Winterset’s Hyperstream IT-Adventures Club Participates in IT-Olympics
Winterset’s IT-Adventures club had their debut run at their first IT-Olympics in Ames, IA at Hilton Coliseum on Friday and Saturday, April 25 and 26. They were the largest club in attendance, which included over 50 schools and organizations and over 670 students for the four-venue competition of: robotics, gaming, multimedia, and cyber defense. Winterset was one of a few schools that participated in all 4 venues. The club had over 30 in attendance, with 15 students participating in robotics, 6 in multi-media, 6 in gaming, and only 2 in the very difficult cyber defense venue.The students representing the gaming team included: James Frost, Tyler Gerwig, Michael Hornback, Izaak Wadle, Connor Wills, and Caleb VanHorn. The robotics division brought two teams which included: Jim Akers, Trenten Cook, Noah Comstock, Zach Dawson, Corbin Kems, Quenton Millard, Brady Sheets, and Eric Shortt, The other robotics team included: Vianna Bernal, Becca Bonham, Katelyn Bonham, Destiny Kaddoo, Nick McCutchan, and Mason McKeever. The cyber defense team included Trevor Kems and Daniel Milligan. The multimedia team included: Madaya Bentcik, Trevor Johnson, Christian Ramirez, Nicole Rogers, Lisa Thornburg, and Mya Vo.
These teams competed quite well by collaborating with other teams and peers. A few Winterset parents and fans were in attendance to see learning, collaboration, and competition in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) areas. Even though subjective judging was utilized, a great deal of scenarios was objectively scored based on accomplishing tasks in the live performances. The competition was stressful at times due to the time constraints and the variables that were added in by the judges. The best-planned scenarios had to be adapted for each individual team due to the collaborative nature of depending on other teams’ programming and overall designs of games, robots, presentations, and system set-ups.
There were many real time scenarios in robotics and gaming. The robotics teams had to make a 66 team Rube Goldberg device that transported balls through each team’s robot into a final container. Collaboration with the team in front and the team behind was a necessity! The robotics teams also created a programmed robot that could rescue a tram and radioactive meteorites. The gaming venue programmed a game based on Zombie attacks, simulations of characters riding hover crafts, and various other situations. The multi-media venue created and designed a marketing campaign for a movie that included a logo, a poster to hang outside a theater, a website for the proposed movie, and a movie trailer to be utilized in advertising. The cyber defense team did all they could to keep a corporate webserver HTTP and SSH up and running. They were also judged for their environment and task management system HTTP and RDP.They had to document and avoid “attacks” from graduate students who were constantly trying to bring down their servers and penetrate their firewalls.
While all teams were busy creating, programming, building, and securingnetworks, individual team members were utilized to solve brainteasers and IQ-quizzes that could add bonus points to the total team scores. These teasers were logical reasoning and higher math problems that had to be solved in a period of time.
Katelyn Bonham and Trevor Kems presented the community serviceproject which was completed at home by many members of the team and students who were willing to volunteer their time to move the cyber lab from the 3rd floor of the administrative building to its new home in the junior/senior high. It took many shifts of students working together to make the big move and reconnect the hardware and software for all the computers. Thanks to the help of many students and the support from the administrative and tech staff, the cyber lab and equipment is student and handicapped accessible. This project accounted for twenty percent of the competition points for each team.
Winterset’s teams did not receive a top three finish in their venues, yet they showed a great deal of growth over the season and over the two-day competition. This competition truly teaches problem-solving, real-world application, and a unique approach to learning. Grant funding from Technology Association of Iowa, Hyperstream, and the Iowa Governor’s STEM council allowed Winterset students to learn about the various career pathways in information technology and STEM related fields. Due to the support of many companies in Iowa, Winterset’s club received t-shirts, food, door prizes, software, travel allowances, mentoring, field trips, and technology equipment that supported STEM programming in the 7th12th grade.
Mary K. Overholtzer