I hope that the first half of your 2015-16 school year has been productive and that your semester of teaching has allowed for student growth in learning. As we pass the halfway point of the school year now is the time to get ready for IDEA competition season beginning with Regional registration by February 4, Regional Competitions at local sites on March 4th, and concluding with the State Contest at ISU on April 16th. Please check out the competition page on our website for more complete competition and registration information.
Last year we had more than 900+ students and 90+ teachers represented at the Regional competition level. This is a testament to your commitment to your students and the IDEA organization. Last year Regional and State registrations were done in a new format to lessen the burden on our volunteer Competition, Financial, and Regional Directors. The online system worked well last year and we are going to ask you to use a Google drive link to fill in the registration form if you have that capability. If not, we will have you download and fill out an Excel sheet to be emailed back. Payment will still be handled by printing out either form and mailing it back with your payment to the Financial Director or using a PayPal link. In the past, the use of handwritten entry forms has led to unnecessary work for our directors, loss of mailed in forms and confusion at Regional sites. We thank you in advance for your support as we move in this direction. Just as in our schools, Regional sites are seeing changes in personnel and IDEA wants to make this a valuable and beneficial experience for all involved.
This year IDEA will be offering 2 new team competitions that have been developed with IDEA member input. We will be offering Engineering Design and Architectural Design team competitions in a BETA test format at 4 Regionals in 2016 with hopes of statewide implementation in 2017. The WCC, Lewis and Clark, Triton, and Rend Lake Regionals will be our hosts for 2016. These competitions will allow a student team made up of 3 members to work on a design problem and come to the Regional to present their solution to a panel of judges. Competition guidelines will be released and teachers will choose their best team and proposal to represent their school.
Also, new for this year we will provide a form your students can download, fill out, and bring to the Regional or State Competitions if they choose to opt out of having pictures taken and posted on our or our Regional hosts websites.
Your commitment to IDEA can be further strengthened by reaching out to one other drafting, TEE, or engineering teacher you know. Invite that person to join us and allow their students to reap the rewards of their involvement. Please make one more teacher, student, administrator, or parent aware of this great organization.
The Board will be meeting February 5th to further plan for the competition season and discuss matters related to the IDEA organization and its direction for the future. Your input is valued and important to us. Feel free to contact a Board member or attend the meeting to offer input. Each fall new Board members are elected and we want you to consider helping this great organization as it moves into the future.
Best wishes to you and your students as they compete. As a teacher, I enjoy seeing the faces of my students as they compete and win medals at IDEA contests and realize what they have learned in class has been validated and rewarded. I look forward to seeing you at the IDEA State competition in Normal.
- Regional Competition: Feb 22 - March 9, 2018
- State Competition: April 14, 2018
- IDEA Fall Conference: October 26, 2017
- ITEC-IDEA Conference October 27-28, 2017