Elementary students prove their computing skills

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By The Staff

Three of the four teams at Aspen Elementary School that competed in the Supercomputer Challenge earned awards for their efforts.

The Jeff Bingaman Middle School Award was presented to Devon Conradson for his project, “Rocky Planet Formation as the Universe Evolves,” while Emma Martens, Talia Dreicer, Kevin Tao and Jacob Holesinger earned the Environmental Modeling Award for their project, “Where Oh Where did the Jumping Mice Go To?” Additionally, the CHECS Award for Team Work was given to Colin Redman, Matthew Tricknor, Michael Englert-Erickson and Dhaivat Pandya for their project, “Interplanetary Travel in a Closed Ecosystem.”

Another team, comprised of Hazel Dickey and Kim Vo, also competed in the challenge with their project, “Effects of Rooster’s Behavior.”

“I think our teams performed exceptionally well,” GATE teacher Zeynep Unal said in an e-mail. Unal teaches the members of the teams. “Not only did they receive awards but they participated enthusiastically in discussions and asked good questions of LANL staff.  The staff expressed their appreciation to me personally,” she said.

 “This a big deal because elementary students are competing with high school and middle school and being able to get these awards is amazing.”

Unal’s  students worked on their project since the beginning of the school year,  she said. They met in her classroom twice a week. In addition to utilizing a computer, students exercised their teamwork, writing and math skills.

Awards were based on presentation of research to a team of volunteer judges. The awards were distributed during a ceremony April 21.

A total of $63,000 in individual scholarships was presented to students.