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Students dive into science and tech conference

Published: Tuesday, March 11, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT
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(Photo provided)
Programming robots using LEGO Robotics was one of the breakout sessions offered at the SIT Conference, a student-led science, technology, engineering and math event that drew hundreds of students from northern Illinois.

DeKALB – Technology in Motion was the theme that brought close to 400 people together on Feb. 22 at DeKalb High School. Students in grades 3-12 came together from across northern Illinois to participate in the Students Involved with Technology (SIT) Conference, sharing their technology skills and knowledge.

This event is for kids, by kids. Students presented and shared their technology skills and experiences with other students from 8:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. This was the fifth year DeKalb School District 428 hosted the SIT Conference.

The conference continues to grow each year, and students are eager to get their hands on a variety of technology tools. This year, the conference began with Pettee Guerrero, keynote speaker from NIU STEM Outreach Program highlighted future possibilities for students in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Guerrero did a few hands-on demonstrations during the opening keynote and during the lunch break, engaging students in inquiry-based learning.

Students were also able to join Guerrero and other Northern Illinois University staff in a breakout room to program LEGO robotics using the new EV3 software. The NIU Robotics Team also joined the SIT Conference, putting their robot into action during breakout sessions and maneuvering around students during lunch.

Close to 1,800 students participated in the SIT Conference at six site locations throughout Illinois. Microsoft donated T-shirts for every student and created a room filled with hands-on technology stations for students to enjoy. Additional breakout sessions included building a PC, online games such as SIMS and Minecraft, image editing and design, flying a drone, and presentation tools such Movie Maker, PowerPoint and Glogster. Adult volunteers assisted to make the day a smooth event for students, but even adults leave the conference excited for next year, wanting to learn more from students.

The 2015 SIT Conference will take place on Saturday, Feb. 21 at DeKalb High School. More information is available at www.sitconference.org/.

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