AMES, Iowa – HyperStream with the IT-Olympics has a record breaking number of clubs involved for its eighth year. This program for middle school and high school youth happens throughout the school year and focuses on different aspects of technology.
“HyperStream was created out of the Technology Association of Iowa,” said HyperStream director, Tyler Wyngarden. “We wanted to address the lack of young people going into computer science and technology fields and be part of the solution.”
HyperStream is partnered with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and the College of Engineering, as well as being an approved program from the Governor’s STEM Initiative. HyperStream focuses on five different areas of technology: game design, multimedia, cyber defense, robotics and app development.
Throughout the school year, clubs work as a team to overcome real world challenges and learn basic technology skills. Youth involved with this program learn valuable teamwork and individual skills from the different challenges they do throughout the year.
“There aren’t a lot of programs where young people are given some foundational skills and then it’s up to them to accomplish tasks,” said David Seilstad, 4-H youth program specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach. “It’s all on the youth.”
The IT-Olympics is the capstone competition of HyperStream for high school youth, which takes place toward the end of April in Hilton Coliseum at Iowa State. One of the main parts of the IT-Olympics is the robotics competition, where students build and program their own SUMO wrestling robot to compete. Youth also can participate in cyber defense, app development and multimedia events during the IT-Olympics.
in addition, clubs partake in a community service project as a part of the IT-Olympics. Clubs are allowed free rein on what they do for a community service project as long as it uses technology to better their community in some way, said Wyngarden.
The goal of HyperStream and the IT-Olympics is to spark interest in continuing down the path of science and technology while gaining valuable skills from working with real world scenarios and working closely with a team.
“We want to get students excited about creating technology, not just being users of technology,” said Wyngarden.
“By working with the IT-Olympics and HyperStream, young people are getting exposure and connections to real world problems,” said Seilstad. “They are learning the engineering process -- making them more comfortable with creating technology.”
For more information on HyperStream and the IT-Olympics visit hyperstrem.org.