SWFRTP members donating their time for the event were Jon Boynton, Barbara Ramos, Esmeralda Gonzalez, Grace LaFreniere, Felipe Velosa, John LaFreniere (SWFRTP President) and Tina LaFreniere (SWFRTP Executive Administrator). Most of these members also donated their time to the pre-qualification event held in December, also at Cypress Lake. At that tournament, SWFRTP Vice President, Linda Lyding, donated her time and talents as well. Each judge went through several hours of training prior to the events.
The event was covered by the Ft. Myers News-Press paper.https://www.news-press.com/story/news/local/2019/01/12/lego-robotics-competition-fuels-kids-passions-cypress-lake-middle-school/2528823002/
All participants, students, judges and volunteers, are encouraged to dress in crazy hats or costumes. This enhances the fun of the tournament and puts students more at ease while in judging sessions.
The tournament was for teams of up to ten students ranging in age from nine to fourteen. Each year teams compete in the areas of Core Values, Robot Game and Research Project with a changing theme each year. This year's theme is Into Orbit, which is about humans living long term in space.
The SWFRTP sponsors local FIRST teams at multiple levels from elementary to high school. One of the teams we sponsor, The Edisonian Bots, competed at this tournament and performed very well. They will be advancing to the Regional Championship to be held at Hillsboro Community College in Plant City, Florida, on February 23.
Once again, out of the hundreds of thousands of Microsoft competitors for the State of Florida, Dunbar High School continues its dominance and has two more students ready to compete for a national title.
Dunbar now has its 11th and 12th Florida State Champions.
Dunbar High School, Fort Myers, FL – January 9, 2019(Pictured: Mark Dunaway, Kevin Dimaculangan, Carson Mulvey, and Jason Perretta)
Dunbar High School and Certiport (www.certiport.com), a Pearson VUE business, announced the following students, who have been named Florida’s Microsoft Office Specialist Champions for the Fall Qualifying Round in their categories. The students have been invited to compete at the 2019 Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) U.S. National Championship at the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista in Orlando, Florida, June 17-19, 2019.
*Dunbar also had Mr. Jason Perretta’s freshman student, Jada Bunton, as the 3rd Place Florida State winner - Microsoft Word 2016. Although this placement will not take her to the nationals, there is a Spring 2019 qualifying round. She will have an opportunity to try for one of those 1st place spots and hopefully get to attend the national competition as well.
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Technology Gap Report Published
The Southwest Florida Regional Technology Partnership would like to thank everyone who participated in our Technology Gap Survey. The data collected proved valuable in seeing what certifications are most desired by employers in Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee Counties.
The SWFRTP has compiled a comprehensive report from the data collected and you may access the PDF report in this blog. A briefing on the report will also be delivered at the January 10, 2019, TechTalk event to be held at Endeavor work spaces - register for the event on our Events Page. A limited number of hard copies will be made available.
SWFRTP Technology Gap Survey Report.pdf
We hope this report, and the data it provides, proves valuable to all government agencies and businesses reading the report.
2018 – Big Year for SWFRTP; Looking Forward to 2019 for Even More!
Welcome to 2019 and another exciting year ahead for the SWFRTP! 2018 was a banner year for the Southwest Florida Regional Technology Partnership Foundation! We grew our membership and sponsorship exponentially, and provided increased value and support to the communities we serve through these incredible accomplishments:
In the fall of 2018 we decided it was time to refresh our branding. This was another opportunity to feature the talented students here in SW Florida by holding a design contest for a new logo and tag line. Congratulations to our winners, Marlissa Curley and Armand Procacci! Keep watching our website for our new look coming soon!
We are excited about the prospects for 2019 with your involvement, volunteerism and support. We will be offering member only events starting in 2019 and begin to redesign our Website to reflect the new logo and tag line. Our mission remains strong and with your participation, we will keep the technology momentum going!!
The Southwest Florida Regional Technology Partnership (SWFRTP) welcomes Wendi Fowler to the Board Directors. Fowler has been leader for more than 20 years in the technology field as past president and owner of The Client Server, Inc., which was recently acquired by ITVantage. In 2017, Wendi was awarded the “Woman of the Year in Technology” by SWFRTP. She is currently the Director of Marketing and Sales at ITVantage. Wendi holds a Degree in Marketing and Business Management, plus various community honors and industry certifications.
Congratulation to the Java the HUTTS!
To learn more about FIRST robotics you can visit: www.firstinspires.org.
To follow the Java the HUTTS through their competition season you can visit their site www.javathehutts.org.
The Southwest Florida Coders would like to invite the members and contacts of the Southwest Regional Technology Partnership to a special event on Thursday, November 1, from 6:30 - 8:30.
The event will be held at the Flightdocs Technology Center, 27200 Riverview Center Blvd, Suit 101, Bonita Springs, FL.
Pizza and beverages will be provided at this free event. For complete information please click on the link:
When Linda Lyding was invited to become a Board Member of the Southwest Florida Regional Technology Partnership(SWFRTP), it was the beginning of yet another chapter in IBM's considerable impact through volunteer efforts of both active and retired employees.
SWFRTP's mission is to encourage the development, growth and attraction of technology resources and technology companies in Southwest Florida. This is an area of the country, like many others, seeing huge challenges in attracting and retaining technology skills across many industries and market segments. In parallel, the five county area served by SWFRTP, a 501(c) 3, is also experiencing rapid growth in both K -12 and higher learning education populations.
Throughout 2017 and 2018, funded by an IBM discretionary grant determined by Beth F. Tracy, IBM Corporate Citizenship Manager, and SWFRTP has been able to:
*Increase our support of the local high school Robotics programs by 300% and extend that support to FIRST Robotics program
*Provide mentoring and support for the Aspirations in Computing program for over 100 young women attending several area high schools. This included the opportunity to showcase IBM's achievements and advancements focus on the many uses of technology in the workplace, from tracking zebras on a game preserve to the impact of Watson technology aiding farmers with crop management and doctors with improved analysis around the world. Lyding provided the Keynote to the 2018 regional Aspirations in Computing participants and SWFRTP, expanding grant monies to provide additional assistance benefitting the young women being recognized for their achievements in coding and using technology throughout the School year. Several of these students went on to compete in the Women in Technology National event.
*Enable first time offering, to over 40 participants, the opportunity to create a Home Media Server, using Raspberry Pi and learning the basics of coding. This unique effort was designed for both youth and those adults seeking to build new skills to improve employability in the current job market.
In addition to the financial support the IBM grant has had in extending the reach of SWFRTP into the community, IBM volunteer resources have also participated in several panel discussions as part of Tech Talk Thursday networking event held for free each month to connect the business and education communities together on key and relevant technology topics. Most recently at the start of Hurricane Season, IBM provided resources and the IBM Volunteers Disaster Kit information to our local businesses and members as part of a community discussion on how to prepare your business, employees and community for disasters. Post Hurricane Irma, Beth Tracy served as a panelist sharing about IBM's business continuity and disaster resiliency efforts and impact.
A special appreciation to Beth F. Tracy, IBM Corporate Citizenship Manager and strategic partner, and to the volunteer leadership and expertise of Linda Lyding, SWFRTP Board Member and retired IBM Vice President, Global Technology Services. The IBM discretionary partnership grant has made a significant difference to the SW Florida region and our communities.
The Southwest Florida Regional Technology Partnership (RTP) invites parents, students, school representatives, volunteers and others interested in robotics technology to the IMAG History & Science Center for a free event about the FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) robotics competition program. FIRST makes technology fun for kids by turning robotics into a sport. Attendees will learn how to start their own team or join an existing team and how to become a mentor, coach or sponsor of a FIRST team. The event is Thursday, August 2nd, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at IMAG located at 2000 Cranford Ave. in Fort Myers and is open to the public. Registration is open at www.swfrtp.org.
The Technology Partnership has supported local FIRST teams for three years and has a shared goal with IMAG to excite kids about science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) education in Southwest Florida. Through FIRST, kids have the opportunity to explore technology from engineering to videography, from programming to business applications. The IMAG is hosting this event to help inform the Southwest Florida community about FIRST.
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a nonprofit organization founded by prolific inventor and entrepreneur Dean Kamen. This program makes technology fun for kids by turning robotics into a sport. It also empowers kids to present their knowledge to others and to give back to their communities by educating others about STEAM education. FIRST programs span K-12 grades starting with FIRST LEGO® League Jr. for Kindergarten students up to third-grade, FIRST LEGO® League for children in fourth-grade through eighth-grade, FIRST Tech Challenge for students in 7th-grade through 12th-grade, or FIRST Robotics Competition for high school students in 9th-grade through 12th grade. Learn more at www.firstinspires.org.
About the Regional Technology Partnership
The Southwest Florida Regional Technology Partnership (RTP) was chartered in 2008 and is the only group dedicated solely to the growth of the technology cluster in southwest Florida. The nonprofit organization is a member of Lee County’s Horizon Council and is comprised of technology companies and technology users, economic development groups and higher education institutions. Through its strategies of catalyze, cultivate and connect, the RTP produces educational seminars, career forums, professional networking events and the only regional awards program dedicated to technology development and implementation. Membership and sponsorship information is available at www.swfrtp.org.
About the IMAG History & Science Center
IMAG History and Science Center is a family-friendly destination offering fun interactive exhibits, an aquarium, history displays and a 3D theater. The mission is to engage guests in the exploration of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), and more recently the history of Southwest Florida. This is achieved through hands-on experiences and educational programs that further the understanding of the natural and human-made world, and foster an appreciation for the unique environment, natural waterways and rich history of Southwest Florida. A visit to IMAG nurtures intellectual curiosity, discovery and innovation. For more information, visit www.theIMAG.org or visit in person - 2000 Cranford Avenue | Fort Myers, Florida, 33916.
Beginning in March of 2018, the SWFRTP has been partnering with Career Source Southwest Florida to identify technology gaps in our area.
Career Source has grant funds to assist individuals and employers to gain technology training and certifications. On June 26th , the SWFRTP and CSSF revealed to the public the ways for both employed and unemployed workers to gain access to the aforementioned training.
A lot of information was provided that evening, and we would like to make sure everyone has a clear understanding of how to participate. Also, we know that some people were unable to attend the event.
Peg Elmore has graciously provided her PowerPoint deck, so that everyone can review the information at their own pace. If you have any questions about the grant or how to participate, please contact Peg Elmore at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click below to access the presentation from the CareerSource SWFL Emerging Initiatives Grant event.
2018 0626 SWFRTP IT Grant.pdf
2018 0626 SWFRTP IT Grant.pdf