Sunday, January 21, 2018
News Roundup

Exploratory Lab Boot Camp provides real-life technology training to students

CLEARWATER — At this graduation ceremony featuring some of the brightest local minds in tech, it was the youngsters who stood out.

The "no fear creativity" of a handful of local high school students participating in the Exploratory Lab Boot Camp impressed tech professionals and mentors alike. Thursday's graduation at St. Petersburg College of 15 participants marked the first time that the program allowed high schoolers in the mix.

"The high school students were no way imitated by the college students," said program coordinator Patricia Gehant. "The college students were in awe of the accomplishments of the high school students."

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: As Tampa Bay tech firms scramble for talent, boot camp aims to boost supply

The Exploratory Lab Boot Camp is a week-long technology training program. Students participate in sessions geared toward teaching the latest trends and strategies in technology. They also learn about finance, marketing, and networking. Professionals from Tech Data taught the lessons.

"I never realized how integral networking is to improve your position in life," said Ryan Worthington, 17, a senior at Osceola High School.

A major component of the program was for two teams to create a business plan for a new idea. At the ceremony, the groups pitched their idea to a panel of judges. Flare, a safety device that attempts to prevent accidents between cars and pedestrians or cyclists, won.

The idea of Flare matured because one of the group members had been hit twice while riding his bike.

Laszlo Leedy, 17, a senior at Shorecrest Prep, said he encouraged his group to choose his idea over the other 20 they brainstormed.

"There needs to be this kind of device that can alert drivers that there is a biker near, because people are not as alert," he said.

In addition to lowering the number of collisions, Flare also hopes to save money for insurance companies.

The other team introduced a voice recording and storage program called Voice Versa. The app targets students, professionals and disabled individuals. The team pitched their program as a means to improve the way students study, how professional recall notes from a meeting, and assist the hearing impaired.

Flare, the winning project, received a Cisco solution sales training program. They also won three months of free training from Tec Garage, an incubator for tech start-ups. One of the judges Tonya Elmore, who is also Tec Garage's president, sponsored the reward.

Other judges included tech leaders around Tampa Bay: Sable Davis of Forsythe Technology, Chuck Egerter of Eagle Datagistics, Walter Besler of Open Partnership Education Network at USFSP and Earl Gehant of Gehant & Associates.

Diversity of degrees and backgrounds is important to find strong solutions today's business problems, Patricia Gehant said.

"We want to release students from following a syllabus and chasing a grade," she said. "We give them the knowledge. Then they take it and apply it. There is no syllabus in the workplace. You have to get into the flow of the river and find a way to thrive."

Contact Tierra Smith at [email protected] tampabay.com or (414) 702-5006. Follow @bytierrasmith.

An earlier version of this story online gave an incorrect name for the Voice Versa project.

Comments

Leonard Pitts Jr.: One year later.

And here we are, one year later.If you are groping for markers by which to measure how profoundly we have been changed since Inauguration Day, here’s one you might want to consider:In January of 1998, reports surfaced of a sexual affair between Presi...
Published: 01/21/18
Lightning falls to Wild, its fifth loss in seven games

Lightning falls to Wild, its fifth loss in seven games

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Lightning said all the right things about needing to look in the mirror and do some soul-searching during its recent funk. Veterans said they had to lead the way. Coach Jon Cooper believed this eight-game trip would "show us wha...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Florida wins big SEC showdown with Kentucky

Florida wins big SEC showdown with Kentucky

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Jalen Hudson came off the bench to score 17, and Chris Chiozza, Keith Stone and Kevarrius Hayes contributed clutch baskets down the stretch as Florida rallied to upset No. 18 Kentucky 66-64 Saturday night. "We were able to win it jus...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Shrine Game journal: USF players’ thoughts are with grieving QB Quinton Flowers

Shrine Game journal: USF players’ thoughts are with grieving QB Quinton Flowers

ST. PETERSBURG — USF had expected to have four former players in Saturday’s East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field, but QB Quinton Flowers had to miss the showcase game after learning that his grandmother had died late last week."I most definitely ...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Late score gives West victory over East in Shrine Game

Late score gives West victory over East in Shrine Game

ST. PETERSBURG — With less than a week to install a playbook, offenses can have it tough in college showcase games.And for 58 minutes on Saturday in the East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field, the teams combined for just one offensive touchdown.But...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Tampa Bay jobs chief Ed Peachey making top dollar

Tampa Bay jobs chief Ed Peachey making top dollar

For years, Edward Peachey has bragged about the number of jobless people he has helped find work.As president and CEO of CareerSource Pinellas and CareerSource Tampa Bay, he’s in charge of the two main government agencies that provide training to the...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Diver from Dover dies in treacherous Eagle’s Nest cave

Diver from Dover dies in treacherous Eagle’s Nest cave

WEEKI WACHEE — The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office on Saturday investigated the death of a Hillsborough County man in the Eagle’s Nest, an underwater network of caves where at least 11 others have died since 1981.Even experienced divers have lost th...
Updated: 10 hours ago
More than 1,000 cold-stunned sea turtles rescued in Florida Panhandle

More than 1,000 cold-stunned sea turtles rescued in Florida Panhandle

Florida’s dip into frigid temperatures did more than just stun humans unused to such cold air. This month scientists and volunteers have rescued more than 1,000 cold-stunned sea turtles from a single bay in the Florida Panhandle.The U.S. Geological S...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Orchestra sets off fireworks in the brassy ‘Sinfonietta’

Orchestra sets off fireworks in the brassy ‘Sinfonietta’

TAMPA — Many times during Sinfonietta, Leoš Janácek’s notoriously difficult but joyous work, it was impossible for a regular patron of the Florida Orchestra to escape this observation: They have never sounded quite like this.This isn’t to say musicia...
Updated: 11 hours ago
The longer the shutdown lasts, the further the economic ripples will spread

The longer the shutdown lasts, the further the economic ripples will spread

The early days of the federal government shutdown won’t slow the U.S. economy much. No workers are missing paychecks yet, and because it is a weekend, few businesses expect to feel the effects of lost customers or suppliers.That could change, quickly...
Published: 01/20/18