OKLAHOMA CITY ─ Oklahoma students with disabilities will battle it out in the Tech-Now State Competition from 9 am to 3 pm on May 4 at Norman North High School, 1809 Stubbeman Ave., Norman.
Of the 350 students enrolled the Tech-Now classes, approximately 200 students from 20 high schools across the state are expected compete.
“We empower students with disabilities to make positive career choices that will allow them to lead productive and prosperous lives through Tech-Now,” Rick DeRennaux, Tech-Now executive director, said. “Tech-Now captures the excitement of competitive sports, and introduces it into the classroom as competitive technology.”
Working in teams, students use computer-aided design software to design, engineer and produce products that they enter in the Tech-Now 17th Annual State Competition. The team approach helps students learn to collaborate in problem solving/critical thinking with peers, experts, and others for the purpose of developing solutions and/or products. Students contribute to a knowledge base to compile, synthesize, revise and produce effective solution models.
Many of the students participating are also clients of the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services Transition: School to Work program.
“This is an opportunity to see products students have made, watch the cars race, and witness students receiving awards,” Kim Osmani, DRS Transition coordinator, said.
Oklahoma's State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister is scheduled to speak to the competitors at 10:00 am.
Tech-Now is a technology-focused program that targets students with disabilities transitioning from high school to postsecondary education or employment. The program is committed to changing the way students with disabilities develop and apply technology skills and prepare for the transition to adult life in the 21st century workplace.
In the Tech-Now class, students receive technology-focused transition and employment preparation using science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) activities. Students learn to produce activity cards for school clubs and teams to sell, computer animations and numerous other desktop-published goods. They produce marketing campaigns using research, digital photography, photo-imaging and compositing, multimedia production, engineering and design, and desktop publishing skills. Students participate in brainstorming, planning, revising and organizational activities to complete the activity products.
Tech-Now Inc. is a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit company and relies on sponsors to make the Tech-Now State Competition happen. This year’s sponsors include the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services, Oklahoma CareerTech, Corel Corporation, IngenuitE, Mid-America Chapter of Paralyzed Veterans, Modified Dolls, Cleveland County Pleasant Valley Group, AMBUCS, and various anonymous donors.