OWL TechFair 2016 = A Huge Success!

by: Eric Baker, Community Outreach AmeriCorps VISTA Member

And then it was over… The 7th Annual OpenWorld Learning TechFair came and went in an energetic burst. The last week was almost a blur with months of work, recruitment, and preparation suddenly finished and I have to say…. I think we really lived up to our goal of having our best TechFair yet

The TechFair took place on April 30 at Industry on Brighton Boulevard dsc_0424from 10 AM to 2 PM and saw a fantastic turnout of over 700 students, families, community members, and volunteers. Events included our live Tech Challenge in which teams of three from 11 of our elementary schools competed to create increasingly difficult programs through collaboration and pulling from everything they’ve learned this last year. After the Tech Challenge, families explored the rest of the TechFair and enjoyed numerous other attractions including student’s ePortfolio projects, an arcade, or DSST Stapleton’s ball-chucking competition robot.

This year, the TechFair premiered “The Circuit,” an area exclusively constructed for our talented middle school dsc_0481students. dsc_0474The Circuit included a graphic design gallery of student’s work, three student films, a robotics showcase, and a live set and workshop by Denver’s own DJ David Viramontes. Viramontes used live-coding to create a visual show to accompany his music.

For our families, OWL invited over a dozen local organizations to be apart of the TechFair as Community Fair representatives. These representatives, including groups like the General Assembly, Salvation Army, Denver Public Library’s Idea Lab, and the Youth Bank of America, connected our families with a number of resources from around the community they may not have known about or had access to prior.

With only an hour left in the event, it was time to announce the winners! All the families and students gathered where they had competed just hours before and sat in anticipation as our emcee, City Councilman Albus Brooks, announced our many winners listed below. There was cheering, there were photos, and most importantly, there were fantastic prizes including Spheros, Owi Solar robots, and Sparkfun Kits.
OWL is proud to have been able to put on this fantastic event but would not have been able to do half as well a job were it not for all our fantastic partnering organizations, especially Comcast, Industry Denver, the University of Denver, Cesco, and Uber. As a partner for Comcast Cares Day, OWL benefited from the logistical support of over 80 incredible Comcast workers who did everything from serve food, judge the Tech Challenge, and help both set up and break down the event. Industry was a fantastic space to hold our ever growing event and, honestly, just a fun place in general for the attendees to explore.

Thank you to all of sponsors and families who helped to make this event so memorable. Now, onto planning the next one!

Tech Challenge Winners:
Archuleta Elementary
Stevens Elementary
Edgewater Elementary

ePortfolio Winners:
Art and Animation
Eva Schule for “Ocean”- Ellis Elementary, 4th Grade
Galilea Nevarez for “R.I.P. Lara”- Munroe Elementary, 3rd Grade
Jose Bolanos for “Adventure Show”- Eagleton Elementary- 5th Grade

Writing and Research
Suvd Jargalsaikhan for “Space!”- Ellis Elementary, 5th Grade
Justice Martinez for “Mount Rushmore”- Garden Place Elementary, 5th Grade
Nora Caraveo for “My Favorite Music Artists”- Eagleton Elementary, 4th Grade

Emily Ramos for “Cakes are the Best!”- Edgewater Elementar,- 5th Grade
Kamile Lepire for “Maze Game”- Vista Peak 3-5, 4th Grade
Jared Anaya for “The Flash”- Munroe Elementary, 5th Grade

Jennifer Aguirre for “My Fun Project”- Munroe Elementary, 5th Grade
Issac Chavez for “Issac’s Mario”- Stevens Elementary, 6th Grade
Gabrial Aragon for “Gabriel Aragon’s POKEMON DONE”- Colfax Elementary, 5th Grade

Graphic Design
Cole Cestra for “Stop Pollution Now!”- Grant Beacon Middle School, 6th Grade
Thomas Correa for “A Dog’s View”- West Leadership Academy, 7th Grade
Angelica Monsivais for “Angelica Grime Edits”- Jefferson Junior High, 7th Grade

Movie Making
Sean Landwehr for “The Legend of the Evolving Blob”- Vista Peak Middle School, 6th Grade
Liam Olson for “Trapped in Space”- Grant Beacon Middle School, 6th Grade
Warren Bowden for “Circle Dash”- Grant Beacon Middle School, 7th Grade

Elementary Instructor Project
Zofia Stanley for “Interactive Museum”- Colfax Elementary