The Supercomputing Challenge began in 1990, as the New Mexico High School Supercomputing Challenge. The mission of the Supercomputing Challenge is to teach teams of elementary, middle, and high schools students how to program and use computers to analyze, model, and solve real world problems. This program runs through the school year, offering workshops, mentoring services, project evaluation, and feedback to teams of participating students. (In many years, a summer program is offered to teachers who intend to sponsor a team in the following academic year.) The program culminates in an expo in April, where teams present their project to expo and finals judges, and awards are given to the teams with top projects overall and in a number of categories. High school seniors who have completed a project may also apply for college scholarships awarded by the Challenge, in cooperation with universities and other organizations in New Mexico and outside the state.
Nick has been involved with the Supercomputing Challenge since 2002—as a mentor, workshop instructor, scholarship judge, and expo judge. As a workshop instructor, Nick has created curricular materials for students (and their teachers) learning mathematical and computer modeling concepts, and implementation techniques in Java, NetLogo, and Python.