This post is the first part in a series of posts on the UTS Tech Festival, and is co-authored by Jason Do and Sarah Rodriguez.

A seated crowd watches a presentation at the UTS tech fest.
Opening the UTS Tech Festival.

Tell us about the event you ran during the Tech Festival…

With the broader Teaching and Learning Engagement Team, we coordinated the events at the Tech Festival including workshops, seminars, showcases, and hackathons.

What inspired you to do this? 

The Faculty of Engineering and IT is multifaceted. Every year, our students work in teams, with the support of their academics to design and develop innovative projects that have the power to solve real world problems – from artificial intelligence to deep learning, robotics, games development and more. It’s clear to see that our students will have a key role in shaping the future of so many important and emerging industries. 

As a team, we are always seeking opportunities to engage with students in ways that are both meaningful and interactive. The UTS Tech Festival provided an opportunity to bring our community together to celebrate the talents and achievements of our students.

What was the most surprising outcome?

We managed to fit 30 events within two weeks and had over 1500 registrations across the festival.

How does it benefit students?

In hosting the UTS Tech Festival, we hope to inspire both current and future students to continue developing the skills necessary for a successful career in STEM. The diverse range of events, from hackathons to showcases, competitions and interactive workshops, allowed students to tap into their creativity away from the usual bounds of exams and assessment. Over the course of two weeks, they solved challenges that at first didn’t seem possible, such as building a working prototype of an iOS app in less than 48 hours.

Through this experience, we have been able to strengthen relationships with industry, which is essential to the future success of our students. More than ever, students are wanting to connect with industry mentors and gain insight into the professional world. The Tech Festival made this possible.

It was also a fantastic opportunity for industry to view first-hand the great talent at UTS. Their enthusiasm and support was integral to the success of our events and we look forward to continuing these collaborations in the future.

What’s the one piece of advice you would give other academics based on this experience?

Connect, build, and appreciate the relationships you have with your students. Students have fantastic potential.

Any plans for what you’ll do next year?

Same thing but better!

More from the UTS Tech Fest

Images by Jaime Garcia Marin.

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