Tech education students take on communications challenge at national conference
Margaret Romano, junior technology education specialist at SUNY Oswego, and her team placed second overall in the National Communications Challenge for their video submission that showed the scope of technology education for a major national conference in March. in Orlando.
ITEEA (International Technology and Engineering Educators Association)/TEECA (Technology and Engineering Education Collegiate Association) Conference The communications challenge offered students a fun and creative way to show off not only their technology skills, but also the communication skills they are taught in the technology education curriculum, such as the communications course that teaches them the basic principles of Adobe.
Romano’s team consisted of Romano as manager; Bryleigh Beauchat, who served as assistant director and did the animation; and Taylor Mackowiak, who also served as assistant director and handled graphics. Romano paid tribute to student Samuel Solomon who provided the voiceover and happily assisted with the project until 4 a.m. the day before their flights departed for the conference.
The video was inspired by the 1980s game show “Supermarket Sweep,” which recently made its return to Netflix. Students not only had to submit their final video to the judges, but also a treatment of the film, a storyboard and a shot list.
The video format strictly required the following:
- :06 seconds, animated school or department logo
- : 50 second video showing the range
- : 10 seconds scene credit
- School animated logo
Romano notes that the credit scene, led by Mackowiak, was handled more creatively than the other participants.
“I couldn’t have done this without Bryleigh and Taylor,” Romano said. “It’s one thing to say I edited the video, but it really took a team of three.”
By placing second overall, the team was able to show the judges their reach while showcasing the skills learned at SUNY Oswego. Not only was it a great opportunity to practice their education, but it was also a great way to connect with other students and work together in their major.
“The tech ed department is big, but it’s small,” Romano said. “We all know each other, we’re at Wilber and Park every day – it’s our playground. When we do something together like that, it really feels good to be recognized.
Due to COVID-19, many students are only beginning to experience the benefits of attending conferences for the first time. Romano said this was her first conference since starting at SUNY Oswego, but she wasted no time connecting with other students and professionals.
“You were immersed from the start in a friendly and learning-filled atmosphere,” Romano said. “Everyone was eager to share who they were, their experience and the things they had found. As a student, it’s easy to lose sight of what you’re doing due to the stress of school and classes, but being at the conference, I was like, ‘This is it, this is the professional world in which I signed up for and I really do love it.'”
Conferences not only contain educational sessions that students can benefit from, but they also provide unique networking opportunities for students and professionals. Romano said it was one of the best parts of the ITEEA/TEECA conference, as she was given the opportunity to join the ITEEA – The Elementary STEM Council as a student representative.
“The council is a group of educators who work with elementary STEM, which can be K-6 or K-5.” said Romano. “I knew I wanted to get into elementary STEM so this was a great networking opportunity – I would do it once a month if I could!”
Overall, Romano would recommend lectures to SUNY Oswego students and peers.
“For the STEM council, I introduced myself, shared what I’d like to see from the council, and they asked if I wanted to write for them and be the student representative,” Romano said. “It just shows that you attend these conferences and a million doors can open for you.”