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Archive for the ‘Information Technology Education’ Category

Computer Programmers and Software Developers Make Life Easier and Fun!

Monday, September 24th, 2012

Computers are so important in our everyday lives. We use computers throughout the day to do everything from communicating with colleagues, family and friends, to researching a topic, to composing a letter, to creating a spreadsheet, to reading the news. With technology right at our fingertips we are able to instantly send a text or an email to someone on the other side of the world. Social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook allow us to post our thoughts and photos for anyone to see. When you think about it, it is absolutely mindboggling and amazing. We use apps on our smartphone or tablet to read the news or an e-book, check the weather, play a game, shop, or send a message. We expect our “computers” to be fast and work properly without any glitches. Did you ever stop to think who makes all of this possible? Computer programmers and software developers do!

Using a specialized code, computer programmers develop software applications that make our life easier and FUN! Computer programmers turn the program designs created by software developers and engineers into instructions that a computer can follow. Does this sound like something you would like to do? Students interested in programming/software development can participate in the Career and Technical Education Programming/Software Development Pathway at their high school.

My class is a challenging course that involves a real world programming language and prepares students for the challenges that they will face in the future—in college and the workforce. In the computer programming/software development class students complete projects using mySQL databases, the Android mobile environment, as well as integrating at least one other language,” says Cody Henrichsen, computer programming instructor at Canyons Technical Education Center (CTEC).

Students in the CTEC computer programming/software development class work on projects integrating Java and mySQL programming so they can interact with databases within their regular Java programming. Students study Android mobile development and develop an app to release on the Android Marketplace. “Last year, as a class project, students developed two apps that are going to be added to the marketplace this month. We developed apps that showcase the CTEC programs and offer a vocabulary study tool for a variety of classes including programming, cosmetology, electrical, and fire science. We are preparing them for release on all three of the major mobile environments,” says Henrichsen.

Students participating in the Programming/Software Development Pathway have the opportunity to participate in the following events throughout the year.

> Utah High School Supercomputing Competition
> Utah IT Challenge Competition
> Lego® Robotics Competition

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employment in computer systems design and related services is projected to increase by 45 percent through the year 2018. According to the Utah Technology Council, the technology industry represents 14.3 percent of the state’s total payroll, which includes over 100,000 high-wage jobs, having an economic impact of approximately $7 billion.

Would you describe yourself as an analytical thinker, independent, curious, and observant? Are you good at solving math problems and applying existing technology in creative ways? Do you like to play video games, try out new technology, and work on your own? If you answered yes, then a career in Information Technology may be of interest to you. Talk to your school counselor to learn more about the Programming/Software Development Pathway.

Jenny Whitecar: Future Video Game Designer/Programmer

Monday, May 7th, 2012

Jenny Whitecar
Occupational Goal: Video Game Designer/Programmer

“My goal is to become a video game designer or programmer. I want to work with Disney in their gaming department. . . The classes I took in high school have taught me about how to work with computers and shown me how to do some programming and design. They have taught me to use the programs that I would be using in my career field, and have given me a taste of what programming and design are like.

“The classes have helped me decide what kind of career I would like the most and [would] do my best at. The classes held my interest as both an artist and a technology fan. It has a great combination of creative leeway and a chance to advance in the growing market of technology.” —Jenny Whitecar, Syracuse High School

UtahCTE.org congratulates Jenny on the CTE Scholarship and Tuition Award she received to the Davis Applied Technology College. Jenny was one of 95 students honored at the CTE Scholarships and Tuition Awards banquet on Wednesday, May 2, 2012.

Left: Blair Carruth, Assistant Commissioner, Utah System of Higher Education
Middle: Jenny Whitecar
Right: Jared Haines, Vice President, Utah College of Applied Technology

Scratch Day: Meet, Share, Learn

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

Scratch Day is an annual event where students, parents, teachers, and hobbyists join together to write computer programs. People from all over the world gather at local events to meet with other Scratchers, share their projects, experiences and stories, and learn from one another.

What is Scratch? Scratch is a programming language that makes it easy to create interactive games, stories, animations, music, and art. At http://scratch.mit.edu/ you can view the 2,455,513 projects from Scratchers around the world. The diversity of projects shows the creativity of each Scratcher.

“As young people create and share Scratch projects, they learn important mathematical and computational ideas, while also learning to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively.”

Join fellow Scratchers at the University of Utah on Saturday, May 12, 2012 to meet, share, and learn. Organized by the Utah CSTA (Computer Science Teachers Association).

Who: Students, parents, teachers, and hobbyists – Ages 8 and up.

What: Scratch Day

Where: University of Utah
Warnock Engineering Building (#62)
CADE lab (room 24)
Salt Lake City, UT

When: Saturday, May 12, 2012

Time: 1:00-5:00 p.m.

Registration fee: $5.00

Registration deadline: Saturday, May 5, 2012

Share your Scratch stories and projects with UtahCTE.org. Send an email to UtahCTE@schools.utah.gov.

“I’m prepared to repair computers after high school!”

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012


The Computer Repair and Networking class introduces students to the inner workings of computers and networks. Students learn how to troubleshoot and repair various hardware, software, and configuration problems. Students also learn how to install basic computer components as well as to install and configure software ranging from operating systems to applications. Students learn how to design, install and troubleshoot Local Area Networks (LAN) Wide Area Networks (WAN).


Q&A with Lezlie Harper: Network Systems Instructor at the Canyons Technical Education Center (CTEC).

Question: What do you want parents and the community to know about your class?

Answer: The Computer Repair and Networking class at CTEC is awesome. Students in this class are trained to work on both the hardware and software components of computers. Students learn to remove virus and spyware programs on computers; they learn to speed up the computer by using tools like Disk Cleanup and Defrag. Students learn to save money by building their own computers from scratch. We have assembled ten new computers this year and are scheduled to complete builds for other students in the computer department at CTEC. During the networking portion of the class students learn to avoid security breaches and hacks. Upon completion of this class, students will be able to configure and monitor routers.

Question: What is the number one challenge for students as they begin to learn networking?

Answer: The number one challenge for students in beginning networking is memorizing the protocols and acronyms used in networking. Without this basic understanding, students can’t adequately complete the hands-on tasks necessary to configure routers and set up networks.

Question: What projects are your students working on?

Answer: Students are currently working on a series of lap tops. Some of the lap tops are older and students are freeing up space to make the computers run faster. Some of the lap tops are currently broken. Students are troubleshooting the lap tops to determine the problem; students will then theorize about solutions and then implement the solution.

In the near future students will meet with representatives from ZAGG, a Salt Lake County-based company that makes see-through protective film for electronic devices, to submit a proposal for the possibility of creating a computer whose tower can be completely submerged in water—an underwater computer build.

Question: Explain the idea/concept behind “an underwater computer build?”

Answer: The underwater computer build will eliminate the need for cooling in the computer case. Without the need for fans, and other liquid cooling methods which are expensive, students want to maintain the temperature of the computer with easily available water. This will save space in the case as well. If successful, the technology could be used in laptops, tablets and other devices. Then there is the “COOL” factor. Imagine being the first one on the block with a computer built in your fish tank! These students are always thinking . . .

Question: What upcoming events are students preparing for?

Answer: On March 7 and March 14, students will be working with the community to upgrade, speed-up, and repair slow or broken computers. Students will be repairing community computers at CTEC from 6:00 pm until 8:00 pm.

Question: Are students in your class participating in the upcoming Utah SkillsUSA competition?

Answer: Yes. On March 30 approximately 60 students from Canyons School District/Canyons Technical Education Center will compete in the Utah SkillsUSA competition at Salt Lake Community College where students will demonstrate a myriad of skills and compete against all other high schools in the state.

Question: Are there other competitions that your students are preparing for?

Answer: Yes. In March, eight students will compete in the Cisco NetRiders IT Skills Challenge world-wide competition. In this competition students will take tests to prove their knowledge and program a simulated router. Then in May, twenty-eight students will participate in the IT Challenge hosted by Utah Valley University. Students will compete for prizes and earn industry certifications.

Question: What are students saying about your class?

“It is hard to pinpoint one thing I’ve learned in this class. Everything I’ve learned is applicable to real-world careers and college,” said David Butler III.

“I’ve learned about how computers talk to each other while receiving the IC3 and A+ certifications,” said Ben Conder.

“I’m prepared to repair computers after high school. I’ve learned communication skills, although sometimes people look at me weird when I introduce myself and shake their hand. I love it!” said Justin Jones.

 Visit UtahCTE.org to learn more about a career in Information Technology and the Network Systems Pathway.

Meet the Program Management Director of Symantec, Inc.: Cynthia Ann Sanders

Monday, February 27th, 2012


Introducing… Cynthia Ann Sanders

A graduate of … West Jordan High School

Now working as … Director, Program Management – responsible for on-time delivery of enterprise software products to market.

Employer … Symantec, Inc.

Check out this website … http://www.linkedin.com – Cindy Sanders

AP English was her favorite class in high school because …“My teacher taught us how to think outside of the box.  The research and problem solving skills served me well throughout my career.”

Cynthia’s first job … Hotel Housekeeper.

The worst job?  Custodian in a grocery story.  On the plus side, having to clean up “disgusting” messes convinced Cynthia to pursue a college education so that she didn’t have to do that kind of work for the rest of her life.

Cynthia reports her most significant training beyond high school was … participating in the MIT Executive Leadership Program, entitled “Leading Change in Complex Organizations” and included the study of human behavior, as well as statistical and analytical analysis.

A Career Highlight … “Promotions are obvious achievements but not the most noteworthy. I enjoyed working the most when I was making a difference or having an impact on my company, co-workers, employees and shareholders.”

Advice to students: “Pick a career you can be passionate about, something you love to do. If you can find this, it won’t feel like work.”

Meet a Database Administrator: Chad Markle

Monday, February 20th, 2012


Introducing… Chad Markle

A graduate of … Grimsley High School (Greensboro, N.C.)

Now working as … Senior SQL Server Database Administrator, responsible for the reliability and performance of the data that drives business.

For … MetTel.

Check out the website: www.mettel.net

Electronics was his favorite high school class because … “It was a very hands-on class. We got to build and repair various electronic devices and learn how they work.”

Chad’s first job – was mowing lawns, and also working in the kitchen of a “high-end burger restaurant.”

The worst job? Working at a software company, but what made it the worst was going through a big growth phase – a build-up to over 100 employees – and then downsizing that resulted in Chad being one of only 6 employees remaining. Chad says, “I saw several of my friends, who were smart and worked incredibly hard, get laid off. The lesson I learned here is to be loyal to your company, but keep a balanced life too. It’s easy to get too deep into your work and miss the other pleasures of life!”

A career highlight …was getting hired by a client of a company that Chad had previously worked with. He says, “The client was a very large company and gave me exposure to training and support I would not have had otherwise. People do recognize when you do a good job, even if they don’t say it or show it.”

Advice to students Learn as much as you can. Schooling is important as it shows your intent and capability to learn. Stick with it, even if it sucks. It will pay off down the road. Also, learn something because YOU want to, not because someone tells you that you should. You’ll enjoy it more and have a deeper understanding of it!

And more …

  • Chad reports his most significant training after high school was … “On the job training of the ins and outs of tuning a SQL Server to have it perform optimally. This is an ongoing learning process!”
  • During college, Chad was a co-op student for a small electrical engineering firm that made computers for larger companies.

Supercomputing Competition

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

Are you passionate about computing? Would you describe yourself as an analytical thinker, independent, logical, curious, and observant? Are you good at solving math problems, focusing your attention, understanding scientific theories, and applying existing technology in creative ways? Do you use or write computer programs, play or develop video games, or try out new technology? Do you continually think about new ways to program a computer? Have you always wanted to work on a supercomputer, programming a multi-processor environment?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions then you will want to apply for the opportunity to participate in the upcoming Supercomputing Competition that will be held this spring.

The Supercomputing Competition is an event put on by the University of Utah’s Center for High Performance Computing (CHPC) and will provide Utah High School Supercomputing Competition (UHSSC) participants with a chance to become familiar with supercomputing.

The UHSSC uses retired supercomputers that are no longer suitable for research, but are more than suitable for use by high school students. This year the UHSSC will be recycling an Angstrom Titan64 Supercomputer, provided by CHPC, to build ten smaller machines which will be used by the UHSSC teams.

WHAT: Supercomputing Competition

WHO: All Utah high school students

WHERE: The Competition will be held as part of the Salt Lake Valley Science
and Engineering Fair at the University of Utah.

WHEN: March 28, 2012

HOW: Visit uhssc.org to apply. Applications are due December 15, 2011.

Eight teams will be selected to compete in the Supercomputing Competition. Six to ten students and one mentor will comprise each team. Each team will execute the following three challenges:

  1. Systems Optimization Challenge: Each team will modify their system running identical code, and minimize the execution time.
  2. Software Optimization Challenge: Each team will be running with the same system parameters and modify and extend a software module to minimize the execution time.
  3. The “Hotseat” Challenge: The teams are presented with a problem and asked to generate the code and optimize their system at the SLVSEF site.

The execution times of the three challenges will be combined to assign a Grand Prize winner.

Don’t delay. Apply now for the opportunity to compete in this Supercomputing Competition!

A Dynamic Duo in Web Design

Monday, September 12th, 2011

Elli Peterson became interested in web design when she wanted to make a custom template for her forum. Rico Montoya signed up for a web design class because he was interested in learning a skill that he had fun doing, and would make for a good career. “I think a really big factor that has made me pursue Web Development as a career is the relaxed environment that the industry portrays. The more laid-back attitude means a less stressful of a work environment, and really helps to make working easier,” said Rico.

At the beginning of the school year, Elli Peterson and Rico Montoya partnered to design a website for the Canyons Technical Education Center (CTEC) Auto Collision Repair teacher, Mr. Wootton. They not only designed each web page, but filmed and edited the auto class video featured on the home page. Elli and Rico worked exceptionally well as a team and their partnership continued as they competed in numerous SkillsUSA competitions throughout the year.

In March, Elli and Rico competed in the SkillsUSA regional Web Design competition and took 1st place. They then advanced to the state competition. “State was a bit more intense; there were kids from other counties, some as far as Davis, as well as another team from our school,” said Elli. Elli and Rico wowed the judges with their Web page and took 1st place. In June, they competed at the National SkillsUSA Leadership Conference in Kansas City, Missouri. At the national competition each team was required to complete a series of challenges, with a focus on website usability and accessibility with at least one challenge related to scripting. Elli and Rico competed against 31 other teams and took 2nd place.


Elli submitted four pieces in the Salt Lake Community College 2011 Art Show. She won the Web Design portion of the competition and Elli was awarded a $50 cash prize. “Not big money, it got me a tank of gas, but it was a cool experience and that’s what I’m after,” said Elli. Then in May, Elli took “Best of Show” and Rico took 1st place in the Web Design competition (HTML/CSS Website) at the 2011 Utah Multimedia Arts Festival, at Utah Valley University.

Elli and Rico donated their talents and skills to a non-profit organization called Green Eyes in Africa and created an incredible banner/masthead for the website. During their senior year they interned with Oozle Media a local Web Development company. Upon graduation they were both hired by Oozle Media as full-time employees. “Eli and Rico are doing an incredible job and the company is extremely pleased with their new employees. Now they are talking about hiring more of our students and creating a high school to work type program at our school,” said David Kidd, Web Development instructor at the Canyons Technical Education Center.

“The goal of my class is to make the students as marketable as possible in Web Development by helping them earn college credits, industry certifications, and work experience while having fun at the same time. The way I teach my students is by hands-on, real world, projects that are given to them by me, industry professionals, and clients,” said Mr. Kidd.

“Mr. Kidd inspired me to work hard by his personal attitude and outlook about Web design. He was always showing us cool new technologies and was always very excited about our projects. His own achievements inspired me,” said Rico.

Rico Montoya

While in high school, Elli earned the IC3 and the CIW Site Development Foundation Certification. Rico earned the IC3, the CIW Site Development Foundation, and the Internet Business Foundation Certifications. Both are achieving their goals and are making a mark in the Web Design industry.

Elli Peterson and Rico Montoya: College and Career Ready!

CTE Students Are Enthusiastic About Information Technology Education

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

This week, Governor Herbert announced that EMC Corporation, a global information technology leader, is coming to Utah. EMC Corporation will open a new customer support center adding 500 new jobs to Utah’s IT industry by the end of 2015. “The fact that a world-wide company like EMC expands operations in Utah underscores that this state continues to be among the leading IT locations anywhere,” said Governor Herbert.

Utah has a robust high-tech environment with over 4,200 high-tech companies in Utah, with a combined payroll of $3.6 billion. In Utah, the average IT salary is 58 percent higher than the statewide average. Many high-tech companies have been founded or are headquartered in Utah. These companies include Pixar, Omniture, WordPerfect, Novell, IM Flash, Iomega, and Atari.

Career and Technical Education (CTE) provides the foundation for Utah’s high-tech workforce. Through participation in one of six CTE Information Technology Education Pathways, students receive hands-on training and experience, while having the opportunity to obtain industry certification. Utah students have been recognized for their excellence in computer skills and technology at many national competitions, including Future Business Leaders of American (FBLA), SkillsUSA, and the Technology Student Association (TSA).

Career and Technical Education students are enthusiastic about the IT training they received in high school.

Brian Clark, a graduate of Bryce Valley High School and CTE scholarship recipient says, “I was able to take my first class in computer technology in the ninth grade, and this is where my interest in computers started. I have worked with my dad building several of our home computers, networking them together to share a printer, and troubleshooting home technical problems. I found through these experiences that I really like working with computers.” Brian plans on a career in Information Technology with an emphasis in computer technology and network administration. “I would eventually like to own my own business helping companies with computer installation and repair.”

Taylor Wilson, a graduate of Pleasant Grove High School says, “I took many CTE courses throughout high school, but found my love for multimedia during my senior year. While I took many CTE courses in high school, the multimedia course opened up a whole new world to me. I learned what it takes to create and to produce. For my third term project I produced a full length CD of me playing the guitar and singing. It was exciting and a great experience. I believe my career chose me and I am excited about that. I have always been told that if you do something you love, you will never work a day in your life.”

Ronnie Dodds, a graduate of Panguitch High School says, “The CTE classes I’ve taken during the past four years of high school have helped reinforce my decision of seeking an education in computer engineering. My CTE computer classes have helped me broaden my view of this field. Computer classes have given me resources I would not have had, and have helped me expand my knowledge.”

“Our educational system continues to produce high-quality and productive employees. Utah’s workforce is second to none.” said GOED executive director, Spencer Eccles.

Get started in an Information Technology Education Pathway today. Employers in Utah are waiting to hire skilled students from across the state to help them succeed, to be competitive, and to further advance their companies in a global marketplace.

CTE Information Technology; get started!

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Did you know that Career and Technical Education (CTE) offers six Information Technology (IT) Career Pathways to help students get started in a related job and/or education and training? By following one of the six IT Pathways students will become college and career ready. From Database Development and Administration and Technical Support (Information Support and Services Pathways), to Digital Media, Network Systems, Programming, and Web Development (Interactive Media Pathways), IT students prepare to apply the technical knowledge and skills they learn in order to pursue professional roles in diverse organizations.

Rebecca Lofley

Information Technology is the field of the future and is rapidly growing, with the demand for skilled individuals high. Read about Danielle Knapp’s experience as a Digital Media Student; Chelsea Richards’ success at combining her artistic talents with Web Development; and Rebecca Lofley’s journey to discover her inner “computer fanatic.”

Training and education beyond high school is important for success in a career in Information Technology. Whether students choose a one-year certificate, a two-year associate or technical degree, a four-year bachelor’s degree, or an advanced degree will depend on his or her career path.

Check out estimated employment demand and salaries for IT occupations in Utah here.

CTE offers Pathways to YOUR future; get started!