From left to right: Tamara Kenworthy, Hyperstream Program Director, Mycal Hall, Mia Burns, and Debbie Berthal)
iJAG in partnerships with the IT departments of Nationwide Insurance and IBM are mentoring students to learn technology skills, find out more about IT careers, and prepare to compete at the annual Hyperstream competition at Iowa State University on April 24-25, 2015. Hyperstream was developed by the Technology Association of Iowa in 2008 and is one of the Top 9 STEM programs recognized by the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council. It is a partnership between business and education that brings experts into the classroom who share their technical expertise and serve as mentors for 5th through 12th graders across the state of Iowa. iJAG students from Des Moines Lincoln and Dubuque Hempstead are taking advantage of this initiative that fosters real-world learning through hands-on technology projects, engaging presentations, and competitions like the one at Iowa State University on April 24th-25th.
“I got involved in Hyperstream because I never had anyone introduce technology ideas and concepts to me when I was in high school. I didn’t get interested in technology until my sophomore year of college. I have always wished I would have been introduced to it sooner. I also have such a passion for technology and just want to share it with students. If I can inspire one student to become interested in technology, then I’ve already made a difference. Overall, working with students is really rewarding. I probably get more out of working with them than they do.”
~Luke Leidal, Nationwide Insurance
This year several female students from Dubuque Hempstead were able meet Tamara Kenworthy, the Hyperstream Program Director, at the Digigirlz Conference in Altoona, Iowa. The Digigirlz conference showcased technology from all over the globe and encourages young women to get involved in technical fields. The group stayed for the ceremony that celebrated Iowa’s women in STEM. STEM professors from Iowa, Iowa State, and Grinnell received awards for their accomplishments in their fields; which included discovering cures for certain types of cancer to developing alternatives source of fuels.
“This was a great experience. I can’t wait to come next year! Our generation is the generation that is going to show out in technology. We already know it. Now we have to use it to fix the world problems. And we will.”
~Mycal Hall Freshman Hempstead HS
Dubuque Hempstead will be sending two teams for the state competition; one in multimedia and the other in Cyber Defense. The Cyber Defense tract is a new and exciting tract for Hyperstream and one that will be not only a great career for the future but a necessary one to protect business and governments from cyber attacks.
“There are evil people out there who can hack into government servers and create all kinds of chaos that is why we need to be one step ahead of them at all times,”
~Ian Dahl Freshman Hempstead HS.
Students from Lincoln High School working with Nationwide while on a tour to their Des Moines Campus.
Meanwhile at Des Moines Lincoln this year, two iJAG teams will compete in the Hyperstream competition in Ames later this April. One team is learning Robotics, which focuses on LEGO NXT Mindstorms. Through weekly modules, students build and program Mindstorm robots to perform increasing complex tasks. iJAG students are finding that problem-solving and teamwork are crucial to the success of their projects. The second team is focused on Multimedia. Each week, students shoot footage, edit video, create storyboards, and manage all aspects of video production for real-world projects including skill-training videos for the Puppy Jake Foundation. In April 2015, iJAG students will also premiere a PSA for the Puppy Jake Foundation, an organization that trains and provides services dogs for wounded veterans.
“Hyperstream is a way for me to mentor youths in IT much the same way I had IT mentors when I was young.”
~ Paul Beers, Nationwide