TechFest showcases student talent


group looking at a student project

By Tyrone Townsend, Staff Writer

On April 17, students and business professionals of technology connect during Tech Fest about the state of technology in our area.

Tech Fest is an event collaborated by the Computer Science and Information Technology of Armstrong and the Savannah division of TAG to simplify a networking means for students and businesses.

The event allows these like-minded individuals to recognize, create, or act upon business opportunities. The event included a presentation of Key Findings of the 2015 State of the Industry: Technology in Georgia Report by Tino Mantella, President and CEO of TAG, posters and demonstration, and a business information session.

Tino Mantella discussed the industry report to measure the growth of Georgia’s technology industry against previous years and against other top-technology states throughout the country. The presentation also included research of Georgia’s most solid technological industries.

Georgia’s Communication sector employs 20,000 high tech workers, or 43 percent of the workforce making it the state’s most influential sector of job opportunities.

More than 60 percent of the invested capital went to expansion and later deals, while early deals represented about 38 percent of the total.  TAG is a leading industry association dedicated to educating, promoting, influencing and uniting the technology industry in Georgia. The presentation was able to show the impressive advancements of the industry with new ideas for future endeavors.

During the posters and demonstrations, students were able to present their posters or show a demonstration or both.

This display of workmanship gives business professionals a hands-on experience with the talented students of Armstrong’s Department of Computer Science and Information Technology and their skills that will benefit the workforce. It also gives other students insight to the work their fellow students are conducting while being exposed to the technological environment.

Students were asked to provide resourceful, practical solutions to optimize efficiency for real world problems. Caleb Ennis, Hernando Vega, and their respective groups were tasked with helping the music department devise a percussion triangle holder. Each group has the same task; however, the end result showcased their ingenuity in their projects.

Hernando Vega said the retractable extension of the percussion holder was a concept he added from everyday tools. “It was my first time using 3D models within the course of two weeks,”

Taylor VanWinkle, an Information Technology major, showcased his project of learning with robots.

It provides a straightforward method of learning programming from step by step lessons provided by website with a tutorial YouTube video. “I would enjoy to add on to the programming,” VanWinkle said. “Once I graduate, my knowledge is left for the next group of students to expand upon.”

During the business information session, employers from local businesses presented their companies from the provided stations. Business representatives engaged with students using formal presentations or informal discussion.

Companies offered career advisement and recruitment opportunities. This portion of the event gives students the chance to learn about potential careers available in the immediate area.

Ennis said. “You have to adjust for simplicity and better use.”

In 2020, Georgia will acquire more than 85,000 workers with bachelor’s degrees and 44,000 with a master’s degree to stimulate the growing workforce.

Georgia’s technology employment has grown by 10 percent since 2010, adding more than 25,000 new jobs.

Businesses use this as a chance to find new employers for their companies. Students have the chance of hire for full-time positions, part-time positions, and internships.

TechFest 2015 is an intriguing way to establish networking connections between local businesses and talented students by creating an open environment to promote new ideas for the benefit of future growth in the technology community.