NH TechFest was founded in 2009 by the students and mentors of FIRST Robotics Team 241 of Pinkerton Academy in Derry, NH. One of the missions of FIRST Robotics is to reach out the community to promote STEM by generating excitement about Science and Technology. Since 2010, NH TechFest has been hosted by FRC Team 3467, the Windham Windup, of Windham High School, in Windham NH. NH TechFest is an independent educational non-profit in New Hampshire and a member of the national Science Festival Alliance and the USA Science and Engineering Festival.
Mission and Goals
The mission of the New Hampshire TechFest is to interest and excite middle and high school-age students from throughout the New England area about the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) through hands-on exhibits and entertaining presentations.
The STEM areas of study are the foundations of the knowledge and technology that is employed every day in the development of products and processes that make our world a safer, more productive, and enjoyable place to live. This is where the jobs are now, and will be in the future. One goal is to demonstrate the immediate and future relevance of the STEM fields to students who would not necessarily already be planning to enter them through their study or work. Our other goal is to demonstrate just how interesting and fun studying and working with technology can be!
We will achieve these goals through the annual production of an extravaganza of enlightening science and technology demonstrations, hands-on activities, and overall entertaining experiences - the New Hampshire TechFest. We will attract leading edge technologists, corporations, educational institutions, and professional societies by inviting them to showcase and share their work with an audience of young, eager minds and potentially, future colleagues and employees. We will attract our target student audience by promising an unparalleled variety and selection of science and technology "experiences", all under one roof!
- About US
NH TechFest was started in 2009 by students and adult mentors of Pinkerton Academy’s FIRST Robotics Team 241 as a community outreach project to create excitement about Science,Technology,Engineering,and Mathematics(STEM). All jobs of the future, from automotive services to medical care, will require competence in STEM. Yet 70% of high school students say that they do not want a job that will require knowledge of Math or Science. What will happen to those young people, where will they work, and who will displace them in the job market as the world becomes ever more technology-driven?
Our inaugural event in November, 2009 attracted over 700 middle and high school students and their parents to Pinkerton Academy for a fun filled day of discovery and learning. Students, teachers and parents rode Segways and talked with engineers and scientists from companies and organizations ranging from Pfizer Pharmaceuticals to the Derry Police Forensics unit. We held our first Trebuchet competition in the pouring rain.
In 2010, NH TechFest joined with STEM festivals all over the country as part of the first-ever USA Science and Engineering Festival http://usasciencefestival.org. We moved to the beautiful new high-tech Windham High School and saw participation from many new exhibitors, such as the FBI and Lindt Chocolate. We saw the pre-release debut of the Xbox Kinect system and the premier of Dance Central.
NH TechFest 2011 explored the Science of Fun with our Trebuchet competition theme of “Angry Balloons”. Harmonix Music Systems introduced Dance Central 2 to our student audience, kids ran across a pool of “non-Newtonian” fluid- better known as Oobleck, and we featured an alarmingly brilliant Laser Show in the auditorium. Our hosts, FIRST Robotics Team 3467, the Windham Windup invited a number of local teams to demo their latest robots.
Our 2012 festival asked “how many hands does it take” to make a product or offer a service. Workers of many different backgrounds in education or training have to work cooperatively to produce the devices we use every day. High tech companies require staff with expertise in more than just the STEM fields – there are writers, financial experts, communications specialists, even artists and musicians. Creativity abounded with HubSpot’s home-grown version of Gangnam Style, jet engines and simulators from GE, Microsoft’s new Surface, and a sleek black aerial drone from CM Robotics. Robots of all sizes maneuvered in one corner while teens danced in another. You could try your hand at arthroscopic surgery or chat with an FBI agent. FRC Team 3467 hosted FTC, FRC, and VEX teams from around the New England region.
Last year, the 2013 NH TechFest audience decided that “everybody loves Baxter” – the manufacturing robot from ReThink Robotics. We saw the amazing climbing wheelchair and “Luke arm” from DEKA, and the inspiring bionic prosthetics from BIOM. Builders vs Destroyers trebuchet contest may have been bested by strong winds, but the competition was steep.
The New Hampshire TechFest Steering Committee are the people that make the TechFest happen. They represent a cross-section of professional disciplines, and ensure that all perspectives in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) are considered in all TechFest programs.
- Chairman: Yvonne Tsai - Physician, MIT Educational Counselor, member of Coalition on the Public Understanding of Science, MIT K-12 STEM, Board member MIT Club of NH, Science Festival Alliance volunteer, FIRST Robotics mentor Team 241,
- Vice Chairman: Mary Lee, US FIRST
- Secretary: Diane Chubb, Legalogos
- Treasurer: Monica Turcotte – Clear Directives
- Board Member: Joseph Cunningham – Program Coordinator and Professor, Robotics and Automation Engineering Technology at NHTI, FIRST Robotics coach Team 241
- Board Member: Scott Kukshtel - CADD/Engineering instructor Salem High, FIRST Robotics coach Team 3467
- Communications: Paula Frank – Website, Flyer Communications
- Technology & Innovation Mentor : Jim Bull - past Mass Challenge finalist, extensive experience in video game industry start-ups.
The purpose of the NH TechFest Steering Committee is primarily to select, plan and coordinate all activities in support of the production of the annual New Hampshire TechFest. The Steering Committee will represent a cross-section of professional disciplines, while ensuring that all perspectives in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) are considered.
Steering Committee Member Responsibilities:
- Obtain support from their individual employers or management for NH TechFest Steering Committee activities.
- Perform all tasks necessary to insure the NH TechFest fulfills its mission and stated goals:
- Successfully plan, coordinate, and manage all tasks required to successfully produce the annual NH TechFest.
- Attract, entertain and ultimately satisfy significant numbers of attendees in the targeted demographic (i.e. middle/high school students who would not necessarily already be planning to enter the STEM fields).
- Continue to build on previous year successes by attracting an ever increasing variety and caliber of leading-edge technology demonstrations, exhibits, and learning experiences.
- Attend and participate in Steering Committee meetings, including conference calls, membership meetings, workshops, and host meetings as needed and time will permit.
- Evangelize the mission and goals of the NH TechFest at every opportunity.
Steering Committee Chair:
- The Steering Committee will be led by a single Chair, but all Steering Committee members are voting members. Decisions shall be determined by majority vote.
- The Chair will provide leadership in sharing resources, seeking new resources, and will monitor the work of task forces/teams to keep activities ongoing.
- The Chair will be the primary (but not the only) point of contact between the Steering Committee and the Advisory Board. The Steering Committee Chair will also chair the formal meetings of the Advisory Board.
Collaborators are companies, institutions, and organizations who fully support our mission and goals by providing advice, leadership and guidance on the content and execution of the New Hampshire TechFest. They do not necessarily provide financial support, but instead assist us with a depth of knowledge and experience that we could not possibly hope to attain without their help. Many of the Steering Committee and Advisory Board members are drawn from the ranks of our Collaborators.
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