IT-oLogy Dallas recently partnered with IBM at its Innovation Center during a four-day summer tech camp called GIGAWOT, which stands for Girls Inspired Greatly About the World of Technology. Led by retired IBMer Jo Lynn Golden, the annual GIGAWOT camp gathers 50 middle school girls from local schools to learn about the latest in technology and how they can pursue technology careers.
GIGAWOT keeps science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) topics as a focal point for students through technology demonstrations, educational games, hands on projects, and interaction with top IBM engineers. One of the hallmarks of IBM, a founding partner of IT-oLogy, is its robust volunteer program, encouraging staff to engage with K-12 and college students at various technology events around the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.
One popular technology emerging today is 3D printing, and IT-oLogy Dallas brought several 3D printers to the GIGAWOT camp, demonstrating current and future applications for consumers, researchers, and manufacturers, such as home construction, product development, novelty chocolates, and event medical research.
IT-oLogy Dallas has worked with IBM Dallas on several K-12 tech events, including the popular Engineering Week held every February around the globe. Other major partners in DFW—CA Technologies, Companion Data Services, University of Texas at Dallas, and Crowley ISD—have opened their facilities for similar events throughout the year.
The work of IT-oLogy Dallas is part of the national initiative of IT-oLogy, headquartered in Columbia, SC, and founded by Blue Cross Blue Shield of SC, University of South Carolina, and IBM in 2009.
What little boy would not want a train set for Christmas?
Well, a look at trends in technology and toys indicates that kids today want the latest in wireless, mobile, and HD video when it comes to entertainment. Everything from smart phones to iPads to XBoxes to Bluetooth-controlled helicopters are under the tree this year. While desktop and laptop computers were a sure win on Christmas morning a decade ago, touchscreen tablets are all the rage today. Toy manufacturers know that in order to compete for retail dollars, technology must play an increasing role in children’s amusements.
In fact, the drive for technology dollars affects every industry, with each sector leveraging the advances of innovation in research, product development, and applications in business. And many of today’s IT jobs are in demand beyond traditional roles in hardware and software development, trending more toward big data processes in retail, banking, insurance, healthcare, and education.
The need for qualified IT professionals today has never been greater, and yet the disparity between IT demand and IT talent is growing even wider as more jobs become dependent on technology.
The mission of IT-oLogy is focused on just such needs, now and in the future. Working with K-12 students allows us to inspire and promote IT to young people who should be considering college and careers. Working with university students allows us to teach IT skills through project-based learning internships and provide a gateway for students to locate their first job. Working with IT prof essionals allows us to grow IT talent through seminars and conferences and networking events. Read More
Some 500 Jr. and Sr. High students throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex learned about 3D printing and robotics on Friday and Saturday, November 15 and 16, as part of a new series of technology events in DFW by IT-oLogy. Events took place in both the Dallas and Crowley ISDs on Friday, with the main event called Cyber Saturday held the next day at the conference facilities of CA Technologies in Plano.
Jon Bartschi, a 3D printing expert, provided demonstrations for students eager to learn about this new technology, as well as hands-on activities with robotics. A selection of various 3D printed objects—from animals to combs to cars to skeletal limbs—were on display at each of the four events, with some students winning these as prizes at a drawing. Both middle and high school students on Saturday formed teams to take 3D printed robot parts along with servos, battery packs, and programmable circuit boards to assemble fully-functioning robots. Check out the gallery.
Founded in 2008 by IBM, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and the University of South Carolina, IT-oLogy collaborates with business, academic, and community partners to provide training opportunities in information technology for K-12, higher education, and professional development. Principal sponsors for the DFW events included Companion Data Services, CA Technologies, BDPA, DevChamps, UT Dallas, and the Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Collaboration is defined as “the action of working with someone to produce or create something.”
Many successes in life and business and society are built on the collaborative efforts of individuals, industry, and even governments. And in the realm of technology—now more the backbone of society than most anything else—collaboration is crucial in order to advance understanding and application of the latest technologies that make our world better and our businesses more profitable.
Without the collaboration of our corporate partners in Dallas, like Companion Data Services, CA Technologies, and DevChamps, along with non-profit partners like Black Data Processing Associates, the Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce, and academic partners like UT Dallas, technology-focused educational programs for students in middle and high school would not be effective. Programs like Cyber Saturday that teach students in hands-on learning environments require mentors from business and education who work together to inspire our youth to consider careers in IT that will impact students, graduates, and, ultimately, the economic development of cities.
On Friday, November 15, the collaborative efforts of these partners will allow IT-oLogy to teach classes on 3D Printing & Robots at the B. R. Johnson Technology Center in the Crowley ISD and at the A. Maceo Smith New Tech High School in the Dallas ISD. In all, our Friday events will reach nearly 500 high school students. The Cyber Saturday Dallas this weekend will allow some 100 middle and high school students a hands-on experience working with robots printed with 3D printers.
And this is just the beginning. The DFW metroplex is the 16th global economy in the world, with dozens of Fortune 500 headquarters resident here. There are nearly 300,000 IT workers in the area and their impact affects industries across the globe every day.
With nearly 1.5 million K-12 students in DFW, the need to promote IT opportunities to this future workforce is paramount. The better our collaboration with business, academic, and community partners, the bigger impact we can have on our youth for generations to come.
DALLAS — A. Maceo Smith New Tech High School in Dallas will be hosting a technology demonstration on “3D Printing and Robots” by national education non-profit IT-oLogy on Friday, November 15 at 3:30 pm in their main auditorium. Technology teacher Amber Jackson and Principal Lisa DeVeaux have scheduled an all-school assembly to give their 350 students an opportunity to see this new technology in action and discover how 3D printing is impacting business, education, healthcare, and many other industries.
This collaboration was made possible after IT-oLogy met with Stacy Stewart, Chad White, and Denise Holmes of the Dallas chapter of the Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA), a national organization founded in 1975 that promotes an interest in computer science and information technologies, including youth educational programs. Click here for more information about this Dallas youth initiative.
A. Maceo Smith New Tech High is part of the New Tech Network, a nationwide network dedicated to helping high school students gain the knowledge and skills necessary for life, college and the 21st century workplace. Click here for quick facts about the school.
The event at A. Maceo Smith is a preview of IT-ology’s launch of Cyber Saturday in Dallas on November 16. Corporate partner CA Technologies will be hosting the free Cyber Saturday event at their Plano location. Middle and high school students can register today. Seating is limited.
Cyber Saturday Dallas is a unique educational event sponsored by IT-oLogy. Each month dozens of middle and high schools students meet for a fun, hands-on morning or afternoon to learn about the latest in technology and how it works. From designing web pages to creating mobile apps to dissecting laptops to building robots, each Cyber Saturday promises to inspire kids through multi-media, expert teaching from IT professionals, and team work.
For more information about Cyber Saturday and to register for this free event, visit www.cybersaturday.net.
Founded in 2008 by IBM, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and the University of South Carolina, IT-oLogy was established to promote and enhance the nation’s IT talent pool in order to meet the technology needs of business now and in the future. From its headquarters in downtown Columbia, SC, IT-oLogy continues to answer the call to expand its reach into other cities around the U.S. Visit IT-oLogy’s national center at www.it-ology.org.
For more information about this and other events in Dallas at IT-oLogy, contact Executive Director Lawrence Ford at (214) 336-8401.
Are you in middle or high school?
Register today for Cyber Saturday Dallas!