BERWYN – For most teachers, the sight of students running in the hallways is unfavored, but Jordan Garrett and Ramona Towner of Berwyn South School District 100 have made an exception to the rule.
Garrett and Towner, both instructional coaches at District 100, have seen students running from one end of Heritage Middle School in Berwyn to the other during past Students Involved with Technology conferences. In their eyes, if they spot students who are that eager to learn, then they won’t get in their way.
“Why are they running?” Towner asked. “Because they’re excited to get to their next session. So, that’s a great problem to have.”
Garrett and Towner, too, can’t contain their excitement for the upcoming SIT Conference, which will be from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 10. The event is led by third through 12th graders, who will present on topics ranging from making music with software like GarageBand to coding with programs like Scratch Workbook.
“It’s all about student leadership, and that’s kind of what is at the forefront of the conference,” Garrett said. “That’s what the message really is. It’s about kids taking ownership of their own learning and then figuring out ways to share that with their peers."
Students interested in presenting at the conference or attending have until Jan. 21 to register online, and all presenters are required to have a sponsor, Garrett said. The cost to register for participants, presenters and sponsors is $30.
Heritage is one of six Illinois schools that will play host to SIT, which originally began in Bloomington-Normal, according to an event website. Other sites include Westgate Elementary School in Arlington Heights, Blackhawk Middle School in Bensenville, DeKalb High School, Jonesboro Elementary School and Heartland Community College in Normal.
What Garrett and Towner value most about the event is that it brings together students from within District 100 and neighboring towns, who share the same passion for technology. Garrett said this year’s conference will see students from Darien, Downers Grove, La Grange, Orland Park and Oak Forest.
A presentation from a keynote speaker, interactive challenges and opportunities to win prizes will round out the rest of the day’s affair.
“For us to be a part of it, it is just giving our students this opportunity that’s in their backyard that might not be there otherwise because it’s opening them up not only to learn from each other, but it’s opening them up to learn from people across the state,” Garrett said.
To learn about the conference and register, visit sitconference.org.