The ITEC Fair is an annual tech-based assembly in which students between the grade groups of Pre- K to 12th grade are encouraged to create projects and presentations that incorporate the use of upcoming and newly-discovered technologies and programs. Students can create presentations within the categories of:
The ITEC Conference in Des Moines is very similar to the ITEC Fairs (located in either Ames, Cedar Falls, or Sioux City), except you receive a larger scope of audience through educators and more teachers.
To get involved, be sure to visit http://www.itec-ia.org/home. Although the registration for the ITEC Fair is not open yet, be sure to look out from January - March, when you can receive more information about the Fair’s schedule.
Participating in the ITEC Fair gives students the opportunity to showcase their technological skills and truly exhibit their passions. In order to help you create your best technologically savvy, creative, and amazing project, we’ve included 5 tips and tricks to help you as you begin your journey:
Tip 1: Begin your project early
Especially as the second semester progresses, school life can get very hectic. However, this might also create a time crunch for an ITEC project, and procrastination for a project of this magnitude is definitely not a good idea. The best way to work on an ITEC project is to break it up into smaller chunks: come up with an idea and plan by early November, identify what tech mediums you want to use by late December, and create the actual project. Student fair registration usually opens up by January or February, and there are three fair dates and locations to choose from.
Tip 2: Come up with an original idea
It might seem much easier to take a tech-related project from class and present it, but keep in mind that a lot of other schools, especially those that have engineering programs, also require students to complete those projects. Presenting a project that other people are presenting might lower your chances of getting a purple ribbon. Feel free to incorporate your passions or hobbies to create an original project! If you talk about an idea that you really don’t know much about or don’t care much for, this reflects upon you as you display and present your project to your audience.
Tip 3: Use tech programs that are relatively “undiscovered”
It might be easier to make a PowerPoint or design a Prezi, but keep in mind, as more technology is discovered, more people become familiar with different softwares and mediums and clamor over the up-and-coming programs. Be on the lookout for new designing software, apps, and programs. If you cannot think of any ideas, be sure to ask your teachers or friends about what they are using within their classes; teachers are an extremely helpful resource as they are constantly looking for new programs to incorporate into their classrooms.
Tip 4: Care about your presentation
Even if you have every single detail recorded in your presentation as project records and slides, nothing will save your presentation unless you care about the presentation. It might be easier to be by your presentation table, stare at table visitors, and simply answer a few questions, but it will be much more rewarding to engage visitors in constructive dialogue and explain your presentation with simple but detailed summaries. Especially now, many fair participants fall in the Pre-K-6th grade categories, and they travel around to most tables and seek knowledge from older ITEC participants. If you are able to help them learn more about your presentation and the technology implemented in it, then you will inspire more students to think out-of-the-box and push technology to its limit, and educators and parents who roam around and find a good presentation might encourage others to visit that presentation.
Tip 5: Plan out your thoughts and ideas (even if they don’t make sense!)
Even if you are good at designing and building projects using CAD products (ex.: creating houses on Autodesk Revit), it won’t help you to simply begin designing without having a carefully thought-out plan. Some projects at the ITEC Fair require an organized storyboard or a plan of the process you used to create your project. For any project, whether it’s a Multimedia presentation or a 3D Rendering, it’s always best to take out a pencil and some notebook paper and pour out your brainstorming and initial thoughts. By doing this, you are able to fully realize potential ideas for your presentation and are better able to design your project. At the ITEC Fair, it is also best to keep your brainstorming and rough sketches with you. Audience members enjoy seeing your thought process and want to understand and relate to the path that you took in reaching your final presentation idea.
Blog Post by Sanah and Sabah Munir, Student Tech Team Members