OTTUMWA – Instructors in the Computer Software Development program at Indian Hills Community College want high school students to start thinking about and planning for the annual Byte Jam competition that will take place later this year.
Susan Wilson, one of the instructors, explains that Byte Jam is a team-based competition that helps to introduce students to the coding and design processes that go into the apps and websites they use every day. “Each team creates its own version around a central theme,” Wilson says, “with area schools competing against one another.”
Wilson notes the event was developed for Indian Hills students, but after a successful first year a high school division was added the next year. The number of teams has increased from five to around 20 and more schools have been invited to participate this year.
Each year the project management class at IHCC creates a theme for the competition and this year’s theme is “memes.”
After completion the projects are judged by company representatives, teachers/advisors and students with prizes awarded to the first- and second-place teams.
“Representatives from many companies attend the event each year,” Wilson says, “participating in the judging of projects, sharing job and internship opportunities and conducting interviews. Two businesses give presentations regarding the direction of the industry, types of employees they are interested in and the many opportunities available.”
Wilson proudly points out that this fall around 10 students who participated in past Byte Jams when they were in high school will be enrolled in the IHCC Computer Software Development program.
The date for the next Byte Jam is Nov. 13 and it will be held in the Hellyer Student Life Center on the IHCC Ottumwa campus. All team registrations must be completed by Oct. 11 and can be done at www.indianhills.edu/bytejam.
Any area high school students or teachers who might be interested in taking part can contact Wilson at Susan.Wilson@indianhills.edu for more information.