83rd Annual Fall Technology Conference Brings Educators Together
More than 400 technology education alumni and educators and over 100 students learned new skills and grew their professional networks during the 83rd Annual Fall Conference, sponsored by the Technology Department in the School of Education.
Rich Bush ’92 M’97, department and conference chair, said he enjoyed reconnecting with former students and colleagues, especially when he learned that their children have also chosen to attend SUNY Oswego’s technology education program to continue the tradition–a phenomenon he encounters regularly.
Assistant Professor of Technology Karin Dykeman ’91 M’99 CAS’19 echoed Bush’s sentiments.
“This event is the highlight of the year for me (and many others) because it’s like a reunion for those of us in tech ed,” she said. “As friends and colleagues, we look forward to seeing and reconnecting with each other for professional and personal edification; it’s an opportunity to see, talk to, and learn from each other. We have so many incredibly innovative and talented teachers; the new things they bring to share each year are incredible. As the preeminent technology and engineering education program in the state, we have a tremendous number of alumni who return for the conference as well as folks from other institutions who come to take advantage of all our presenters and vendors have to offer.”
The conference also involved an additional 112 SUNY Oswego students who were among the presenters, organizers, workers and attendees, Bush said.
Among those students were electrical and computer engineering students Yahya Ndiaye ’22 and Diego Ibanez ’23 who presented, “MagRetract: The Autonomous Cleaning Robot,” their senior capstone project. The pair are building a robot that could autonomously or manually clean construction sites of any metal debris to reduce the number of worksite injuries. They described their process, challenges they’ve encountered and how they expected to complete the project by their Dec. 2 semester deadline. (See related story. ADD LINK)
For Senegal native Ndiaye, who graduated in December and has a job lined up with Freeport-Mcmoran, a mining company, in Arizona, the Tech Conference offered him another opportunity to learn and grow.
“On multiple occasions throughout this project, every time we move one step, we went two steps backward,” Ndiaye said. “However, we never gave up on a problem before leaving the lab. We always tried to understand what the problem was so that when we came the next day we would know exactly how to go around fixing it. It is very fulfilling to be able to explain what the problem was and how we overcame it using the knowledge taught to us in our classes and through the experiences we have had through the years.”
Their presentation was one of more than 50 different workshops and presentations available over the course of the two-day conference. Some workshops provided hands-on projects for educators to bring back to their classrooms, such as programming an LED light show to music, doing a woodworking hand tool project, building a 1947 Ford Rat Rod in a wood shop, creating a ukulele or building a droid. Others were aimed at helping educators advance their field through curriculum development, continuing education for teachers, recruiting students into STEM majors and diversifying the field.
But there was also plenty of time for informal interactions and networking.
“We had a blockbuster banquet dinner with over 245 people in attendance,” Bush said of the Thursday night event. “This was the largest number of people attending in the seven years that we’ve been hosting it at the Lake Ontario Event Center.”
Don’t miss out on next year’s conference. Save the dates: the 84th Annual Fall Conference is set for Oct. 26-27, 2023.
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