The Supercomputing Challenge has been an ongoing program in New Mexico since 1990. It is dedicated to increasing interest in science and math among 6th through 12th grade students by introducing them to computational science. During the academic school year, teams of students complete computational science projects.
Each team of one to five students and a sponsoring teacher defines and works on a single computational project of its own choosing.
Sponsors of the Challenge provide mentors, time on the supercomputers, tutorial sessions, and awards at the end of the year.
The program has no grade point, class enrollment, or computer experience prerequisites. Participants come from public, private, parochial, and home schools in all areas of New Mexico. The important requirement for participation is a real desire to learn about science and computing.
The Supercomputing Challenge culminates with a presentation of the projects that are judged by several professionals from around New Mexico in a competition for awards of trophies, cash, and scholarships for the individuals and computer equipment for the schools. The awards ceremony is held at Los Alamos National Laboratory in April. Participants tour the lab and hear talks about current research during the event.