New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge

The Supercomputing Challenge
Project GUTS
Summer Teacher Institute (STI)


Learn about our Summer Roundups in late June

STI 2009 will be held from July 19th through July 31st at New Mexico Tech in Socorro.

The primary goals of the Supercomputing Challenge / Project GUTS Summer Teacher Institute are to:

  1. introduce teachers to complexity science and computational tools and methods,
  2. advance teachers' knowledge, understanding, and skills in STEM domains,
  3. prepare teachers to support Supercomputing Challenge and/or Project GUTS teams, and
  4. provide ongoing support to teachers who will recruit and assist students in STEM endeavors.

Secondary goals include forming of networks of support for STEM teachers, raise awareness of the continuity and scaffolding of learning between our two programs, and serving as a model of a coordinated approach to professional development that spans middle and high school informal science programs. By offering a collaborative Summer Teacher Institute, we hope to provide teachers with a variety of entry points into computational science, offer greater opportunities for collaboration between middle and high school teachers, and take advantage of some economies of scale.

Here is a flyer advertising the Institute.


To officially register for the 2009 STI:
  1. Sign the letter of commitment
  2. All students must fill out the DEAF form, sign it and fax it to 575-835-5737 (this enables the Challenge to pay for your dorm room and meals and credit hours if applicable).
    Fill out the date, your name, your SSN, your NM Tech student id (if you have one), indicate if you want college credit and fill out the "Non-Employee Certification" section and leave the rest of the form for us to fill in.
  3. Students wishing to obtain graduate level credit from NMT click on the link:
  4. Send a $20 personal investment fee to hold your spot to:
    Supercomputing Challenge
    HPC-3 MS T080
    Los Alamos, NM 87545
    and make the check payable to "Supercomputing Challenge"
  5. Fill out our pre-STI skills evaluation


Project GUTS or the Supercomputing Challenge?

The Project GUTS approach is geared towards after school club implementation of curricular units. School day and elective course implementations of Project GUTS units have also been successful. Project GUTS' guided approach using 6-week units offers beginning students an introduction to complex systems, computer modeling and programming. Students have the opportunity to customize existing models to reflect local conditions they wish to study such as spread of disease, ecosystems, social networks.

The Supercomputing Challenge approach is geared towards mentoring teams of students who are interested in working on projects of their own specification. Challenge team sponsors mentor student teams as they conduct research, design and implement a computational model then collect and analyze the results of experiments run on the model. Successful Challenge students are self-directed and highly motivated.

We see Project GUTS and the Supercomputing Challenge as forming a pipeline through which students can get an introduction to computational modeling then progress to independent research. Our professional development programs are integrated and flexible enough to accommodate middle and high school teachers interests in implementing either the Project GUTS curriculum or supporting Challenge teams at either level.

Learning Experiences for the GUTS component


The STI will be a three-credit graduate-level course. MST 589 from New Mexico Tech in Socorro.


Meet the Instructors or
Mail a message to the STI Instructors (sti09core AT challenge DOT nm DOT org).

See the STI 09 Wiki

Each summer we plan a two week institute for high school and middle school teachers so that they can learn about the Challenge and how to become a better Supercomputing Challenge TEACHER sponsor. Participants plan and implement a project in the context of a mini-Challenge. Getting to know and work with like-minded teachers from around the state is a real benefit of this professional development opportunity. Tours and recreation activities supplement the curriculum and enhance the collaboration that is an essential component of the Challenge.

Past STI's

  1. August 1995, 27 teachers, Los Alamos
  2. June 1996, 26 teachers, Portales
  3. July 1996, 27 teachers, Las Cruces
  4. July 1997, 47 teachers, Socorro
  5. June 1998, 16 teachers, Highlands-Las Vegas
  6. August 1998, 15 teachers, Highlands-Las Vegas
  7. June 1999, 15 teachers, NMSU-Las Cruces
  8. June 2000, 12 teachers, WNMU-Silver City
  9. June 2001, 19 teachers, NM Tech-Socorro
  10. June 2002, 14 teachers, San Juan College-Farmington
  11. July 2003, 23 teachers, San Juan College-Farmington
  12. June 2004, 11 teachers, Webinar/Highland High-Albuquerque
  13. July 2005, 19 teachers, Alamogordo High School
  14. July 2006, 15 teachers, Santa Fe Indian School
  15. July 2007, 15 teachers, CNM-Albuquerque
  16. July 2008, 34 teachers, New Mexico Tech
For questions about the Supercomputing Challenge, a 501(c)3 organization, contact us at: consult @