Google announces first open source contest for pre-university students

November 28, 2007

Who doesn’t love a contest? We certainly do. Google believes strongly in students having opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math, and today at the Open Source Developers’ Conference in Brisbane, Australia we’re pleased to announce the Google Highly Open Participation Contest to help introduce secondary school and high school students to open source software development.

Students can now visit to write code and documentation, prepare training materials, conduct user-experience research, and win prizes – t-shirts, cash, or, for ten grand-prize winners, a chance to visit the Googleplex in Mountain View, Ca.

For the past three years college students have participated in Google Summer of Code ( with great results: hundreds of college students have been introduced to open source software, thousands of people across the globe have begun development together, and millions of lines of open code have been produced. 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 will work with ten open source organizations – Apache Software Foundation, Drupal, GNOME, Joomla!, MoinMoin, Mono, Moodle, Plone, Python Software Foundation, and SilverStripe CMS – for this pilot effort, each of which will provide a list of tasks to be completed by the student participants. Tasks typically fall into the following categories: code, documentation, research, outreach, quality assurance, training, translation, and user interface, so there should be something for everyone, and parents and educators can help by sharing this opportunity with their children and students.

The contest is open to students age 13 and older who have not yet begun university studies, and contestants will be able to claim tasks until 12:00 a.m. Pacific Time on January 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.

For more information, please visit