HI-TEC Conference: Why You Should Attend

The HI-TEC Conference is produced by a consortium of National Science Foundation funded Advanced Technological Education centers and projects as an annual event where secondary and postsecondary educators, counselors, industry professionals, trade organizations, and technicians can update their knowledge and skills. The conference, launched in 2009, evolved out of the highly-successful SAME-TEC Conference. According to Michael Lesiecki, director of the NSF funded Maricopa Advanced Technology Education Center in Arizona, the conference “focuses on preparing a skilled and educated workforce needed to meet the demands of high-tech sectors that drive our nation’s economy.”

Each year, HI-TEC uniquely explores the convergence of scientific disciplines, and new and emerging technologies. These include advanced manufacturing technologies; agricultural; energy and environmental technologies; biotechnology and chemical processes; electronics; engineering technologies: information communications: geospatial and security technologies: learning; evaluation and research, and micro and nanotechnologies. Deb Newberry, 2012 conference chair and director of the Nano-Link Center in Minnesota said “attendees include high school, community college & university educators, workforce development advocates, trade organizations, industry professionals, and technicians.”

Conference options include a choice of 14 pre-conference workshops and 2 industry site tours during the first 2 days, followed by the 2-day main conference featuring keynote speakers, 60 breakout sessions and poster sessions. Attendees are encouraged to present on new and emerging technologies in their area of expertise. “We’re currently accepting half-day pre-conference workshop presentation proposals, main conference session presentation (45, 75, and 90 minutes) proposals, and poster session proposals on our website” said Gordon Snyder, director of the ICT Center in Massachusetts and 2013 conference chair.

Outside the immediate context of the conference, HI-TEC is also a great place to network with people who have NSF grants, and learn write one and maybe even have a little fun. Austin is the live music capital of the United States that coupled with restaurants, shopping and lots of other activities make it a nice conference to bring families along.

“There are opportunities for just about everyone attending to present, learn and leave with classroom materials that can be used immediately” said Snyder. We want to learn about your technology and what you’re doing in your classrooms with your students. You don’t need to have an NSF grant to attend, or present. HI-TEC runs July 21-24 this year in Austin with call for presentations and registration currently open at http://www.highimpact-tec.org.

For more information on HI-TEC contact Dr. Marilyn Barger at barger@fl-ate.org, or visit http://www.highimpact-tec.org.