Oklahoma High School/High Tech Honored by The Governor's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities

High School/High Tech graphicThe Governor's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities honored several Oklahoma High School students with disabilities for projects on technology careers during a ceremony held in the Blue Room of the State Capitol on April 13, 2005. Terry Cline, Oklahoma's Cabinet Secretary of Health and Commissioner of the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health, served as the keynote speaker for the annual event, which awards thousands of dollars in scholarships to the students.Logo for Oklahoma HS/HT

The competition was sponsored by the Governor's Committee for Tech-Now. Tech-Now is an after school and summer program that has a zero percent dropout rate for students completing one or more years of the program. Tech-Now gives students with disabilities access to technology and encourages them to explore potential education and employment opportunities. The project is currently funded by the United States Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy and the Oklahoma State Department of Education after being funded by the Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Council for five years.

The ceremony was attended by state representatives and senators who came to offer their congratulations to the winners and their families. Most winners were recognized by their schools in award assemblies and some were profiled in articles by their home town newspapers.

The following prizes were awarded: three $1000 scholarships to any Oklahoma public college or university, three one-semester waiver scholarships at Oklahoma Career Technology centers, four cash prizes ($500 provided by Oklahoma One-Call, $300 supplied by General Motors, $150 from Mid-America Chapter of Paralyzed Veterans of America, $100 from AMBUCS). Additionally, approximately $6,000 of hardware and software was donated by the Microsoft Corporation.

The prizes were awarded to individual students and teams accumulating the most points using their technology skills to design and manufacture:

  • A career poster made with digital photography, photo imaging, and desktop publishing
  • A career cereal box designed to appeal to children and promote interest in a career
  • A web banner advertisement with computer animation using digital photography, imaging, compositing and sequencing.
  • A radio commercial using digital audio engineering hardware and software
  • A movie-book – the creation of a movie depicting a career
  • Model companies to simulate employment and to design and manufacture small paper cars to compete with those of other teams.

Points were awarded by a team of judges based upon: project quality, attendance, productivity, and team work.

To learn more about Tech-Now, visit their website at www.tech-now.biz.

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