News

The Illinois Technology Foundation is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the development of the technology talent pipeline in the State of Illinois.

Illinois Technology Foundation (ITF) partners with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to sponsor Capstone Competition 2013.

Exceptional students with winning projects from high schools city-wide will come together on April 27, 2013 at Sarah E Goode STEM High School to vie for over $25,000 in ITF-sponsored cash scholarships, as well as recognition of their outstanding technology-based projects, as judged by a panel of academic and industry experts.

As part of its primary mission to develop the technology talent pipeline in the state of Illinois, ITF is thrilled to sponsor this competition for students who have been selected as winners in their respective high school programs.  Co-chairs of the event, Patricia Todus, retired VP of Information Technology, Northwestern University and current executive consultant,  and Wendy Woodward,   Director of Technology Support Services, Northwestern University Information Technology, are excited to be a part of this inaugural opportunity that furthers the Foundation’s goals by recognizing and encouraging talented youth, and providing the means for them to develop their skills.   According to Ms. Todus,” This forum represents a unique opportunity for students to showcase their information technology talents, learn from industry and academic leaders, view their peers’ entries and most importantly, have a better understanding of information technology career paths in Illinois.  I anticipate an exciting event with a great deal of energy and innovative technology solutions and I’m thrilled to have a part in it.

Competing to Compete

Each year, CPS high school seniors in the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Program must complete a capstone project in an information technology area of special interest to them, including: Database/Cloud, Networking/Security, Web Development, and Gaming.  Working closely with a faculty advisor, students develop a practical and innovative solution to an information technology challenge in their chosen area.  Winners are selected at each school.  This year, to further its collaboration and support of CPS, the ITF proposed a next level competition, across the city, letting the best and brightest shine.  Each local school winner will prepare a presentation to deliver before a panel of judges at the Capstone Event on Saturday, April 27th at Sarah E. Goode STEM High School.

Facts & Figures

Over 400 exceptional students and their parents from nearly 40 schools are anticipated for this annual event, as well as 200-400 non-competing attendees.  Prizes totaling about $25,000 will be given to the top finishers by the Illinois Technology Foundation, with Student Scholarships ranging from $2,000 – $5,000 for each of three winners, and Professional Development awards from $1,000 – $2,000 for their faculty sponsors.  These awards are among the largest given at the high school level throughout the city.  ITF can’t do this alone and is pleased to announce key sponsorship alliances with Microsoft, Reyes Holding, CompTIA , Creating IT Futures, Discover Financial, UL, Maron Structure Technology, Accenture, Motorola Solutions Foundation, Burwood Group and Robert Morris University, all of whom share the passion and energy for helping tomorrow’s technology leaders succeed.  “We are thrilled to have the continued support of the ITF and its leadership in creating the most exciting and encouraging environment for our students to become tomorrow’s technologists.  And this year’s effort around our capstone event goes beyond anything we could have expected.  We are thrilled!” Brenda Wilkerson, IT Program Manager for CPS Career and Technical Education’s IT Program.

With a list of judges and attendees from corporations and organizations across the Chicago area, the event is a winning platform for all those involved, students, industry leaders, and industry participants alike.  Aside from furthering the collaboration with CPS as a whole, ITF believes that the competition also supports Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s mission to drive STEM education.  For more information about the event, sponsorship, and participation, please see IllinoisTechFoundation.org or contact Patricia Todus, p-todus@northwestern.edu.

Illinois Technology Foundation Partner Sites
Student Tech Club
Center For Innovative Thinking