Students and teachers throughout South Carolina will be showcasing their projects Saturday at the South Carolina State Museum in Columbia for the IT-oLogy Innovation Challenge.
“We invited students and teachers this year from across the entire state to submit projects using technology to solve an environmental issue in the state of South Carolina,” It-oLogy communications director Lauren Wells said.
IT-oLogy, an information technology training consortium combining the University of South Carolina, BlueCross BlueShield and IBM, selected 20 finalists to showcase their projects Saturday. Winners will be selected from three age groups and a teacher’s category. First-place winners will receive 529 college savings plans and contributions. Other prizes include technical gadgets, gift cards and money for teachers.
“It’s to inspire students and teachers to really get their technology juices flowing in a creative way and come up with innovative ways to solve problems,” Wells said.
This is the event’s second year. IT-oLogy plans to move the 2019 competition to the spring.
Visitors are welcome to browse the displays at the State Museum Planetarium lobby Saturday morning and talk with the students and teachers about their projects. IT-oLogy also will have hands-on technology activities for kids.
“These projects are so great and some of them, you think ‘Gosh, why didn’t I think of that?’ and so to inspire these ‘a-ha!’ moments with the students is really our main goal and hopefully that will encourage them to continue and to pursue that next step,” Wells said.
IT-oLogy was founded to encourage student and adult creativity in technology. It hosts summer camps for kids, technology explorers, field trips in schools, after-school enrichment and professional development programs.
“We know there are tons of (IT) jobs to fill and not enough talent to fill those jobs,” Wells said. “So our goal is to inspire students as young as 4 years old to get comfortable using technology.”
The Innovation Challenge showcase is from 10 until noon in the Planetarium lobby at the South Carolina State Museum. Admission is free.