Reported by Russell Chai, Sunset High School
The Tech for Kids Club 2016 End-Of-Summer Conference was held at the Tektronix building on September 24, 2016, where over 60 families attended. This conference is all about the past, present and future for Tech4Kids. The meeting included showcases of what kids had learned in the Tech4Kids summer camp, speeches on what Tech4Kids is doing now, and presentations on what is to come for our club.
The conference started off with an amazing ballet performance. The dance was a collaboration between Tech4Kids and Haiyan International Dance Academy. During the summer, a few students from each association met and practiced regularly. All of the dancers dedicated their time and hard work to provide this performance. After the dance, applauses were given and Club President, Jin Yang, gave an introduction of the conference. He talked the huge success of the T4K summer camp and what our club accomplished in the past year.
During the summer, students learned a lot about public speaking, thus, the club presented many speeches given by middle schoolers and high schoolers. From the Middle School Toastmasters, Colin Liu and Kyle Liu each gave speeches on the importance of programming and why they like to code. Lele Yang, from the Middle School Girls Public Speaking team, gave a speech on her evolution of public speaking and how this club helped her improve her skills. Following Lele’s speech was Stanley Wang from the 8th Grade Public Speaking team. He discussed his beliefs on parenting, that it should be a combination of Asian parenting and western parenting. Also from the Middle School Girls Public Speaking team, Jenny Duan, Annabelle Wang, Laura Qin, Angie Cao, Jennifer Zhang and Katherine Fan gave a group speech on self-driving cars. From the High School YSL program, three open panels were given about serious topics in the world, such as feminism and the importance of veganism. Special shout out to Cate Arnold, a Beaverton City Councilor and Toast Master veteran, who donated her time to mentoring the team in Toastmasters. After the open panels, she gave a speech on Toastmasters and the importance of public speaking. Also from the YSL program, Breanna Guo talked about the Lincoln High School walk out. Lincoln High School is a very old school, about 100 years old and is said to be not safe for students. The students at Lincoln walked out of school one day to protest. The last group to give a speech is the 7th Grade Public Speech Leadership team. William Guo gave a speech on why students should take math courses online. The group together did a small play about Pokémon Go and why people should use their phones less.
The conference wasn’t just about public speaking however. Awards and recognition was given to volunteers and workers of the club. These people gave up their time for the well-being of Tech4Kids. They are the Youth Leadership students and the hardworking parents that put their kids’ education over their personal matters. Silu Men and Aaron Sha introduced the Tech4Kids Youth board members. This group of people are board-selected students who actively help out the club. The Youth board discusses what they think Tech4Kids should do and their opinions get presented to the board members. Elaine Yang, a NCWIT (National Center for Women & Information Technology) AspireIT winner and a Sophomore at Sunset High School, introduced Tech4Girls program. This program is to help middle school girls learn the basic programming skills necessary to make useful apps and grow their interests in app development.
All in all, it was not only a successful conference, but a successful year for Tech4Kids. Another special thanks to all the volunteers who contributed at the conference and the mentors who taught at Tech4Kids