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The Supercomputing Challenge is a great way to get students involved in STEM fields and to see modern-day computational applications in STEM. It will also give your students invaluable skills in teamwork, time management, and dealing with deadlines. In order for students to become involved, they need a teacher sponsor. To be a teacher sponsor you don’t necessarily have to be well-versed in the topics that student teams pick. An important part of the Challenge is the mentors – professors, experts, etc. who are well versed in the topics that interest your students. It is very important that you allow your students to pick a topic they are invested in or highly interested in. The Challenge becomes difficult as deadlines creep up and if the students aren’t motivated to continue, their projects will likely fall apart. But don’t let that scare you – some past finalists have told stories about how,  a week before the end, they almost disbanded – and yet they still made it to the finals.

As a teacher sponsor, your job will be more of a supervisor and a mediator. Sometimes you may be called to help with the programming aspect, but make sure that you don’t write their code for them. When they’re struggling and you can’t help them, feel free to contact us. We’ll try to help, or find a mentor to help.

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