May 25, 2023
TechOlympics is an annual technology conference organized and run by the INTERalliance of Greater Cincinnati, according to Matt Godsted, director of enterprise security, governance and risk management at 84.51°, an event Gold Plus sponsor. Hosted at Great American Ballpark for two days, it is a large student-led U.S.-based tech conference for high school students.
The competition is organized, planned and executed by the INTERalliance Leadership Council, a volunteer group of high school students. The event this year sold out at around 280 students.
The organization, 84.51°, is the Cincinnati-based data powerhouse that helps Kroger and its partners create customer-centric shopper journeys, Milen Mahadevan, 84.5°1’s chief operating officer, said during the event’s keynote.
Godsted shared more on the event.
Digital Engineering: Can you tell us about some of the designs that are part of the event and how they came to be?
Matt Godsted: INTERalliance started in 2005 as a collaboration between local businesses, universities and high schools to inspire high school students to pursue a future in a technology career. Since then, the organization has expanded beyond TechOlympics to provide paid high school internships (nearly 100 in the summer of 2022), school chapters and a variety of professional and technical training initiatives throughout the year.
There are two major design components of TechOlympics. The first is the Extreme Logo Design Competition, where students are presented with the theme of the next TechOlympics and are asked to create a design based on that theme. Students can create their submissions using technical tools such as Figma or Adobe or [tools] as simple as colored pencils and paper. The INTERalliance Graphic Designer, a former Extreme Design Competition Winner, and INTERalliance Leadership Council alumni, review and select the winner.
The second is the Chapter Showcase Project. The Chapter Showcase is a central part of the TechOlympics event each year. Schools work on their Showcase Projects with their coach from November to February, then present their projects as a team in front of a panel of executive judges from Cincinnati’s business community.
Digital Design Category:
- Make a webpage for your school, a local business or another organization.
- Create a marketing campaign or “brand” for a local business or cause, including a logo, posters and marketing materials.
- Produce a video that tells a story, promotes a product or business or conveys information. It can be actual footage, animated or both. Students are encouraged to use their imagination.
DE: Does 84.51° have a particular stance on adopting an innovation that is linked to the program? What drove you to sponsor the event and help coordinate it?
Godsted: With respect to the design innovation with TechOlympics, this is more relevant with INTERalliance as explained above. However, 84.51° plans to look at other aspects of high school talent that are showcased at TechOlympics through the internship program opportunities in 2024 (programming, development and cybersecurity).
The ongoing involvement of 84.51° in TechOlympics shows that our associates are dedicated to giving back to our communities by mentoring this next generation of tech talent.
I have been involved with the INTERalliance for 10 years and have been on the board of directors for seven, but it was my first exposure to TechOlympics in 2012 that got me hooked on this organization. I continue to be in awe of the young talent in this region that will be the technology leaders [hip] in Cincinnati in just a few short years. … working to help develop [the skills of] these amazing students is my passion.
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About the Author
Jim Romeo is a freelance writer based in Chesapeake, VA. Send e-mail about this article to [email protected].Follow DE