With information technology firmly embedded in daily life, electric utilities like SMECO depend heavily on computer equipment to help keep the lights on for their customers. Utilities also depend on technology experts who know how to create and maintain software programs that ensure that all computerized systems run efficiently. Encouraging the programmers of tomorrow is the goal of the annual Southern Maryland High School Computer Bowl.
The bowl presents young computer experts with tests of their coding skills and technical knowledge. Sponsors for the annual competition are SMECO, the College of Southern Maryland, Booz Allen Hamilton, and the public school systems of Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s counties. In the first round of the competition, students take a written test of their knowledge of computer history, hardware, and software. In the second round, teams of three to four students created computer programs to solve specific problems. Local technology companies provide volunteers to serve as judges.