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September 10, 2019

How the Technology Student Association – the other TSA -- is preparing the next generation of technologists

By Joshua Eyaru

Joshua Eyaru — a technologist from Uganda working at Creating IT Futures as part of his Atlas Corps fellowship — recently attended the national conference of the Technology Student Association. He writes about that experience in this blog post.

 

You may be surviving – even thriving – as technological innovations and advancements during the last couple of decades continue to disrupt societies and economies around the globe. But as the pace of digital transformation continues to accelerate, your kids may need a little more help than you did to succeed.

 

Plus, emerging technologies -- such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotics and augmented reality (AR) – are developing so quickly that helping your children prepare for a career working with technology without a little more support is becoming increasingly difficult, too.

 

That’s why you should know about Creating IT Futures partner organization, the Technology Student Association – the other TSA.

 

TSA is a national, non-profit organization of middle- and high-school students engaged in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Since TSA’s start in 1978, nearly 4 million student members have participated through competitions, intra-curricular activities, leadership opportunities, community service and more. TSA represents more than 2,000 schools in 48 states across the United States.

 

I had the privilege of visiting the 2019 National TSA Conference this year. With more than 8,300 students attending, too, I could see clearly how the organization is boosting students’ mastery in technology and related fields. Every student was involved in something at the conference. While some students participated in competitions in areas ranging from coding to digital photography, others attended educational break-out sessions with tech industry experts covering these topics and other STEM subjects.

 

I met one student who had invested his very best effort to competing for national recognition at the conference. Like most students, he was nervous and eager to win. And while he didn’t advance to the competition finals, he realized he had accomplished other objectives in the process: Gaining knowledge and sharpening his learning skills.

 

At the TSA conference, CompTIA and Creating IT Futures conducted a panel discussion with parents about preparing students for careers in technology. The discussion focused on issues facing parents as they guide their teens through post-secondary education options and career opportunities in technology.

 

CharlesEaton_speaks_at_TSA2019

 

Charles Eaton, CEO of Creating IT Futures, shared information from his award-winning book, How to Launch Your Teen’s Career in Technology: A Parent’s Guide to the T in STEM Education.

 

Meanwhile, TechGirlz, a Creating IT Futures program also focused on young students, conducted a session where they shared stories of their work with middle-school girls. Alicia Park, national outreach manager, asked attendees to use the organization’s content and curriculum to extend more girl-centric programs within their communities.

 

In addition, more than 100 students and teachers had the opportunity to sit for the CompTIA IT Fundamentals certification exam during the conference.

 

Today, they are technology students; tomorrow, they will be the leading technologists of the U.S. workforce.

 

Joshua Eyaru, who is from Uganda, is a fellow with Atlas Corps assigned to Creating IT Futures. He holds a master’s degree in business administration from Kampala International University and is interested in non-governmental organizations management. (His undergraduate degree is in Information Technology.)

 

In 2014, Eyaru co-founded Youth for Reconciliation and Leadership, a community-based organization promoting peace and digital literacy in rural Serere, Uganda. He also works part-time as a digital skills trainer, and has helped more than 5,000 young people acquire skills as part of the Google Digital Skills for Africa project.

 

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