STEM

Monroe College Plans Tech Challenge To Boost Student Interest in IT

New York's Monroe College will host its first annual Tech Challenge for area high school students next month in an effort to encourage young people who are underrepresented in IT fields to consider careers in technology.

Participants will work in teams of three to solve one of four challenges using their own computers or those supplied by the college. Teams are also asked to have an educator or mentor sponsoring them on the day of the event, April 30.

In an effort to ensure all teams have an equal amount of time to consider the challenges, specific details will not be released until April 28, but generally, the challenges will include:

  • Creating an app for a practical and specific purpose;
  • Upgrading a Web site to make it more dynamic and engaging;
  • A robotics challenge with a specific task as the goal; and
  • Using cybersecurity protocols to protect against a specific threat.

"We created the Tech Challenge to encourage students to consider technology-related career opportunities, especially young men and women of color who are woefully underrepresented across the IT landscape," said Nilesh Shah, dean of Monroe College's school of information technology and the host of the Tech Challenge, in a prepared statement. "With technology continuing to have a strong transformative impact on virtually every industry, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a steady and strong job market for IT professionals with the requisite experience and education. Our Tech Challenge will hopefully spark interest among local high school students to choose careers in that direction."

Registered participants will each receive a Raspberry Pi, a $50 Apple gift card and three months of premium access to Coding Academy. The first- and second-place winners will also win scholarships to Monroe and cash honorariums to their schools.

More information is available at monroecollege.edu.

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at jbolkan@gmail.com.

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