June 2020 Tech Upload

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NEW Digital News

New Member Welcome







Doug Waterman retiring!

Doug Waterman

This month we will be wishing a heartfelt Happy Retirement to Doug Waterman, Dean of IT at Fox Valley Technical College. Doug has been a longtime supporter and collaborator for the NEW IT Alliance. He has served on the Talent Committee, Executive Committee, Re-skilling Committee, and the Higher Ed Committee, where he also served as the chair. We couldn’t have done it without you, Doug! But as the Eagles say, you can check out but you can never leave… Happy Trails!


Rebranding NEW IT Alliance

This spring has been all about reimagining how we do things – companies who previously didn’t allow remote work have figured out it actually can work, education has been delivered remotely, and shopping patterns have changed (hello curbside pickup and online shopping).

For many, this has led to reevaluating what IT is and how the role that digital technologies play extends far beyond the traditional walls of the IT department. As we think more broadly about all the digital technologies we have come to rely on for our daily lives, it is clear that as a region we have to adapt and change to embrace all manner of digital processes, systems, and applications.

As leaders in this space, we have decided to reflect this change in a rebranding of the NEW IT Alliance. On June 16, we will launch our new name and brand, and become the NEW Digital Alliance. We will still be focused on increasing the talent pipeline for skilled IT workers in Northeast Wisconsin, but this rebranding reflects a broader mission that encompasses all aspects of digital technologies and their application in our region. Whether you run a manufacturing company, are an IT consultant, or teach computer science in K12, the NEW Digital Alliance will be a resource that you can rely on to help you move forward.

Our new Vision and Mission:

Vision: NEW Digital Alliance is the primary authority on IT/Digital Technology growth in Northeast Wisconsin.

Mission: Advance collaboration efforts that promote tech health of the Northeast Wisconsin region.

We look forward to sharing more about new brand and strategy in the coming months and welcome anyone with an interest in digital technologies to reach out and help us define the future for Northeast Wisconsin.

As we look to the future and recovery from the impact of Covid-19, we know that many of our neighbors will find themselves looking for new jobs. According to The New Landscape of Digital Literacy study done by the National Skills Coalition, we can expect fully 30% or more of the displaced workers to have limited or no digital skills. To help these individuals re-enter the workforce, the NEW IT Alliance has been working with our digital re-skilling committee made up of representatives from regional colleges and labor boards to define digital e-skilling programs as well as to educate our Congressional representatives on the need for funding to help re-skill America. In phase two we will be expanding the committee to include organizations who can help remove or reduce barriers to re-skilling such as childcare, transportation, and financial costs. If you are interested in helping to solve these challenges, please contact us at info@newdigitalalliance.org.

  • Completed our regional data gathering which helps us to understand the state of IT and digital skills in Northeast Wisconsin. Data will be published on our Factsheet page on June 22. Data will be included from:
    • Covid-19 Internship Impact survey
    • Digital Learning Opportunities survey
    • Northeast Wisconsin Collegiate IT Program survey
    • Northeast Wisconsin IT Professional Community Survey
  • NEW Connect IT event in November is going digital. With schools changing their field trip policies and employers taking a second look at supporting work time volunteer hours due to Covid-19, it was decided to move this event online in order to still connect students with IT and digital career and academic learning opportunities. We have some exciting ideas in the pipeline, and will be reaching out with more information over the summer.

Regional News

Contrapt At-Home Virtual STEM Competition

In light of the state of Wisconsin’s stay at home order in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, STEM Forward shifted their Contrapt Wisconsin Competition from in-person to virtual.  The task was for a household team of 1 – 3 students in grades 4-8 to build a tabletop contraption, using only supplies found around their home, that would ‘turn the page’ in 8 to 20 steps. Participating households needed to be located in Southeastern Wisconsin or have students that attend a school that takes part in STEM Forward’s programming.

A contraption accomplishes a simple task in the most complicated, fun way possible.  Building one can be challenging, but it provides the opportunity for students to work on skills involving simple machines, trial and error, physics, teamwork, and creativity. Check out each of the winning videos and list of steps. 

Forty-three teams entered to win, with representation from ten schools in southeastern, Wisconsin. The top three teams earning the highest score were awarded Amazon gift cards. Join us in congratulating the winners:

View Winners

Where Are They Now? Advice for High School Students from the 2019 STEM Forward Scholarship Recipients as they Reflect on their Freshman Year

Read about our recent conversation catching up with the 2019 STEM Forward High School Scholarship winners to find out “where are they now?” and read about the lessons learned after their first year in college. Find out how Amber & Malyun became interested in pursuing a STEM career and the advice they have for high school students heading off to college.

Read More

Computer Science News for Wisconsin

The document attached below contains CS news for Wisconsin including updates on CS Summer workshops, events, and useful links. Included is also a save the date for the Sixth Annual WI Computer Science Education Summit in Steven’s Point this November. Click the link below for more information.

More Information