Last year’s event featured workstations where students explored computer hardware. One station gave students the opportunity to play with a HVAC DDC demo, another station revealed the fascinating technology behind robots. Youth also used hand tools and test equipment to manufacture their own CAT5 Patch Cable which they were later able to take home. For this project they verified the cable map and continuity and then actually used their cable with a laptop to connect to the network.
In the software session students discussed various online tools that can be used for school, work, or just fun. They talked about the uses of Google documents for collaborating on projects and then created a quick and easy survey using spreadsheets and forms. Youth also delved into some of the creative tools on Aviary.com, such as image editing, drawing, and even track mixing. They also learned about tinychat.com and how to easily set up a video chat room for communication.
Definitely one of the highlights of the day was the ‘lunch with mentors’. Numerous mentors from our community enthusiastically volunteered to sit-down with the students and share their experiences over lunch. Students had the opportunity to ask questions and find out more ‘behind the scenes’ information about working in IT. Students were surprised to find “how many programmers there are in Kamloops” and that “they are normal people who like hiking too”.
Feedback from the students about the conference was extremely postive. When asked, “What will you tell friends about your experience today?”, the most common response was that it was “fun” and that their friends “should have come”. Many agreed that they enjoyed the career sessions during which they had the chance to sit in small groups and talk to young IT professionals about his or her career path.