2013 – 2014 IT-Adventures
IT-Adventures, which is in its seventh year of operation, is an innovative program that is dedicated to increasing interest in and awareness of technology among high school students through inquiry-based learning focused on four content areas: Cyber Defense, Game Design Programming, Robotics, and Multimedia.
IT-Adventures utilizes secondary, post-secondary, and industry partnerships in educational programming, competitive events and service learning projects aimed at the high school students, as well as workshops and classes for high school teachers, to accomplish its goal. Additionally, the program has components that are targeted at post-secondary students at the community college level.
By using an inquiry-based approach students can explore technology in a non-threatening, experimental environment. Modeled upon two years of successful pilot project high school cyber defense competitions, the basis of the program is the formation of HyperStream Clubs in high schools across Iowa. The HyperStream Club provides an avenue for students to gain access to educational materials from Iowa State University (ISU) and to ask questions of technology professionals.
The capstone event for students who participate in IT-Adventures is a two-day competition, named the IT-Olympics, on the ISU campus. It features high school students showcasing the technology knowledge they have gained during the year in competitions and presentations. IT-Olympics is also a celebration of technology, and is open to the public. Family members, high school counselors, teachers, and the general public can watch the students in their quest to be the best, or can explore technology careers and opportunities on their own.