Tech expo to encourage creative thinking

FRONT ROYAL — Technology is more than computers and video games, and at Riverfront Christian School in Front Royal, information technology teacher Elizabeth “Liz” Coffey has challenged her students to think about technology in new — or sometimes old — ways.

From floor tiles to ceiling fixtures, she said, “everything that surrounds us is technology.”

The school’s second technology expo will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. May 12 at 55 E. Strasburg Road, Front Royal, and Coffey said she has instructed students to ask visitors what technology means to them.

Knowing the basics is important, particularly at a school where sixth grade students are learning how to take apart and reassemble computers.

Ondrea Dane, 12, said she didn’t know very much about computers before taking a technology class this year but now feels confident enough to piece a computer back together on her own.

She also helped advertise next week’s tech expo by designing and printing fliers and plans to man a welcome table with two classmates at the event.

Building on the success of the school’s first tech expo last year, Coffey said she has increased the number of exhibits from six to about 10.

Everyone’s favorite will be back this year, she said, including an exhibit of relic computers and a chance to play video games on Xbox, PlayStation and maybe even Super Nintendo.

The school’s 3D printer will demonstrate its use making tiny models from plastic filament, and a Cash and Carry table will sell used, discounted laptops refurbished by tech students and other miscellaneous items and equipment. Hard drives have been replaced, Coffey said, and should the machines have any quirks after purchase, she said students will happily troubleshoot.

A silent auction will include donations from Two Fat Butchers, InfoTech, Royal Oak Computers, Jack Evans Chevrolet, the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, Outback Steakhouse of Winchester and Royal Pawn and Diamond Exchange, among others.

The school will serve food from Tastefully Simple, by Wendy Boice.

The tech expo is the school’s end of year exam for tech students, and Coffey said secret shoppers will review students on their setup and presentation.

Older students will act as managers, maintaining inventory of machines, ensuring games and equipment are in proper working order and helping the auction to go smoothly. Student managers will also handle advertising and food.

Reliant on donations to fund 95 percent of lab activities, Coffey said the community has been very generous in providing students with new and old equipment on which to learn. In turn, students volunteer their tech services to classrooms, and thanks to a truckload of equipment donated from Insystech Inc., Coffey said the school has been able to outfit all classrooms with enough up-to-date technology and now has a surplus.

“We are a very self-efficient, self-reliant lab,” Coffey said.

Contact the school at 540-635-8202.

Contact staff writer Josette Keelor at 540-465-5137 ext. 176, or jkeelor@nvdaily.com