LOS ALAMOS, N.M., April 16 — More than 250 New Mexico students and their teachers will be at Los Alamos National Laboratory April 21-22 for the 24th annual New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge expo and awards ceremony.
“The goal of the year-long competition is to increase knowledge of science and computing, expose students and teachers to computers and applied mathematics, and instill enthusiasm for science in middle- and high-school students, their families and communities,” said David Kratzer of the Laboratory’s High Performance Computer Systems group and LANL’s coordinator of the Supercomputing Challenge.
About 70 teams of students from elementary, middle, and high school are expected at the event. While at the Laboratory, students will present their projects and take part in tours, talks, and demonstrations with Laboratory scientists.
Student projects will be recognized during an awards ceremony from 9 a.m. to noon, April 22 at the Church of Christ Auditorium, 2323 Diamond Drive in Los Alamos. More than $40,000 in scholarships will be awarded to student participants, along with many plaques and cash awards.
The Challenge is project-based learning geared to teaching a wide range of skills: research, writing, teamwork, time management, oral presentations and computer programming. Any New Mexico middle-school or high-school student is eligible to enter the Supercomputing Challenge.
Kratzer noted the support of nearly 100 Los Alamos employees and another 50 individuals from Sandia National Laboratories, universities and business, who volunteer to work on the Supercomputing Challenge. “Without the support of these volunteers we couldn’t provide the first-class event we do for the students who have worked so hard to get to this point. I am grateful for their assistance,” he said.