver: Evan Keenan

Bronze: Kim Caffrey

Location: Dunlavin, Co. Wicklow

Gold: Cathal Hennigan

Silver: Ben Allison

Bronze: Eabha Cullen