In an effort to introduce secondary school and high school students to open source software development, Google has announced the Google Highly Open Participation Contest at the Open Source Developer’s Conference in Brisbane, Australia.
Students can compete for prizes such as cash and t-shirts; ten grand prize winners will receive a chance to visit the Googleplex in Mountain View, Ca. The contest features tasks that fall into the categories of code, documentation, research, outreach, quality assurance, training, translation, and user interface.
Over the past three years, college level students have participated in the Google Summer of Code where they have been introduced to open software development. Throughout that time, thousands of people from around the world have begun developing and writing millions of lines of code together, and now it’s time for Google to turn their attention to the younger crowds.
As we thought about what we could do to help encourage students before university and build a pipeline of future talent, we developed the Google Highly Open Participation Contest — the first contest from our open source team exclusively for secondary school and high school students.
Google is working with ten open source organizations for the pilot effort to come up with a list of tasks to be completed by the students. The organizations include: Apache Software Foundation, Drupal, GNOME, Joomla!, MoinMoin, Mono, Moodle, Plone, Python Software Foundation, and SilverStripe CMS.
The contest is open to students that are 13 years of age or older and have not yet begun university training. Students will be able to claim their tasks until 12:00am PST on Jan.22, 2008.
We hope that students who participate will be long-term contributors to these and other open source projects in the future, and we look forward to announcing the grand-prize winners on February 11.
If you need more information, check out Google’s Developer Home.