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Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Computing Team Shows Super Results in Challenge

By Raam Wong
Journal Northern Bureau
    SANTA FE— Two Albuquerque youths who sent hundreds of simulated spacecraft rocketing toward Mars have taken top honors at the New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge.
    The team evaluated how to efficiently use the gravitational pull of planets to assist in flying to the far reaches of the solar system.
    The first-place prize went to Kristin Cordwell, 16, of Manzano High School, and Erika DeBenedictis, 15, of St. Pius X High School. A third teammate, Brian Lott, 17, is a home-schooled student from Edgewood.
    The team beat out hundreds of New Mexico middle and high school students competing in the 17th annual competition. Participants worked with mentors from the state's national laboratories to complete science projects using supercomputers.
    Several teams from Albuquerque were honored during a recent awards ceremony in Los Alamos.
    An Albuquerque Sandia Prep School team— Alexander and Amelia Clement, Gregory and Jeffrey Fenchel and Jayson Lynch— took fourth place for their project examining the evolution of social behaviors.
    The team, sponsored by teacher Neil McBeth, also picked up awards for teamwork and most professional presentation.
    The first-place team took home a plaque and a $1,000 savings bond.
    The team developed a program for finding the most time- and energy-efficient routes to reach distant objects.
Editor's note: We want to recognize teachers, students, parents or others who make a difference in your child's education. Send suggestions to Amy Miller at emarks@abqjournal.com

E-MAIL writer Raam Wong