By Braeden Lamb
On November 19th, Snider students of all grades travelled to the McMillen Park Community Center for the Northeast Indiana TechFest competition. TechFest presents challenges of many different STEM fields for students to solve and compete with other schools to win. Challenges include, but are not limited to, Programming, Engineering, Science, Cyber Security, Cyber Hunt, Hardware Challenges (PC hardware), and Think or Sink (boat building). Each student competed in one of these challenges.
Sophomore Leif Myers viewed one of the challenges as the most valuable.
“Think or Sink is the superior shmorgus-borg of skills,” said Myers, who plans to become a shipwright later in life.
Apart from the competitions directly, representatives from major corporations and colleges were present in addition to military recruiters. Students could visit booths for these schools and businesses to explore job opportunities, benefits,and choices they could have after high school.
Local schools, including Purdue, Indiana University, St. Francis, Ivy Tech and Indiana Tech distributed information regarding educational opportunities and scholarships. Major businesses including Raytheon and Rural Sourcing informed students of lucrative job opportunities. National Guard and Air Force recruiters explained possible careers, how they pay for college and what serving part time can do for someone.
Students could receive gifts from these booths in addition to valuable information. To all of the people out there who are aspiring to grow into any kind of STEM field, or they’re generally unsure what to do, senior Autumn Mason said, “I think that TechFest is an amazing opportunity to meet with colleges, possible employers, and to learn more about what types of STEM jobs are out there. If you are interested in STEM fields or want to consider it, TechFest is an amazing place…It’s fun, educational, and there are so many amazing people to meet.”
Snider’s teams had an excellent performance at TechFest this year. Some outstanding finishes were the Cyber Hunt team of Jakobe Kidd,and Tristan Lybarger and Khin Lay placing 3rd out of all participating teams. The Think or Sink team of Iris Naing, Violet Park, Grace Buchanan and Payton Kempton placed 2nd. First place winners were the Science Team of Elizabeth Valdez and Leah Oswalt, and the Programming Team of Eric Van Zant, Tommy Song and Tim Schwanz. These performances led to an overall second place finish for Snider.
In the future, TechFest competitions might look the same, with similar booths and day schedules. However, Snider may open up to additional competitions that provide more opportunities for students.