Google announces open source contest for high school students

Google has announced a contest open to high school students during the Open Source Developers' Conference in Brisbane, Australia. The Google Highly Open Participation Contest was created to help introduce high school students to open source software development.

Students can now visit the contest page to write code and documentation, prepare training materials, conduct user-experience research, and win prizes. There are t-shirts and cash but also ten grand-prize winners that include a chance to visit the Googleplex in Mountain View, California.

Google says for the past three years University students have participated in Google Summer of Code with great results: hundreds of University students have been introduced to open source software, thousands of people across the globe have begun development together, and millions of lines of open code have been produced.

Google will work with ten open source organizations -- Apache Software Foundation, Drupal, GNOME, Joomla!, MoinMoin, Mono, Moodle, Plone, Python Software Foundation, and New Zealand-based SilverStripe CMS -- for this pilot effort, each of whom will provide a list of tasks to be completed by the student participants.

Tasks typically fall into the following categories: code, documentation, research, outreach, quality assurance, training, translation, and user interface, so there should be something for everyone, and parents and educators can help by sharing this opportunity with their children and students.

The contest is open to students age 13 and older who have not yet begun university studies, and contestants will be able to claim tasks until 7:00pm, Tuesday, 22 January 2008.

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