The Google Summer of Code program has been a joint labor of love between Google and the open source community for the past three years, and the results have been spectacular: 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, 4 million last year alone. We've been particularly proud of this program and how much it has helped the community and we've spent a lot of time thinking about ways we can continue helping open source projects find even more contributors. Today, we're pleased to announce the Google Highly Open Participation Contest, our new effort to get pre-university students involved in all aspects of open source development, from fixing bugs to writing documentation and doing user experience research.

While we're very excited about many aspects of the contest, the best part is that everyone can participate. Contestants must meet the eligibility requirements, but anyone interested in helping out can simply suggest a task to be included in the contest. Our contestants have a chance to win t-shirts, cash prizes, and a visit the Googleplex for a day of technical talks, delicious food and a photo with our very own Stan T. Rex.

Want to learn more? Check out the contest FAQs and tell your favorite pre-college students to pick a task or two to complete. You can always visit our discussion group to get help or share your thoughts.

Update: Fixed the broken links.